Foster care reforms in place by 2013

TUESDAY, NOV. 1, 2011, 1:21 P.M.

Reforms prompted by a landmark lawsuit against Washington state’s foster-care system will be completed in two years under a renegotiated settlement announced today by the Department of Social and Health Services.

The deal — worked out between the Children’s Administration and attorneys for plaintiffs in the 1998 Braam case, named for foster child Jessica Braam who lived in 34 foster homes by the time she was 12 — acknowledges the state has made significant progress.

Under the renegotiated settlement, the department will have completed by the end of 2013 reforms that include keeping foster children in stable placements, that siblings are placed together when it’s possible and that they be able to visit one another when it’s not.

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