OKLAHOMA CITY --
The Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) Child Support Services (CSS) has created “Kids Cost,” an innovative program to help teach middle and high school students the true financial costs of raising children.
Figures released by the United States Department of Agriculture indicate the average cost of raising a child to the age of 18 is $245,340. While this figure may not come as a surprise to parents, it often is a shock to teenagers – who are the next generation of parents. With a 41.5 percent unwed birth rate in Oklahoma, CSS believes it is imperative to educate teenagers on the costs of raising children.
“As nearly any parent can attest to, there are significant costs involved in raising children,” said Jeff Wagner, programs administrator for CSS Center for Communications & Community Relations. “These costs are not only financial, but mental and emotional as well. We created ‘Kids Cost’ with the ultimate goal of making sure preteens and teens understand these costs and how to work with Child Support, should the need arise.”
“Kids Cost” is a one-hour interactive presentation that is designed especially for students ages 11-14. It discusses all of the costs involved with raising children and puts these costs into terms that students can easily understand.
“Last fall, we began presenting ‘Kids Cost’ and have received positive feedback from students, parents and school administrators,” said Meg Cannon, CSS public information manager. “We have trained ‘Kids Cost’ presenters in all areas of the state and we are looking forward to connecting with many more students this year.”
“Kids Cost” is available for presentations anywhere within the state of Oklahoma. School teachers, counselors, and administrators can learn more about “Kids Cost” and schedule a presentation by emailing CSS at OCSS.Contact.CCCR@okdhs.org.
For more information about Child Support Services, call 1-800-522-2922, Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or visit http://www.okdhs.org/ and select “Child Support.”
To promote healthy families, DHS Child Support Services establishes, monitors and enforces reliable support while encouraging self-sufficiency and strengthening relationships. CSS is responsible for more than 206,000 active child support cases, collecting more than $362 million in the last year on behalf of Oklahoma children and families.