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Children's Services finally meets goals of long-running suit

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — After 15 years of federal oversight, the Tennessee Department of Children's Services has finally met all of the goals set out after a 2001 settlement over its treatment of foster care children.

In court on Monday, U.S. District Judge Todd Campbell accepted a joint report by DCS and the nonprofit Children's Rights, which represents the state's foster care children in the case.

Ira Lustbader is the litigation director at Children's Rights. He says the foster care system in Tennessee has transformed in the years since the group brought the lawsuit and can now be a model for other systems.

He says the bottom line is "kids are better off."

DCS must stay in compliance for a year before it can ask Campbell to finally release the agency from court supervision.

Would you like to learn more about foster care in Tennessee?