Children’s Services hoping to end federal oversight in 2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – After nearly 15 years of federal oversight, the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services expects to meet all the requirements of a 2001 settlement agreement by the end of the calendar year.

If DCS can meet that goal and maintain compliance for a full year, officials could then ask U.S. District Judge Todd Campbell to end the federal supervision. The earliest that would happen would be 2017.

The settlement came after the court found serious problems with the department’s treatment of foster care children. It sets out a series of requirements for the department including reasonable caseloads and sufficient training for case workers and a quick response to reports of abuse or neglect.

At a progress hearing Monday, both sides agreed the department is about 90 percent of the way there.