The Norman Transcript

Opinion

October 17, 2012

New DHS leadership

NORMAN — Ed Lake’s hiring as director of the embattled Oklahoma Department of Human Services reminds us of the story of the seasoned college football coach hired to take over a program in disarray while operating under NCAA sanctions.

That analogy is similar to what Oklahoma’s DHS faces these days. The agency has come under public and legislative scrutiny after the deaths of children in DHS custody.

Lake also is facing a comprehensive plan of improvement outlined in the federal court settlement of a class action lawsuit filed over the care of children in state custody. He also faces a decision on closing state-run homes in Pauls Valley and Enid and a public vote Nov. 6 changing the governance of his agency.

As an outsider and a seasoned professional in the Tennessee Department of Human Services, he looks like the kind of change agent needed to right the ship at DHS.

He began his career as a child welfare case worker, then worked as a food stamp office supervisor before county and regional assignments in Tennessee.

We look forward to good things beginning Nov. 1.

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