TULSA — Nine Oklahoma foster children were bounced around among 176 primary caseworkers because of "severe disarray” within DHS, attorneys said in documents filed Thursday in Tulsa federal court. The state Department of Human Services also had 125 secondary workers and 190 supervisors overseeing care of those children, documents reveal. "I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Marcia Lowry, executive director of a New York-based child advocacy group that is suing DHS over care it provides to foster children. "The number is particularly significant when you realize that six of these children have been in state custody for less than three years, and three of them are less than 2 years old.” "When you have this many workers and supervisors managing children’s cases, in essence, you have no one managing them at all,” she said. There is no excuse for Oklahoma moving foster children around among caseworkers and foster homes like it does because it is extremely damaging to children, she said. Don Bingham, a private attorney who is helping represent DHS in the case, said he and his colleagues are looking into why these children experienced so many changes in their primary caseworkers. Bingham said he wouldn’t attach much significance to the number of secondary workers involved in a case because they don’t necessarily have direct contact with a child or the child’s biological or foster family. Such workers may just have performed some clerical task, he said. Children’s Rights is behind an ongoing Tulsa federal court lawsuit filed in February that alleges DHS has violated the constitutional rights of Oklahoma foster children by failing to give them proper care and treatment and failing to provide them with safe and adequate living conditions. Attorneys associated with the group represent nine children in the lawsuit but are seeking class action status to represent all children in DHS custody. There are about 7,230 Oklahoma children in foster care. The children’s attorneys have been battling DHS for all the e-mails by the current and past caseworkers and supervisors assigned to the nine children they represent. Lowry said e-mails her group has been able to obtain so far show foster children’s cases are being mismanaged. 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.” "The idea of using shelters to the degree Oklahoma does is clearly damaging to children as well as being expensive,” Lowry said. 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.