State legislators fail to understand that the lack of competitive pay continues to erode the ability to hire and retain qualified workers. Department of Human Services employees have gone seven years without a raise, yet another study is needed to see if a raise is warranted? Today’s workload is greater than at any time in the past. Caseloads for child protective services are unmanageable and increasing as more workers leave. More and more children are placed on a backlog status, forcing workers to pick what fire to put out while leaving others exposed to possible danger.

-Oklahoma child welfare worker Jeff Hodge


Gene Perry worked for OK Policy from 2011 to 2019. He is a native Oklahoman and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a B.A. in history and an M.A. in journalism.

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