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Thursday, May 29, 2008 - Page updated at 08:20 AM

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Washington children's agency can't meet standards

OLYMPIA, Wash. —

The state Children's Administration is giving up on a seven-year effort to meet the standards of the national Council on Accreditation.

The agency director, Cheryl Stephani, says it cannot reduce caseloads for social workers or demand that all supervisors earn master's degrees without more money from the Legislature.

The division of the state Department of Social and Health Services is still under the oversight of federal regulators, the governor's performance measurement program and a panel of experts supervising the settlement of a lawsuit over foster care.

Stephani says her agency has spent $1.2 since 2001 on accreditation efforts. The average caseload is 21, but the council wanted it at 18. About 42 percent of agency supervisor have a master's degree.

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Information from: The Olympian, http://www.theolympian.com

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