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State Settles Foster Care Lawsuit (Jan 05, 2012)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Department of Human Services' governing board has approved a settlement agreement in a federal class-action lawsuit that accused the state of not protecting foster children in its care.

The Human Services Commission voted 6-3 Wednesday to accept revisions suggested last month by the Contingency Review Board to the proposed settlement.

New York-based Children's Rights sued the state in 2008 on behalf of nine foster children.

Children's Rights executive director Marcia Lowry says the commission's decision is the final stage before a federal judge considers the proposed agreement. Lowry says the group has OK'd the revisions and believes the agreement is "extremely beneficial" for the plaintiffs.

DHS officials say the agency will develop a plan over the next 55 days that will include areas of improvements identified in the agreement.

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