Child Welfare Program

As citizens of Oklahoma, we have a responsibility to care for the children in our foster care system.

The national cost estimate for one child to remain in foster care for one year is $25,782.

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The goal of the Child Welfare Program is to support the most statistically vulnerable youth in Oklahoma.

The Arnall Family Foundation continues to work alongside Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) to help transform the child welfare and juvenile justice systems in Oklahoma. Currently there are more than 10,000 children in need of help in escaping abuse and neglect in the state of Oklahoma. Over 25% of the state foster care population reside in Oklahoma County. The Arnall Family Foundation seeks to make lasting, transformative improvements to the systems and programs in Oklahoma County that serve youth at-risk through results-driven investments and strategic convening of community partners.

In July 2012 the Oklahoma Department of Human Services announced the Pinnacle Plan to reform child welfare services. The plan emerged out of a settlement agreement reached in the federal class action lawsuit, D.G. v. Yarbrough, which challenged the state’s treatment of children in foster care. The system was faulted for allowing abuse of children in its care, placing children in overcrowded and understaffed shelters, and failing to provide secure and long-term placements.

The Pinnacle Plan established a number of significant commitments in which the state must meet in order to reform and improve the system of child welfare. In order to meet those commitments OKDHS needs the support of external stakeholders, the community, the Oklahoma Legislature, the Governor’s office, the media, and local and federal partners to make change happen.

Find out more about the Pinnacle Plan.

Child Welfare Statistics In Oklahoma

Children Entering Foster Care

0 TO 17 YEARS OLD

3 in 5 children entering the foster care system are 5 years or younger

3 in 5 children entering the foster care system are 5 years or younger.

Children ages 0 to 3 are most likely to experience abuse

children ages 0 to 3 are most likely to experience abuse.

4 in 5 children killed as a result of abuse are younger than 4 years old

4 in 5 of the children killed as a result of abuse are younger than 4 years old.

Children in Foster Care

0 TO 17 YEARS OLD

When a child is taken into custody by the state there are several different types of placements that can occur. The most preferable option is relative or kinship placement. For children in which a kinship is not available they will be placed in a foster home, group home or other alternative living. Research has shown that youth who live in institutional settings are at greater risk of developing physical, emotional, and behavioral problems that can lead to poor outcomes.

Children Placed in a foster care home

of children are placed in a foster care home.

children are placed in kinship care or care of a relative

of children are placed in kinship care or care of a relative.

placed in group or alternative homes

of children are placed in group homes or other alternative living situations.

Placement stability is the goal in each case, yet 50% of children in foster care will have lived in 3 or more placements throughout their time in the system. Although moving children from one placement to another is at times appropriate, generally foster care moves tend to do more harm than good.

1 in 4 children available for adoption will wait more than 3 years in the foster care system

Youths Aging Out of Foster Care

AGING OUT OCCURS AT THE AGE OF 18

Aging out Youths will have a baby

2 in 3 youths aging out of foster care will have a baby by the age of 21.

1 in 4 still enrolled in higher education

At age 21, only 1 in 4 youths will still be enrolled in a higher education system.

1 in 3 are homeless in 3 years

1 in 3 youths aging out of foster care will become homeless in 3 years.

1 in 4 children available for adoption will wait more than 3 years in the foster care system
1 in 4 children available for adoption will wait more than 3 years in the foster care system
5450 is the median yearly income of aged out youths

is the median yearly income of a youth that has aged out of foster care.

1 in 3 youths have been arrested from 18-21 years old

1 in 3 youths aged out of the foster care system will have been arrested between the ages of 18-21.

3 in 5 will be unemployed

3 in 5 youths will be unemployed 12 to 18 months after aging out of the foster care system.