The nation is in a foster care crisis and Oklahoma is no exception. In the U.S., more than 400,000 children were living without permanent families in 2013. In Oklahoma, there are 9,500 foster children—1,700 in Oklahoma County. With just 5,243 approved foster homes in the state and 930 in the county, hundreds of local kids are without a home and family. There are 461 children in Oklahoma without a placement, 113 in Oklahoma County.
Per the Oklahoma Department of Human Services Pinnacle Plan, the target goal of recruitment of foster homes for 2015 was 904 new homes. As of May 2015, 739 new homes have been approved. To meet the goal, Oklahoma needs 165 new foster homes, preferably more so that all foster children have the opportunity to be matched with the family that best fits their needs.
At MetroFamily Magazine, we’re tremendously passionate about Oklahoma families and children. We desperately want to see 165 local families step up and open their homes to children who need families.
As we’ve set out to discover more about the issue and the needs of local foster children, we’ve learned a lot and we cannot wait to share it with our readers. We’re putting together a series of 12 articles that will run in our magazine over the next year. These articles will shed light on the important role you can play in giving local children a place to call home. We’ll delve into important issues, help dispel myths about foster care and answer your questions about becoming a foster family. Starting this month, you can find these features in our magazine and find special blog posts and other resources at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/foster. If you have a special foster story to tell or would like to be put in touch with foster care experts, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Statistics provided by Katelynn Burns and Sheree Powell at the Department of Human Services.