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Oklahoma kids in DHS care face dangers, report finds

BY RANDY ELLIS Modified: November 12, 2009 at 6:47 am •  Published: November 12, 2009

/> Federal government data show "children in OKDHS’s care are more likely to be abused and neglected than are children in the care of almost any other state,” child welfare expert John Goad said.

"It is probable that all children who are placed in the custody of the agency are in danger of being placed with abusive, neglectful and dangerous caregivers whom OKDHS has failed to identify because of its deficient response to child abuse and neglect referrals,” Goad wrote.

The reports were filed by attorneys for Children’s Rights, a New York-based child advocacy group that is seeking to reform Oklahoma’s child welfare system through a class action lawsuit in behalf of all children in DHS care.

The group hopes the report will persuade a judge to force DHS to release additional documents that could show how widespread problems are within the agency.

Oklahoma state offices were closed Wednesday, and DHS officials did not return a telephone call seeking comment.

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