Panel issues DHS recommendations

Panel issues DHS recommendations

CREATED Apr. 4, 2013

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A committee that studied Oklahoma child abuse and neglect deaths has released its findings and recommendations.

The panel released the results of its 16-month investigation on Thursday. It's based on in-depth reviews of 36 child deaths due to neglect or abuse in the state between January 2010 and mid-2012.

Among the panel's 37 recommendations are policy changes involving hiring and performance standards and worker caseloads.

The Oklahoma Legislature last year passed measures to overhaul the Department of Human Services and reorganize its child welfare division to make it more accountable. The state also settled a federal class-action lawsuit filed in 2008 by a child advocacy group that alleged children in DHS care suffered physical abuse and neglect.

The case led to a five-year, $153 million plan to improve the agency.

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