Oklahoma City -- U.S. District Judge Gregory Frizzell approved a settlement agreement today in the D.G. vs. Yarbrough class action lawsuit following a fairness hearing with plaintiffs.
"We are pleased to see the settlement agreement approved today by Judge Frizzell," said Howard Hendrick, Director of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services. "This ruling brings to an end another chapter in the class action lawsuit and allows our agency to continue making our state's foster care system stronger and safer for children. We are committed to the safety and well-being of the children we serve. The strengths in our system allowed us to reach this agreement and our commitment to children extends far beyond the terms of this agreement."
Since the settlement was reached, agency officials have been working with the co-neutrals and key stakeholders to develop a plan that will address the areas within the foster care system that need improvement.
The ruling was made on Hendrick's last day as director of the agency.
"I continue to be impressed by our dedicated staff and the level of support we are receiving from the Commission and the Legislature during this process," said Hendrick. "There is never a perfect time to leave, but wrapping up this litigation is a good time for me to end this chapter in my life. I am extremely proud of the excellent work our staff does every day in a difficult budget environment. I hope that with some improvement in the Oklahoma economy, the funds needed to continue to make progress in human services will receive the consideration it seriously needs."
To follow the OKDHS progress with the improvement plan, go to the agency's website at www.okdhs.org (Link opens in new window).