Friday, October 8, 2010

Oklahoma Statistics.....

In Oklahoma, we are never forced to face the facts. Here are some hard facts that came from a recent audit done of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS). Although DHS does the best that it can with the resources available. Following are some recent (2007) statistics. Here are the top ten:

10. Only sixty (60) percent of children removed from their homes by the State are ever reunified with their parents.

9. In 2007 alone, 573 children aged out of the foster care system....and were never adopted.

8. Only 40% of children adopted from DHS are adopted from their foster care parents.

7. In 2007, 506 children who were waiting adoption had been in the system for MORE than five years.

6. The average age of a child adopted through DHS is 6.5 years old.

5. Eleven (11) percent of children are placed in permanent guardianship's, eight (8) percent age out of the system, Nineteen (19) percent of children are adopted and sixty (60) percent are reunified. The other two (2) percent of children either run away or die in foster care.

4. Forty-six (46) percent of children in foster care are adopted by their family.

3. Sadly, in Oklahoma, 20% of waiting children are African American while only 11% are being adopted, 15% of children are Hispanic while only 12% are being adopted, 22% are multiracial and only 16% are being adopted, 8% are native american and 11% are being adopted, and 35% of children are Caucasian and a staggering 49% are being adopted. Clearly Caucasian children are being preferred.

2. Once a child reaches the age of 9, the likelihood of being adopted drops significantly.

1. 4,628 foster children in Oklahoma are waiting to be adopted.

There is something that you can do. Call 1-866-512-2565.

11 comments:

Molly said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for doing this! Lord have mercy. This is SO STINKING SAD! It's unacceptable. And what's even more unacceptable is that God has called CHRISTIANS to care for these children. And I have NEVER seen Christians stand so still and let the government do something they have been called to do without fighting the heck out of them. Where is the fight people!?!? Why are the churches not banging down the walls of the shelters and emptying the foster care homes? Why can we not follow the lead of Colorado and essentially eliminate the need for foster homes?

Thank you Becki for being a voice for those that have none.

mom2many said...

Molly, I agree that the churches need to rise up and take responsibility, but on the other hand, we are talking about a severly broken system. These kids are aging out quickly because it takes SO long first of all to even be considered "adoptable" (average time for child to be in foster care before parental rights are terminated is 15-24 months). Then, these waiting children are only even thought of once a month at staffing. Adoption workers and child welfare workers get together ONCE a month to try and match these children with families. 4,628 children are only being considered for adoption 12 times a year. I haven't researched what Colorado is doing, but holy cow, they must be doing something right! At this rate, here in Oklahoma, even if 5000 Christians rose up tomorrow, many of these kids would STILL age out before their files were even looked at. Sorry for the downer, but it breaks my heart that this system is failing all of these kids. Oh...and did you know that once a non-caucasion child reaches the age of 3 they are automatically considered "hard to adopt" and a monthly stipend is mandatory? Wishing I could take them all...

Terry said...

Churches across the nation will be observing Orphan Sunday on November 7. More information is available at www.orphansunday.org. Since Christians were brought up in the comments, I wanted to let everyone know about this event. It could be a catalyst in helping more Christians consider adopting a child.

Jen said...

heart breaking statistics.. and I agree that the system is broken, when our first placement went back it was 2 weeks before we were called again, and after that it was 3 weeks, which I realize isn't really THAT long, but with all of these kids that are in the system you would think that the phone would ring as soon as your placement was gone?! We are also in the 'adopt match up' and haven't had one call from anyone..and our preferences are pretty broad..certainly seems as though a reform would help others help these kids..

Promoting OK adoption said...

Great comments girls. The system is broken. But we still have the power to help! Thanks so much for your comments! We will quickly research the www.orphansunday.org and post on it. See if we can all get our churches to participate!

Molly said...

Terry, we are trying to do something at our church for Orphan Sunday and tried to do something last year. Sadly, our church has not embraced this. Please pray that we can make our voices heard and get through to our staff of this need. Tracy, even though the system is broken there is still lots that can be done to help the workers. They are extremely overworked and while I know your family has stepped up to the call, not a lot of ppl are following you (including us!). I feel like most Christians are pointing the finger at DHS blaiming them for what is going on without trying to be a part of solving the problem. Make sense? Obviously, you don't fit in that category!

mom2many said...

Well, the workers hands are tied in so many ways, too. I know they are overworked, too...I know this SO well! So, when you guys are saying there are ways we can help, what exactly are you talking about? I mean, do you have a list of ideas? Have you talked to the workers? I have too many kids to be able to help with the foster/adoption part but I don't really feel like I'm finished with DHS, you know? I just honestly don't know what else I can do, so I would love to hear about your ideas/plans! (I hope this didn't come across ugly in any way...I really am interested in other ways to help...I'm on your side!!)

Molly said...

Tracy, I totally get your "tone" here! And again...its not YOU that needs to do more. It's the rest of the "church" that is just sitting back and watching DHS struggle and not offering help. There is a group up in the metro OKC area call Coalition for the Fatherless. Its a group of about 12-15 churches starting adoption ministries and we did talk with DHS workers. One of the women involved told this particular DHS worker that we as a church were sorry that we haven't stepped up earlier to help them. The worker was on the verge of tears when we asked, "what can we do to help you?" Her response was essentially that there was lots to do. She talked about all of her responsibilities with throwing parties and gathering beds for kids and trying to find a truck to borrow to get a family a mattress/bed they needed for thier placement. Those were the main things I remember.

I have to say too, that my original note came out of recent frustration with my own situation at my church where I am a bother. It seems as if very few Christians get this need, and again that to even have an event on Orphan Sunday was too much of me to ask, but we will have something in the bulletin that day at least.

I hope you hear me when I am saying, I don't think you need to do more. Everyone else needs to step up. Not one family can do this alone!

Kristy said...

Well how could I not comment on this topic when our family is right in the middle of a heart wrenching situation with our foster daughter. First and foremast I have to point out this goes way above DHS, even though I'm a little bit tiffed at them to right now. In our journey I have contacted many people higher ups regarding our case but also in general the broken system, and so far "Our State Senator, for one", doesn't want to open his eyes and do something for the issues right in front of Oklahoma's face. I'm guessing it's not a popular topic for politics?.. Currently in our situation DHS is fighting to move a child to an uncertain of" permancy", home of supossive relatives, by marriage 6 times removed from birthmother, from the only home she knows and DHS acknowedged by all parties she is attached and bonded. We stood for 2 hours fighting this case before a judge yesterday and we are still not finished. Birthmom has asked and wrote letter for "us" to adopt her child, yet DHS is trying to scream policy. Why... Why... is DHS tis paticuliar supervisor wasting so much time when thier are children that are parentless shouldn't her energy be finding homes for all the other orphans? And why wouldn't our State senator be concerned for this issue? So very upsetting. I'm ready to fight for all these children, I'm with Tracey have you all put a list of ideas, anything we can approach our church with.

Kristy said...

ps going to orphansunday.org right now

Alicia said...

Hello ladies, I have found your blog and so happy that a group of people are gathering together to help our children. My husband and I are in the middle of adoption now. We are waiting on our home study, which is about 12-15 days into the 90 day limit. We also have started our pre-service training. We are the only adoptive couple out of about 30 people in the class. The rest of them are kinship placements. I wish there would have been more adoptive parents. It breaks our heart that we can only help a few. We began our journey in August and can not wait to bring our kids home.