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1:16 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

DHS overhaul plans released at Capitol

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A plan to improve Oklahoma's troubled child welfare services includes seeking 500 new foster families by the end of June 2013 and the restructuring of the Department of Human Services' child welfare staff.

Gov. Mary Fallin, House Speaker Kris Steele and Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman praised the five-year plan Friday during a news conference at the state Capitol.

The plan was developed as part of a January settlement agreement reached with a children's advocacy group that sued over DHS' treatment of foster children.

Officials estimate the plan will cost about $153 million to initially implement with an estimated $100 million coming from the state and about $53 million from the federal government.

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