Rating 4.6

Oklahoma Blue Tags for Child Abuse

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) Office of Child Abuse Prevention (OCAP) is offering specialty license tags for purchase in order to raise child abuse awareness.

The specialty tag is blue and white and called “Start Right”. The tag costs $35, $20 of which will go to the child abuse prevention fund to support prevention programs across Oklahoma. You can also add a $2 fee if you would like your tag to be shipped to you.

State officials say that there were 70,000 cases and 128,024 children that were alleged to be victims of abuse and neglect in 2013, with more than 6,000 confirmed cases that included a total of 11,418 children. 10, 233 children also fell into custody of the state by the end of the year.

"The simple act of buying a tag raises awareness in the community about the important issue of child abuse and neglect and is a call to action to get involved with prevention efforts in our state," said OSDH Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP) Grant Coordinator Sherie Trice.

Trice also says that they are seeking volunteers to help plan ways to reach out the communities year-round so that awareness stays constant. Some of these programs include information on positive parenting and how to avoid child abuse.

The Oklahoma Department of Human Services welcomed its 17th director Ed Lake in 2013 and has since faced some major changes. Lake believes in learning how to grow and find new and innovative ways to do things. The state can expect to see improvements and adjustments to current programs, processes, and operations.

The state programs aim to improve the quality of life for “vulnerable” Oklahomans by increasing peoples’ ability to live more productive, safe, and healthy lives.

Lake says that, “protecting and helping our most vulnerable citizens is at the heart of everything we do in this agency. In the protection of children, we completed the first full year of the Pinnacle Plan, a five-year improvement plan for our foster care system.”

In order to thrive, children need to be safe and remain with caring and loving families. When a child is found to be in potential danger, Child Welfare Services intervenes to assist the family in making necessary changes.

Along with placing unsafe children into loving foster homes, the DHS contracts high-quality family services throughout the state in order to support children and families. These services include child abuse prevention services to keep families together, parenting and improvement services, and even sexual abuse counseling.

For current residents, or families looking to move to Oklahoma City that would like more information on how to participate in child abuse prevention projects and programs, contact Sherie Trice, OSDH Family Support and Prevention Service, (405) 271-7611 or by email sheriet@health.ok.gov