Court-Appointed Experts Say Oklahoma DHS Still Failing Kids - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Court-Appointed Experts Say Oklahoma DHS Still Failing Kids

Posted: Updated:
File photo. File photo.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

Experts in the class-action lawsuit against Oklahoma's Department of Human Services say the agency is not doing enough to protect children in the child welfare system.

The "co-neutrals" assigned to follow-up on the state's improvements to services following the federal lawsuit issued orders for DHS to make additional changes to the foster home system, the caseload numbers for individual caseworkers and a plan to reduce the backlog in child protection services investigations.

10/15/2014 Related Story: Report Says Oklahoma DHS Not Showing Much Improvement

Though the lawsuit was settled in 2012, children continue to suffer from the lack of good foster homes, overloaded DHS caseworkers and problems that don't get investigated, according to the report.

"It is unfortunate that even after being sued and entering into a court order to address the problems that led to the lawsuit, Oklahoma continues to fail its most vulnerable children," said Marcia Robinson Lowry, one of plaintiffs' attorneys and director of a national children's advocacy organization, A Better Childhood. 

"Fortunately, the settlement of the lawsuit gives the co-neutral experts the authority to hold the state accountable, to direct further specific action, and to obtain further court orders against the state which the plaintiffs can then enforce."

The remedial order issued Friday requires the state to submit a remediation plans with timeframes for improvements.

Keep checking back to NewsOn6.com for updates to this story, and reporter Tess Maune will have more in tonight's newscasts.

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