Child welfare improvement plan approved
BY GINNIE GRAHAM World Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
7/25/12 at 11:09 AM
Read the Pinnacle Plan.
OKLAHOMA CITY - After reaching a settlement in a federal class-action lawsuit in January, approval has been granted to the child welfare improvement plan created by the Oklahoma State Department of Human Services.
The plan, called the Pinnacle Plan, is the foundation for the settlement, which was brought by the New York-based nonprofit Children's Rights. The lawsuit alleged a failed and dangerous foster care system.
Approval and implementation of the improvement plan is overseen by a three-person panel of out-of-state experts. The members of the panel - Eileen Crummy, Kathleen Noonan and Kevin Ryan -were named in agreement by the plaintiffs and DHS.
The monitors sent back a first version for revisions in May. The major changes were moving up deadlines, eliminating shelter use by young children by the end of the year and targeting recruitment of more workers.
The improvement plan addresses the lawsuit's 15 areas of concern, arranged among seven points.
In a statement from the monitors today, approval was given because the plan "articulates a bold new vision for the improvement of the Oklahoma child welfare system."
Some aspects of the plan have already been implemented, including raises for workers and child welfare workers.
Read more on this story in Thursday's Tulsa World.