[lcc4hl] FW: RELEASE: House Votes to Reform Child Welfare System

  • From: Lundy Kiger <lundy.kiger@xxxxxxx>
  • To: "lcc4hl@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <lcc4hl@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2015 17:25:18 +0000


Oklahoma House of Representatives
Media Division
March 2, 2015

Contact: State Rep. Pat Ownbey
Capitol: (405) 557-7326

House Votes to Reform Child Welfare System

OKLAHOMA CITY - Legislation approved today by the Oklahoma House of 
Representatives would improve the foster care system, according to the bill's 

House Bill 1078, by state Rep. Pat Ownbey, was approved by a vote of 91-0. The 
legislation expands the independent living program that transitions children in 
the system into their adult lives, updates requirements for foster parents and 
group homes to ensure the child is engaged in typical childhood activities such 
as sports and other social activities and revises protocols used to deal with 
runaways and child trafficking victims.

Ownbey said the specific changes to the independent living program include 
lowering the age from 16 to 14 and providing for a team concept. The team would 
include the state independent living worker, the child and an advisor that 
could be a coach, teacher or foster care parent.

"The independent living program is very important to ensure that individuals 
who are leaving the child welfare system are established well in their adult 
lives," said Ownbey, R-Ardmore. "When our kids grow up, we support them until 
they get their feet under them. This program endeavors to do the same thing for 
children in the child welfare system."

The safety provisions of the legislation include the expansion of reporting 
requirements in the case of missing children in the system, Ownbey said.


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