State struggling to meet foster care goals

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington state is struggling to meet all the requirements of a landmark lawsuit intended to improve foster-care services for children.

But even as lawmakers and the state Department of Social and Health Services struggle to find fixes for what's known as the Braam lawsuit settlement, the state's foster-care system is experiencing a big reduction in foster homes.

The Seattle Times reported Monday that the state now has about 1,000 fewer licensed foster homes than it did in 2007.

Filed in 1998, the Braam lawsuit is named for plaintiff Jessica Braam, who was moved through 34 foster-care placements by the time the complaint was filed.

A 2004 settlement in the case resulted in numerous improvements for the foster-care system. Over the years, the state has met most of the benchmarks.