The Norman Transcript

Headlines

January 3, 2013

OKDHS reaches goal in improvement plan

NORMAN — The Oklahoma Department of Human Services has fulfilled a New Year’s resolution, so to speak—ensuring no more children under the age of two spend the night in a shelter. The “resolution” is the first major goal in the Oklahoma Pinnacle Plan, ensuring by Dec. 31, 2012 that all children under the age of two-years-old will be placed in family-like settings.  

“This was a very important goal for our state to achieve not only for the Pinnacle Plan--it’s the right thing to do for young children,” said Deborah Smith, Director of OKDHS Child Welfare Services. “I am very proud of our child welfare staff. Achieving this goal has taken a lot of teamwork and I commend everyone for their efforts.” 

Since July 1, 930 new foster parents have been recruited statewide.

“OKDHS cannot do this work alone and we would like to thank all Oklahomans who have stepped up recently to become foster parents,” said Smith. “We would also like to thank all of our private partners and the faith community for helping recruit, train and support foster families.”

Exceptions to the “under two” rule are allowed for medically fragile children requiring 24-hour supervision, large sibling groups of four or more, and teen moms with infants. 

Overnight is defined as “being present at midnight.” If a child should enter an emergency shelter after midnight, they would not be counted in this measure until the following night. This allows staff to put the children to bed and not move them around during the night hours.

The Pinnacle Plan is a five-year improvement plan created by OKDHS and key stakeholders for the improvement of the state’s foster care system. The plan includes numerous initiatives divided into seven major categories called “Pinnacle Points.” 

“Pinnacle Point 1” refers to expanding the number of foster homes available and reducing the use of shelters statewide, particularly for young children. OKDHS committed to ensuring that children are cared for in family-like settings and outlined timelines to meet these goals. 

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Chamber Banquet During annual banquet, Chamber of Commerce promotes moving Norman forward

    Amidst the backdrop of music, dancing, dinner and fellowship, business leader Mike Fowler announced that the time for a quality-of-life initiative in Norman has come. As incoming Norman Chamber of Commerce board chairman, Fowler and ...

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Symposium speaker Paul Polik: Commerce can help and bring millions out of poverty

    How to harness the power of commerce to address social and environmental challenges in sustainable ways was the topic of discussion at the University of Oklahoma Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth’s fourth annual Social ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Amber waves turn gray as farms lose younger generation

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Jerry Pfeiffer was thrilled when his son, Kelsey, 25, announced plans to return to the family’s farm in Orlando....

    April 18, 2014

  • Postal retiree luncheon set

    A postal retiree luncheon will be 11:30 a.m. Monday at Golden Corral Buffet and Grill, 123 N. Interstate Drive in Norman. Diners will meet in the lobby. For more information, call Joyce Carle at 872-5157....

    April 18, 2014

  • Flapjack fundraiser set

    The Apple Gold Group, a franchisee of Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar, will partner with the Global Outreach Team at Go Church to host a Flapjack Fundraiser on April 26. Proceeds raised will be used by team members to purchase ...

    April 18, 2014

  • OU Hornsemble goes to the movies

    The OU Hornsemble will present a concert of music from the cinema at 6 p.m. April 27 in the Paul F. Sharp Concert Hall. Billed as “Movie-Time Music,” the ensemble will present a wide variety of cinematic music from the 1940s to the ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Judge asks pointed questions in gay marriage case

    DENVER — A judge in Colorado who will play a pivotal role deciding whether gays should be allowed to wed in the United States asked pointed questions Thursday about whether Oklahoma can legally ban the unions....

    April 18, 2014

  • Fallin disappointed SBAdenied loans

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Gov. Mary Fallin said Thursday she is disappointed that a federal agency denied a request for loans to businesses in two Oklahoma towns affected by an emergency bridge closure....

    April 18, 2014

  • Sudan: 12 die after mob attacks UN base

    JUBA, South Sudan — An angry mob of South Sudanese youths attacked a U.N. base on Thursday to harm members of an ethnic minority sheltering inside. Peacekeepers were forced to open fire, amid rampaging violence that killed at least 12 ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Woman bound over for trial

    A Slaughterville woman facing a manslaughter charge after the death of an 8-year-old child was bound over for trial this week after a preliminary hearing in Cleveland County District Court. Kimberly Dawn Wenthold, 29, was charged in ...

    April 18, 2014