ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A federal appeals court has rejected an effort to overturn a federal court ruling requiring reforms in the Baltimore city foster care system.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision was issued Wednesday in the 26-year-old L.J. v. Wilbon case.

The court held that federal court in Baltimore could enter a comprehensive new decree that lawyers representing nearly 5,000 children had negotiated with the Maryland Department of Human Resources and the Baltimore City Department of Social Services.

Mitchell Mirviss, of the Baltimore law firm Venable LLP, described the appeals court ruling as “a watershed decision” he hopes will focus resources required by federal law on foster children.

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