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DHS Study Could Affect Federal Lawsuit (Oct 20, 2011)

The announcement of a state House task force charged with an aggressive examination of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services should not have a negative affect as Oklahoma defends itself in federal court for problems in its foster care system.

State Representative Jason Nelson, speaking after the announcement of the panel he will lead, said he hopes the task force will improve the state’s case.

Nelson said he will continue to check with other state officials to make sure his task force's actions do not interfere with the federal lawsuit.

The lawsuit filed in 2008 by the national organization Children’s Rights, claims DHS violates the constitutional rights of children in its custody by placing them in unsafe situations.

Attorneys for Children’s Rights want the state to place limits on the caseloads of DHS workers and require frequent in-person visits to children in state custody. The organization says the case is set to go to trial February 12th of next year.

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