Source: US State of Oklahoma
OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today expressed her thanks and appreciation to Oklahomans who stepped up to make the commitment to be a foster or adoptive parent.
Since 2012, the Oklahoma Department of Human Services and its contract partners have recruited 4,200 new foster families, the highest increase in foster homes of any state in the nation.
“During this Thanksgiving holiday, we are especially thankful for those stepping up to take care of Oklahoma’s children who are in need of a safe and loving family,” said Fallin. “I’m pleased that so many Oklahomans have helped recruit foster and adoptive families so we can improve the lives of these children in state custody.”
The governor said she is grateful for the generous response of various faith-based entities.
“Churches, synagogues, other houses of worship, and faith-based organizations have played a significant role in helping Oklahoma recruit more foster homes,” Fallin said. “Churches and other houses of worship assist with new foster home recruitment events, such as hosting adoption events and Christmas celebrations for children in foster care; helping foster families with supplies, such as clothing, diapers, and car seats; and providing support groups for foster families.
“Since I’ve been governor, Oklahoma has made much progress in finding more temporary and permanent placements for deserving children, reducing by 21 percent the number of children in state custody. This improvement is due in large part to the successful public-private partnership of churches, synagogues, other houses of worship, and more than 50 agencies, some of which are faith-based.
“That’s a key reason why I signed legislation this year that allows faith-based agencies that contract with Oklahoma to continue to operate in accordance with their beliefs. This will help continue Oklahoma’s successful placement of children with a broad array of loving families and basically maintain the status quo by setting forth in statute practices which have successfully worked for the best interest of Oklahoma children.”