JACKSON, Miss., Jan. 4 (UPI) -- A federal judge in Mississippi gave final approval Friday to a settlement of a lawsuit requiring the state to fix its backlogged foster care system.
U.S. District Judge Tom Lee said there was broad support for the agreement, which requires the state to hire more caseworkers and limit their workloads, The Jackson (Miss.) Clarion-Ledger reported.
Lee said he concluded the $34 million plan is reasonable, adequate and fair, the newspaper reported.
Under the agreement, Mississippi also must improve hiring standards for case workers and enhance medical and educational services for foster children.
A 24-hour hotline to report abuse must be set up, and the Department of Human Services must be accredited by the national Council of Accreditation.