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Oklahoma foster system in "severe disarray," lawsuit claims

BY RANDY ELLIS Published: December 4, 2008
p/> Attorneys for the children claim DHS attorneys have been stonewalling them for months and now want them to pay costs of retrieving the e-mails. The children’s attorneys want DHS to pay.

DHS has provided them with access to some e-mails from their clients’ current caseworkers.

In one May 2007 e-mail, a caseworker said a child’s foster home placement was “doomed ... from the start because of all the family friction, problems, etc.”

In another e-mail, dated September 2007, a caseworker says a foster child was bounced around for weeks among three different shelters “because we have a shortage of foster home resources and had no opening to offer him.”

An adoption request was held up for six months because some paperwork was missing and the case was passed around while an employee was on extended leave, an April 2008 e-mail from a DHS supervisor revealed.

In other e-mails, workers complained about being “very understaffed” and “very overworked,” and having to visit 10 homes in a single day.

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