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Okla. officials to consider settling DHS lawsuit (Dec 28, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Gov. Mary Fallin and legislative leaders will consider the settlement of a federal class-action lawsuit over the way the state protects and monitors foster children in its care.

Members of the state's Contingency Review Board will meet Wednesday to discuss and vote on the proposal. The board consists of Fallin, House Speaker Kris Steele and Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman.

The lawsuit was filed in 2008 in Tulsa by Children's Rights, a New York-based national child advocacy group. It accused the Department of Human Services of victimizing foster children and inadequately monitoring their safety.

DHS commissioners recommended last week that the state settle the lawsuit. When the Legislature is not in session, the board is required to approve legal settlements that could cost more than $25,000 in state funds.


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