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Thursday, June 13, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Oklahoma Abuses, Neglects 10,000 Foster Kids, Says Class

TULSA (CN) - The State of Oklahoma unconstitutionally abuses the kidsit takes from parents and places in foster homes, says a federal class action brought bySeymour & Graham and Doerner Saunders in Tulsa and Kaye Scholer in New York. The complaint on behalf of more than 10,000 children sayssays Oklahoma's fosterhomes are overcrowded,dangerous andstaffed by an unstable and inadequately trained workforce, whilekids are abused, neglectedand shunted from one inappropriate home to another.

Lead attorney Frederic Dorwart claims, "Dangerous failures in Oklahoma's foster care system have been documented for over ten years, yet DHS (the Oklahoma Department of Human Services) has failed to ameliorate them or implement necessary reform," the complaint states. "Plaintiff children are victimized while in DHS custody, DHS houses plaintiff children in dangerous and inappropriate placements that fail to provide adequate protection or meet their needs, ... DHS unnecessarily institutionalizes plaintiff children in dangerous and inappropriate emergency shelters for extended periods of time, DHE place plaintiff children in dangerous and inappropriate homes and facilities while in DHS custody, DHS frequently moves children from one inappropriate placement to another, causing them severe emotional and psychological harm, DHS prevents plaintiff children from maintaining critical family ties while in state custody," and on and on the complaint goes, for 90 pages.

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