Making Oklahoma's child welfare system better
(KTEN) — Gov. Kevin Stitt and state senators are taking the initiative to enforce improvements of Oklahoma's child welfare system through legislation.
The Child Welfare Task Force, established by executive order, will help address the Sooner State ranking No. 40 nationally in child well-being, according to the Oklahoma Policy Institute.
With child welfare system improvements on the way, Southern Oklahoma Adolescent Resources, based in Ardmore, is continuing to provide stability to kids.
"That is our main goal when we go into those classrooms, is that they know that we see them where they are, and we see the potential that they hold for themselves," said SOAR executive director Summer Coffman.
The state Senate also unanimously approved a bill Tuesday that will increase the amount paid to birth mothers during adoptions from $1,000 to $3,500.
"This is a pro-family measure, as it supports birth mothers who wish to place their child in a safe and loving home through adoption," said Sen. George Burns (R-District 5). "This increase doesn't cost the state any money, as costs are paid for by the adoptive parents, their attorney, or a child-placing agency."
"As a foster parent, I'm thrilled to see that the state is recognizing the need, because they are so thinly spread in trying to help manage so many cases," Coffman said.
As child welfare system improvements continue in Oklahoma, Stitt says the best way to address the problems is to ensure that children don't end up in the system in the first place.