Oklahoma has topped the list of states that has more foster homes than the number of youth in foster care. Jami Ledoux, director of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services Child Welfare Division, says, “This is huge for our state and our kids, but we still have work to do, we still need foster homes for sibling groups in every community, and we need homes to fit the unique needs of each child.”
The list was reported by the Chronicle of Social Change. The organization analyzed state data from 2012-2017. The purpose was to determine whether or not the government is capable of providing enough support and shelter for children in foster care. The Chronicle reported, “Our research on the recent, state-by-state changes suggests there is a national foster care housing crisis in America. At least half the states in the country have lost foster care capacity in the past five years. Another 15 were not able to provide enough information for us to even make a determination of their capacity.”
Oklahoma DHS is beginning to make strides to correct the problem since the Pinnacle Plan, a reform overhaul in 27 areas in the foster care system. It came as a result of a class action lawsuit filed against them in 2012. In 2017, there were 443,000 kids in foster care in this country. The need is not decreasing, so the need for progress is high. Following behind Oklahoma in the top three successful states are Georgia and Florida.