Every day, we serve hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans’ basic food, shelter and assistance needs, but our most important service is HOPE.
Research and statistics show what we all know is common sense–investing now in Oklahoma’s children and families saves money by cutting the costs for services that combat the bad consequences of ignored risks.
When states invest in services that help unemployed and underemployed workers stay out of poverty, supplement their wages, and get training and skills, healthy families grow the economy and increase tax revenues in the long term.
In addition to helping families directly, food subsidies like the Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program (SNAP) generate jobs and bring new revenues to local businesses. Because eligible families spend SNAP benefits rapidly, they provide not only immediate help to those most in need, but also a strong return on investment. This year, $945,039,010 of food benefits went directly into Oklahoma’s economy.
Child care subsidies allow parents to work or complete their education and pay for quality child care. These subsidies are spent locally and support local businesses while generating jobs, tax revenue through higher earned income and other economic benefits. This year more than 5,000 jobs in the child care industry were supported with $140,630,927 going into local communities and businesses.
Children adopted from foster care experience fewer costly, negative outcomes than their peers who age out of foster care. Savings occur in part from reduced crime, incarceration, and grade repetitions, as well as from increased high school completion, college attendance, employment, and earnings.
Each dollar invested in adoption assistance yields between $2.45 and $3.26 in benefits to society and provides children with a permanent, lifelong family. This year, OKDHS found 1,143 children loving, adoptive homes and continued to support more than 12,384 children with adoption assistance to their families.
In this 2011 Annual Report, you will read more statistics and stories about how OKDHS is serving the greatest number of families in its history. Even in tough economic times, it makes sense to invest in children and families.
The return on the investment is proven. Hope for families–hope for Oklahoma.
Howard H. Hendrick