Oklahoma DHS oversight board should get detailed reports of child deaths, members say

BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Published: October 21, 2011
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“Are there things from those OCCY reports that we need to tweak policy?” he asked. “Heretofore, we've not seen those. But I expect we will in the future.”

Lane's committee met for the first time Thursday. The committee, also made up of commissioners Anne Roberts and Anita Wilkinson, plans to meet again Monday, Oct. 31.

Lane said citizens want to see an actively engaged commission looking at child deaths under DHS care and helping the agency develop policies to help the agency work to prevent deaths.

Lane said committee members also discussed what people they would like to see join them on the committee to look into various issues. However, DHS attorneys cautioned that federal privacy laws restrict who can see information on children in the agency's custody, he said.

The committee first is taking up child deaths that occurred in DHS care, and then will branch out to look at services the agency provides to the elderly and others.

“It's very difficult to predict murder,” said Lane, a former Oklahoma County district attorney. “But to the degree that we are physically, humanly able to do that and set up a system to do so, we have a responsibility to do that.”



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