Whistleblowers, Oklahoma families demanding change from DHS

OKLAHOMA CITY - The Oklahoma Department of Human Services is under fire again as the agency faces a lawsuit from whistleblowers and Oklahoma families.

The whistleblowers and families say the children are not getting the care they need.

“People should not be dead, children should not be hurt and harmed, and then you’re still getting money on top of it,” said Dana Brockway, with the NAACP.

Brockway has teamed up with attorney Rachel Bussett to represent more than two dozen Oklahoma families and some caseworkers who say the agency is corrupt.

“The things that I saw, I would never ever put a child in some of those homes,” said Dahn Gregg, a former Department of Human Services caseworker.

The group alleges that DHS has caused unnecessary pain and harm to Oklahoma families.

“There shouldn’t be where children get returned home with bruises, herpes, sores. You become more damaged in the system when there are valuable kinship placements able to take placements of these children,” said Brockway.

The whistleblowers say they witnessed these issues and were fired for speaking out about them.

“After 17 years at child welfare, they fired me because I had an opinion,” said Heidi Singley.

The Oklahoma Department of Human Services sent News 4 the following statement:

"We have met with Oklahoma City NAACP representatives numerous times over the past year regarding these allegations. Thorough reviews of the few cases presented to us found no evidence of improprieties. In fact, the courts have been involved in each of these matters and have issued the orders governing the Department’s ongoing efforts to work with those families and the families’ responsibilities for regaining custody of their children.  We are quite confident our actions have been justifiable, in the best interests of the children involved, and these allegations are without merit.”

However, this group says they'll keep demanding action from senators and officials until the alleged injustice stops.

“We hope that they make the same commitment to working with us to protect Oklahoma families to ensure that the agency that is supposed to be there in these families' time of need is doing what needs to be done and not re-victimizing children,” said Bussett.

Bussett and the group have a meeting with Governor Stitt on Friday. No matter what happens, they say they plan to file the lawsuit by the end of the month.

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