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Former Foster Child Says Reforms Are Needed

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David is still haunted by his childhood in state custody. David is still haunted by his childhood in state custody.

A former Oklahoma foster child agrees with Children's Rights that reforms are needed at the Department of Human Services.   Children's Rights has filed a class action lawsuit against the state.  The News On 6's Ashli Sims reports David is still haunted by his childhood in state custody.

"I've been in DHS custody since I was 5 or 6.  They caught my dad raping my brother and sister," said David.

He was moved from two hospitals to a foster home, back to a hospital and then to a group home.

 "I, like some kids in DHS custody, did think about killing myself, attempted to commit suicide," said David.

It's hard to listen to David's story.  He says the system that rescued him from abuse and neglect at home delivered him to more abuse and neglect at a foster home.

"You're taken away from your parents because they're treating you wrong. And then, you get placed in all of these foster homes that treat you wrong. So, what's the point?" asked David.

Out of 11 foster homes, David only calls two good.  Most were not, he remembers one that only allowed him and his little brother to go to the bathroom at certain times.

"I remember him using the bathroom on hisself numerous times because they wouldn't let him go to the bathroom," said David.

But, what about the caseworkers who were supposed to be looking out for him?

"I've never seen my caseworker unless I got in trouble. They never visited me or anything, unless I got in trouble," said David.

After years of being left behind by the system, David walked out on DHS.  He was homeless for several weeks.  He slept at his job at Wal-Mart, took shelter with the Salvation Army, and crashed with friends.

When asked how he's still standing, he cracks a shy smile.

"Well, because mainly because of my last foster home with Kelly Simmons," said David.

Even though he's no longer a ward of the state, his former foster mom has once again opened her home.  And, David's set to graduate in the spring.

He also has a message for other foster kids.

"Not to give up just because something bad is going in your life to not give up. I gave up a couple of times, but I got back on track," said David.

David says he doesn't even remember how many case workers he's had.  But, he says only two were fit for the job.

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