Oklahoma has more children in state custody -- nearly twice the national average -- than almost any other state, according to an audit released Wednesday.
Lawmakers will introduce new legislation next week aimed to reduce that number. House Speaker Chris Benge, R-Tulsa, said lawmakers requested the $400,000 audit after hearing numerous complaints about the state's child welfare system. The audit included 25 recommendations to improve the system. Rep. Ron Peters, R-Tulsa, said some of those items will be addressed in House Bill 1743, which will be filed Monday. DHS director Howard Hendrick said he welcomes the opportunity to improve services offered by the agency.