MS DHS Responding too Late
A new report finds Mississippi is failing to investigate most child abuse complaints from children in its care within the required twenty-four hours or complete most investigations within thirty days. That is one of the findings released by the independent monitor appointed by a federal court to oversee the state's progress in meeting requirements of a 2008 settlement. The settlement stemmed from a class-action lawsuit filed by a child's advocacy group in 2004 regarding the state's care of children. Court-appointed monitor Grace Lopes of Washington, D.C. says the state has made some progress, but not enough. Mark Smith, deputy director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services, says the state is working diligently to satisfy the agreement.