No man is an island and neither are the services delivered by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services. No division operates independently of the rest of the agency. Everyone at OKDHS is committed to achieving a goal that is bigger than any one office, larger than any program and greater than any single division. Though we are separated by policy, geography and structure, we are united by purpose. And any success achieved by any one of us contributes to our shared goal of building stronger families.
We can all be proud that:
- OKDHS collected more child support than anytime in state history.
- OKDHS established more paternities than anytime in state history.
- OKDHS certified a record number of persons, mostly children, to receive health care during the fiscal year through the Medicaid program.
- OKDHS certified a record number of Oklahomans as Food Stamp recipients. About half of them were children. The average monthly benefit per person was about $85. This benefit contributed to a level of healthy nutrition that, for low income Oklahomans, would have otherwise been impossible.
- Adult Protective Services ensured the safety of more vulnerable adults than ever. OKDHS investigated a record number of cases of alleged abuse and neglect.
- For an unprecedented seventh consecutive year, more than 1,000 foster children were authorized for adoption - all of their stories are different, but growing families by choice is an inspiring and compassionate event.
- After 20 years of litigation, a federal court issued the final order ending its supervision of Oklahoma's Developmental Disabilities Services Division in the Hissom lawsuit.
We all face challenges bigger than we can overcome alone. So, we reach out. OKDHS is there. Oklahomans have been turning to OKDHS for 69 years. OKDHS cannot help them alone. We must also reach out. Through many, many partnerships we successfully serve hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans every year. Faith-based, corporate, non-profit, government or individual, our partners are as diverse as the people we serve and the challenges they face.
This annual report contains statistical charts and tables that highlight our collective effort to serve families. But the partnerships behind these numbers are the focus of this year's report. In the following pages you will read about partnerships from across our great state. Each partnership is as different as its individual partners and the people who contribute their time, talent and treasures. But, collectively, these partnerships are a mighty force with a focused mission - to help more Oklahomans lead safer, healthier, more independent and productive lives. This great human movement is inspiring. We hope you catch our enthusiasm and are inspired to find new and creative ways to join our shared effort to strengthen Oklahoma's families - there is no better foundation for a stronger Oklahoma.
Howard H. Hendrick, Director
Oklahoma Department of Human Services