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Mississippi foster care system fails many measures

(AP) — Mississippi’s foster care system still isn’t meeting standards set in a court decree, although the state and those suing disagree what that means.

A monitoring report was filed Tuesday in the 15-year-old case. It sets the stage for a long-delayed showdown over whether a federal judge should appoint an outsider to run Mississippi’s Department of Child Protective Services.

Plaintiffs say the state remains far from complying with commitments made in an attempt to settle the suit. The monitor finds Mississippi met only 37 of the 113 standards, while it wasn’t complying with 35. The monitor couldn’t determine if the state was meeting 31 other standards, in part because of data collection problems.

The department says it has made significant progress. It says it needs more time and money to comply.