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By Corey Jones

Tulsa World

An oversight panel has asked a federal judge to essentially order the Laura Dester Children Center closed by June 30, according to a news release Thursday from a national child welfare advocacy group.

The move follows the Department of Human Services announcement April 30 of a plan to stop operating as a shelter in September and transition into a treatment center for vulnerable children.

The Laura Dester shelter has been at the center of controversy over its continued operation as a children’s shelter despite a settlement agreement that outlines its closure after a 2008 federal class-action lawsuit alleged abuse of state foster care children.