Judge orders permanent homes for 500 children

ATLANTA - State child welfare officials have to do a better job of finding permanent homes for 500 children who have been in foster care for three years or more.

U.S. District Judge Marvin Shoob issued an order Monday as part of the settlement of a lawsuit to reform foster care systems in Fulton and DeKalb counties.

Children's Rights Inc., a nonprofit group that filed the suit, recently accused the state Division of Family and Children Services of contempt of court for not finding homes for the children. Some are older teens or have emotional problems and are more difficult to place.

DFCS has to establish a special unit to coordinate efforts for intensive individual reviews and strategies to find the children permanent homes.

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