Thursday, Nov. 29, 2007, Noon
Changing the Stories our Children Tell 100 Years from Now
This is Oklahoma’s centennial. Many Oklahoma centenarians are older than Oklahoma. A hundred years ago, a large family with many, many children was the norm. Children helped on the farm and the more children to help, the better. Today, it costs a lot to rear a child. A range of family structures are emerging. There is a growing number of out of wedlock births to mothers between ages 20 and 30, many of whom did not finish high school. Today, genetic testing and the increased prominence of child support enforcement is creating a different family environment. Parental abandonment has been identified as one of the significant adverse childhood experiences. What effects on children do these emerging family structures have? The increased prevalence of electronics in the lives of children may make it difficult for some children to know the difference between virtual reality and reality. We continue to search for policies that will enhance the relationships children have since relationships create stories and stories create culture. What stories will our children tell 100 years from now?
Howard H. Hendrick
About the Speaker:
Howard H. Hendrick has been director of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services since July 1, 1998. With offices in all 77 counties, Director Hendrick leads a staff of 7,500 employees and administers a $1.6 billion budget. Director Hendrick currently serves as Cabinet Secretary for Human Services for Democratic Governor Brad Henry and served as Cabinet Secretary for Health and Human Services for former Republican Governor Frank Keating.
Before being named Director, Hendrick served 12 years as a member of the Oklahoma State Senate, representing parts of northwest Oklahoma City, Bethany, Yukon and Warr Acres. He served two years as the Republican Floor Leader in the state senate.
Hendrick has served on several national committees for legislative organizations, primarily sharing state solutions to America’s health care and welfare problems. He is a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association. He serves on the executive committee for the National Council of State Human Services Administrators. He serves on the boards of the National Children’s Alliance, Nazarene Theological Seminary and the American Public Human Services Association.