Case Study #1-16: Oklahoma Faith Community Steps Up for Children and Families



Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines “pinnacle” as the point of greatest success or achievement. Pinnacle is the word used to describe the aspirations of Oklahoma’s child welfare system as published in the “Pinnacle Plan” by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS). The Pinnacle Plan is the response to a federal lawsuit against the State of Oklahoma alleging chronic maltreatment of the more than 10,000 children in state custody in the child welfare system. The settlement agreement to end the lawsuit required the state to undertake extensive reforms to improve the child welfare system.

The Pinnacle Plan purposely sets the bar high; but with serious planning and great effort, OKDHS is making positive strides towards meeting its ambitious goals. That progress would not have been possible without an expanding network of partnerships between OKDHS and the faith-based community

This article highlights three of the most important and successful programs that have been driven by people of faith who want to serve and share their lives with vulnerable families and children. Safe Families, the CarePortal, and Oklahoma Fosters provide tangible, heart-warming examples of how Oklahomans of faith can succeed where government alone would have fallen short.

To review the Case Study, open the Policy Memorandum box below.