Oklahoma leaders to review DHS settlement proposal next week

The governor and two Oklahoma legislative leaders will consider a proposal to settle a federal class-action lawsuit that accuses the Department of Human Services of allowing conditions to exist that result in children being injured and otherwise harmed while in its shelters and foster homes.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Published: December 22, 2011
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The governor and the state's two legislative leaders will meet next week to consider a proposal to settle a federal class-action lawsuit against the state Department of Human Services.

The lawsuit accuses DHS of allowing conditions to exist that result in children being injured and otherwise harmed while in its shelters and foster homes.

DHS commissioners Tuesday night approved a settlement. Terms have not been disclosed.

The settlement must be voted on by the state Contingency Review Board, which consists of the governor, the speaker of the House of Representatives and the Senate president pro tem. The settlement will require DHS to change how it deals with children in foster homes, group homes and state shelters.

The governor and legislative leaders are scheduled to meet Wednesday.

“Clearly our No. 1 goal is to protect our children, take care of our children,” Gov. Mary Fallin said Wednesday. “But we also have to look out for the interests of the state. I'm looking forward to reading the settlement agreement and to see if it's a doable deal for the state, if it's in the best interest of the children and the state of Oklahoma.”

About the lawsuit



Clearly our No. 1 goal is to protect our children, ... but we also have to look out for the interests of the state.”

Gov. Mary Fallin

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