A class action lawsuit was filed against the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) five years ago to improve the state's foster care system. The lawsuit, brought on behalf of ten children in foster care, aimed to reduce abuse and create more stable placements. After years of fighting the case, the two sides have reached a settlement agreement. A key part of the settlement is the appointment of a neutral expert to oversee the DHS and work on improvements. This includes reducing mistreatment rates and ensuring timely mental health assessments for children in care. The selection of the expert needs to be completed by the end of May. Oregon has a history of struggling with its child welfare system. The state has previously faced criticism for housing children in hotels and placing them in out-of-state facilities with mistreatment issues. More recently, DHS was found to be paying a religious organization a large sum to house children in unlicensed short-term rentals.