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9:33 am
Mon September 9, 2013

DHS: Number of Children in State Custody Rising

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma Department of Human Services officials say they're trying to determine why the number of children in state custody has increased sharply during the past 14 months.

DHS records show the number of children under the agency's care rose from 9,132 in July 2012 to 10,487 on Sept. 1 — an increase of 14 percent.

Child welfare services director Deborah Smith told the Tulsa World that there are a number of theories as to the reason for the increase. She says those theories include new staff that could be "overreacting" to their cases and to the need for a child to be taken from the home.

Smith says the department's analysis should be completed by the end of the month.

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The state office building in downtown Tulsa
Credit KWGS News