Mississippi Again in Talks about Child Welfare Lawsuit

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Jackson, Miss.

Mississippi officials are negotiating a third settlement with a group that sued over Mississippi's child welfare system, after the state failed to meet the terms of two previous legal settlements over the course of six years.

Lawyers for the state and New York-based Children's Rights told U.S. District Judge Tom Lee Thursday that they hoped to reach a new agreement within a month.

A recent report by a court-appointed monitor found Mississippi is still failing to produce key indicators, including complete measures of how many child welfare cases each caseworker has.

The monitor's report also found Mississippi isn't meeting a 24-hour requirement for starting a child endangerment investigation, or a 30-day requirement to finish them.

Only 36 percent of cases in the year ended July 2013 met those standards.