No settlement can affect volume of child welfare cases
Parties on both sides are encouraged about what the settlement of a class-action lawsuit against the Department of Human Services will mean for the agency and, most importantly, for foster children. Human Services Commissioner Wes Lane said the settlement gives the state a chance to “look at some things and make them better.” Another commissioner, Steven Dow, said the board can now focus on improving the system instead of defending a lawsuit. “That's where we ought to be,” he said. The woman who brought the lawsuit, Marcia Lowry, said fundamental changes are ahead: “This is the beginning of a very exciting process.”
The flip side of the coin is the sheer number of cases, which is driven by poverty, drug use, too many moms in prison, broken homes, teen pregnancies and other societal challenges with which Oklahoma is all too familiar.
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