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Federal Judge Approves DHS Settlement (Feb 29, 2012)

TULSA, Okla. - A federal judge gave final approval Wednesday to a settlement agreement in a lawsuit against the state Department of Human Services, that alleged the state failed to protect children in foster care.

Under the settlement approved by U.S. District Judge Gregory Frizzell, DHS must develop a plan to implement standards and required outcomes, and report that plan to three child welfare experts by March 30.

Marcia Lowry is the executive director of New York-based Children’s Rights, a group that filed the lawsuit. She said today the settlement gives Oklahoma a foster care system with accountability and an enforceable plan of action.

The three experts picked by the state and the plaintiffs will determine in December 2016 whether DHS met the outcomes put forth in the settlement. If so, the Department’s obligations under the settlement would end.

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