Oklahoma Launches New Website to Help Foster Care
The pandemic has impacted our nation in countless ways with those in foster care finding new struggles. It has become increasingly harder to navigate foster care. Children in Oklahoma are having an increasingly difficult time finding foster families.
To help remedy this, the Department of Human Services (DHS) has launched a new website. The goal is to make it easier for Oklahoma families to say yes to helping children in foster care.
How to Help Foster Care
In Oklahoma, there are over 7,700 children in foster care that need foster families. Due to the pandemic, the process of adoption and foster care has slowed dramatically.
Casey White, with the Department of Human Services, cites the inability to do in-person recruitment as part of the bigger problem. It is difficult for DHS to advocate in the current state, which is what prompted the new site.
The new website entitled, OKBenefits.org, is hoping to inspire more people to help children in care by fostering. The website makes it easier for prospective adoptive and foster parents to apply and move forward with the process.
“With this launch, we’re able to offer prospective foster and adoptive parents a really easy way to make application to become a foster parent,” White said. “We’re also able to offer support to our existing foster parents by allowing them to see information about their children’s case, including medical information, information about their child’s schooling.”
Why an Online Model Matters
With so many people continuing to observe social distancing the visibility of children in care diminishes. The move towards online models continues to sprout up within foster care communities nationwide.
In Oklahoma, families who are want to become foster parents can simply submit all their paperwork online. It allows DHS to conduct a background check and then strategizes on how to safely conduct a home assessment.
Even though the process has shifted online foster parents are still given 24 hours of pre-service training. Once they complete the training a child is placed in their home.
The need for foster families is not limited to Oklahoma and support of any kind is always welcome. Join Together We Rise HERE to help kids in foster care within your community.