Both OKDHS and private agencies work together to help children in state custody get successfully placed in foster homes with hopes to eventually reunify with biological parents.
Judith Cope, foster care recruiter for Sunbeam Family Services, said differences between working with a private agency versus OKDHS are minor.
“A family should look to an agency they feel will support them best. Each agency has their own culture,” she said, “so the family should research to see what partnership they want to serve with.”
Private agencies have foster care support groups, something OKDHS doesn’t currently sponsor, according to Neika Harris, foster care recruiter for OKDHS. But many foster families using OKDHS, she said, have connected independently with support groups in the metro area.
Harris said one advantage to working with OKDHS is that if a foster parent decides to adopt, the process is fairly seamless. If you decide to foster through a private agency, here are the ones available to Oklahoma City families:
Oklahoma United Methodist Circle of Care
Eastern Oklahoma Youth Services (EOYS)
Lilyfield Christian Adoption and Foster Care
Oklahoma Association of Youth Services (OAYS)
St. Francis Community Services
Wesleyan Youth, Inc., 405-808-0306
[Editor’s Note: To learn more about becoming a foster parent in Oklahoma, visit www.metrofamilymagazine.com/foster.]