Archive for 2012

Upcoming Event: Does marriage education work?

by | November 26th, 2012 | Posted in Blog, Upcoming Events | Comments (0)

The OKDHS Practice and Policy Lecture Series hosts Dr. Scott Stanley on December 10th to discuss the results of a long-term study of the effectiveness of marriage education.  Dr. Stanley has been involved in the research, development and refinement of the marriage education program PREP, Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program, for more than 30 years. 

Dr. Scott Stanley is a research professor and co-director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies at the University of Denver. He has published widely with research interests including commitment, communication, conflict, confidence, risk factors for divorce, prevention of marital distress and couple development.  The OK Policy Blog previously featured a guest blog post from Scott Stanley about the Family Expectations Program, which is part of the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative.  We also posted an OK Policy Roundtable on whether or not the state of Oklahoma should be promoting marriage as a solution to poverty.

All lectures are free and open to the public.  For more information contact the Office of Planning, Research and Statistics at 405-521-3552View the complete lecture series lineup here.

Upcoming Event: The Senior Safety Net in Jeopardy, OKDHS Policy & Practice Lectures

by | May 10th, 2012 | Posted in Blog, Upcoming Events | Comments (0)

The recession has had a devastating impact on the economic well-being of low income senior citizens, particularly people of color.  The ongoing debate over the future of Social Security and Medicare leaves seniors living near the poverty line with an uncertain future.  The OKDHS Policy and Practice Lecture Series will host Karyne Jones, President and CEO of the National Caucus and Center on Black Aged, to discuss the growing economic threats faced by low income elderly African Americans.  The presentation will also address  disparities that African-Americans and other minorities still face in terms of treatment, access and affordability.  She will discuss the impact of the Affordable Care act on seniors, particularly for minority seniors and, if changes are not addressed now, the economic impact it will have.

continue reading Upcoming Event: The Senior Safety Net in Jeopardy, OKDHS Policy & Practice Lectures

Upcoming Event: An Improvement Plan for OKDHS Child Welfare Services

by | April 16th, 2012 | Posted in Blog, Upcoming Events | Comments (1)

The next installment of the Practice and Policy Lecture Series, sponsored in part by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS), will present Oklahoma’s plan to improve child welfare services.  On Friday April 20th, Deborah Smith, Director of OKDHS Children and Family Services, will summarize the efforts planned to improve outcomes for Oklahoma’s 8,000 children in foster care including improving safety, increasing the number of foster homes, and decreasing the length of stay.  The ‘Pinnacle Plan‘ is a key component in settling a federal class action lawsuit.

The lecture will discuss OKDHS’s commitment to:

  • equity, where all children, youth and families have access to and receive unbiased treatment and services.
  • keeping children safe with their families through prevention services, kinship placements and timely reunification whenever possible.
  • ensuring every child is safe while in out-of-home care and custody by matching them with an appropriate, supportive family who can provide for their safety and wellbeing.
  • recruiting, retaining, and supporting the best child welfare staff and ensuring they have manageable caseloads and workloads.
  • engaging local communities in improving child welfare outcomes.

Deborah G. Smith, M.S.W., was appointed the Director of OKDHS Children and Family Services Division in 2010 and has worked in child welfare services since 1998. She has expertise in child protective services, permanency planning, foster care, the CFSR process, program improvement plans, supervisor case reviews, and the use of data to inform practice and policy.

All lectures are free and open to the public. OKDHS staff can receive training credit for this event. CEUs are available for social workers. For more information contact the Office of Planning, Research and Statistics at 405-521-3552.

FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2012, NOON TO 1 P.M.
OKLAHOMA HISTORY CENTER, CHESAPEAKE ROOM

Click here to pre-register.

Upcoming Event: "Tell me a Story: The Reality of Oklahoma’s Children of Incarcerated Parents," February 17th

by | February 10th, 2012 | Posted in Blog, Upcoming Events | Comments (0)

The next installment of the Practice and Policy Lecture Series, sponsored in part by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS), will focus on the children of incarcerated parents.  “Tell me a Story:  The Reality of Oklahoma’s Children of Incarcerated Parents,” will be Friday, February 17, from Noon to 1 p.m in the Chesapeake Room of the Oklahoma History Center at 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive in Oklahoma City. The event features Cheri Fuller, Executive Director of Redeeming the Family, who will bring to light some of the challenges facing children whose mothers are incarcerated as well as share an innovative model for keeping families connected.

continue reading Upcoming Event: "Tell me a Story: The Reality of Oklahoma’s Children of Incarcerated Parents," February 17th

Upcoming Event: Benchmarking Asset Development in Fighting Poverty, January 12th

by | December 30th, 2011 | Posted in Blog, Financial Security, Poverty, Upcoming Events | Comments (0)

Assets mean economic security.  Yet impoverished families frequently lack the means to build assets.  Some are even sanctioned by public assistance programs from accumulating the wealth they need to escape poverty.  Oklahoma earned a “C” grade from the Corporation for Enterprise Development in a national report ranking states on opportunities for wealth creation and protection, particularly for low-income residents.  That same report says 23 percent of Oklahoma households are asset poor, lacking sufficient net worth to subsist at the poverty level for three months if their income was disrupted.

continue reading Upcoming Event: Benchmarking Asset Development in Fighting Poverty, January 12th

Upcoming Event: 'Oklahoma’s Building Strong Families Project' Practice and Policy Lecture, May 19

by | May 6th, 2011 | Posted in Blog, Upcoming Events | Comments (0)

The senior vice president and director of the Human Services Research Division of Mathematica Policy Research, Inc will be the final speaker in the spring 2011 OKDHS Policy and Practice Lecture Series.  Barbara Devaney, Ph.D., will present “Oklahoma’s Building Strong Families Project” on Thursday, May 19, from Noon to 1pm at the Oklahoma History Center in the Chesapeake Room. The event is free and open to the public.

Devaney received her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan.  She is a nationally recognized expert in maternal and child health, nutrition and risk-reduction programs for youth.  She is co-director of Mathematica’s Building Strong Families study and has served as principal investigator for the firm’s evaluation of abstinence education programs, which received the 2009 Outstanding Evaluation Award from the American Evaluation Association.

Devaney has played a leading role in many of Mathematica’s studies of family formation, children’s nutrition and public health programs.  She has served on scientific committees convened by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. She publishes widely in peer-reviewed journals and presents findings at conferences of researchers, policymakers and practitioners.

The Building Strong Families project is an initiative to develop and evaluate programs designed to help interested unwed parents strengthen and stabilize their relationships.

Related information:

The Weekly Wonk – March 11, 2011

by | March 11th, 2011 | Posted in Blog, OK Policy | Comments (0)

What’s up this week at Oklahoma Policy Institute?  The Weekly Wonk is dedicated to this week’s events, publications, and blog posts.

Once again, property tax cuts are on the table this legislative session.  OK Policy took a close look at property taxes this week, suggesting in a blog post that a better approach to get help to people who need it without forfeiting investments in public infrastructure would be to increase the homestead exemption, which currently reduces by $1,000 the assessed value of a taxpayer’s actual residence.  For a summary of the major elements of Oklahoma property taxes, which Oklahomans pay less of than almost any other state, download the fact sheet released on our website this week.  You can also listen to our Director David Blatt breakdown the legislative proposals in a segment on KWGS Public Radio Tulsa.

Oklahoma was one of only six states selected to receive a $54 million dollar health care ‘early innovator’ grant from the federal government.  The state is now poised to build the best health care technology in the country, including developing the state’s online insurance exchange, one of the primary requirements of the Affordable Care Act.  Find out why Oklahoma was selected for this grant and how they plan to spend it by reading Monday’s post, Oklahoma Named Early Innovator.

continue reading The Weekly Wonk – March 11, 2011

Upcoming Event: ‘The Economics of Oklahoma’s Single Parents’ Practice & Policy Lecture – March 24

by | March 8th, 2011 | Posted in Blog, Upcoming Events | Comments (1)

The next lecture in the OKDHS Practice & Policy series, ‘The Economics of Oklahoma’s Single Parents’, will be presented by Dr. Larkin Warner and Dr. Jean Warner.  The lecture takes place between 12:00 and 1pm on March 24, 2011 at the Oklahoma History Center in the Chesapeake Room.

Larkin Warner is a former professor at Oklahoma State University who served as the Director of the Economic Studies Division at the Kerr Foundation.  Dr. Warner will use Census data to address the economics of Oklahoma’s single mothers and report on key factors that contribute to poverty in the state.  Co-presenter Dr. Jean Warner helped establish the Oklahoma Women’s Coalition, a non-profit organization that advocates for the state’s women and girls. The Journal Record named Dr. Warner one of the “50 Women Making a Difference in Oklahoma” in 2010. Her presentation will focus on innovative initiatives to improve the financial futures of single-parent families.

continue reading Upcoming Event: ‘The Economics of Oklahoma’s Single Parents’ Practice & Policy Lecture – March 24

Upcoming Event: 'Why The Institutions Died' Practice & Policy Lecture – February 23

by | February 10th, 2011 | Posted in Blog, Upcoming Events | Comments (0)

The Office of Planning, Research, and Statistics of the Oklahoma Department of Public Services and the University of Oklahoma Center for Public Management will host the former director of Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Services, Ed Skarnulis, on February 23rd, 2011 as part of their Practice & Policy Lecture Series.  Dr. Skarnulis, appointed by various federal courts to oversee the closure of institutions, including the Hissom Memorial Center in Oklahoma, will lecture on ‘Why the Institutions Died.’

continue reading Upcoming Event: 'Why The Institutions Died' Practice & Policy Lecture – February 23

Upcoming Event: Medicaid Director on "The Economics of Health Care Reform"

by | January 3rd, 2011 | Posted in Blog, Upcoming Events | Comments (0)

Michael Fogarty, Chief Executive Office of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, will be speaking on “The Economics of Health Care Reform” at noon on Thursday, January 20, 2011 at the Oklahoma History Center. The talk is the first spring lecture of the Practice and Policy Lecture Series co-sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services and the University of Oklahoma Center for Public Management. The event is free and open to the public, with lunch available for purchase.

Fogarty has been CEO of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority since 1999. The agency administers the Oklahoma SoonerCare (Medicaid) programs with a staff of more than 430 employees. As CEO of the Health Care Authority, his statutory duties include service on several agency boards including the University Hospitals Authority and Trust, the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth and the O.S.U. Medical Authority.

Fogarty previously served as the Health Care Authority’s State Medicaid Director and Chief Operating Officer. His career includes stints at the Oklahoma Department of Human Services as the Deputy Director and Assistant Director for Medical Services. He was a member of the Washington D.C. legislative staff of former U.S. Senator David Boren. Fogarty’s career also included private law practice and private health-related business.

In 2005, Fogarty was named Administrator of the Year by the Oklahoma Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration. The award is given annually to a public servant in Oklahoma whose career exhibits “the highest standards of excellence, dedication, and accomplishment.”

For additional information and for the full list of lectures in the series, click here.

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