Laura Dester Emergency Children’s Shelter Fact Sheet
- The shelter is a short-term emergency care facility for use while child welfare specialists conduct investigations into alleged abuse and neglect and to hold children while staff look for suitable foster care placements for those coming into state custody.
- The current emergency shelter is located in the old Tulsa Boys Home, which was constructed in 1948 at 619 S. Quincy, Tulsa, Okla.
- The shelter cares for about 1,500 children annually.
- The shelter operates with 115 employees who staff the facility 24/7/365 days annually.
- Children in care are ages birth through 17 years, with 58 percent being under age 10.
- The average length of stay is approximately 10-14 days with 84 percent being relocated within 29 days.
- The Oklahoma Department of Human Services provides Direct Care Specialists that are certified childcare specialists to provide daily care, guidance and comfort 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week.
- Each child is assigned to a Direct Care Specialist each shift with a scheduled staffing ratio of no more than four to one.
- Services available to children include shelter, food, clothing, medical, dental, ophthalmic, developmental, educational, psychological and psychiatric services, speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and recreational activities.
New Facility Facts
- The new shelter campus will be built at 7318 E. Pine, Tulsa, Okla.
- The new Tulsa County Emergency Children’s Shelter will be made up of four cottages and an administration building, totaling some 48,200 square feet and will be constructed on a 20-acre site at the east Pine address.
- The new shelter will have a licensed capacity to hold 60 children in emergency care.
- $2.14 million was gifted to the State of Oklahoma by the Tulsa Community Foundation that coordinated a community-wide Capital and Endowment campaign spearheaded by Tulsa Advocates for the Protection of Children. This is the largest private gift of record given to the OKDHS on behalf of Oklahoma children.
- The old physical plant is no longer in the best condition to meet the growing needs of children placed there for emergency care while in state custody, nor can the old facilities be properly secured or modified to meet current construction codes.
- The shelter campus is being developed by Kinslow, Keith & Todd, Inc. Architects and constructed by Oscar J. Boldt Construction. The total estimated cost of the new shelter is $10.7 million.