U.S. fines Georgia over child welfare

ATLANTA - Federal child welfare authorities have fined Georgia $4.3 million for failing to adequately address a critical review of services to find homes for foster children and protect children from abuse.

The Administration for Children and Families, part of U.S. Health and Human Services Department, also said Georgia had not done enough to involve parents of children in the system and had not adequately provided for the children's physical and mental health.

Georgia officials say the penalty applies to a period from 2001 to 2004, and that the system has improved since then.

B.J. Walker, commissioner of the state Department of Human Resources, said Georgia was fined for not taking about a dozen of roughly 200 steps that the state agreed to take after the critical review by the federal agency. - From wire reports