Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: April 21, 2010
Sen. Dan Newberry
Senate Advances Proposal to Improve Foster
The state Senate on Wednesday approved legislation
that would strengthen Oklahoma’s foster care system by incorporating
non-profit organizations and faith-based entities into the state’s
Authored by Sen. Dan Newberry and Rep. Gus Blackwell, House Bill
3258 requires the Department of Human Services (DHS) to develop
and implement a plan to contract with community-based social services
agencies for the provision of foster care and related services.
Newberry said the legislation would make the state’s foster
care system stronger while assuring that DHS retains full oversight
of the program.
“This proposal will serve to strengthen the system by providing
more functional and versatile services within the state’s
foster care structure,” said Newberry, R-Tulsa. “Our
goal is to establish a system that best serves the needs and interest
of children and the state as a whole. This legislation does so by
providing relief for overburdened agency personnel and guaranteeing
adequate services for foster children.”
Newberry noted the bill also directs the department to develop
an alternative plan in communities where it is not feasible to competitively
contract with a private agency. Additionally, the legislation requires
the establishment of a quality assurance program to monitor the
privatized services. DHS will be required to develop and implement
a comprehensive plan by July 1, 2013. HB 3258 was approved unanimously
by the Senate.
“The unanimous approval of this measure underscores the
importance of reform in this area of state government,” Newberry.
“I’m pleased we could come together in support of a
proposal that will adequately address shortcomings in the state’s
foster care system.”
HB 3258 now advances to the office of the Governor.
For more information, contact:
Sen. Newberry: (405) 521-5600