NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – After more than 16 years, the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services is free of federal oversight from a 2001 settlement over its treatment of foster care children.
Gov. Bill Haslam announced Tuesday that a federal judge approved an agreement in the lawsuit filed in 2000 by the nonprofit Children’s Rights.
Haslam’s office said the state worked for years with a committee of nationally recognized child welfare experts serving as the federal court’s monitor. He called Tuesday’s news monumental.
In a news release, Children’s Rights said the case involved more than 140 improvement requirements.
Ira Lustbader, the group’s litigation director, said the outcome shows real, systemic child welfare reform is achievable in America.
Some requirements included reasonable caseloads, sufficient training for case workers and quick response to abuse or neglect reports.
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