The Department of Human Services (DHS) is a state agency that administers a range of programs aimed at helping Oklahomans in need, including food benefits (SNAP); temporary cash assistance (TANF); services for persons with developmental disabilities and persons who are aging; adult protective services; child welfare programs; child support services; child care assistance, licensing and monitoring; and Medicaid (SoonerCare) applications and eligibility.
The Director of the Department is appointed by the Governor and serves at the Governor’s discretion. State Question 765, approved by the voters in 2012, did away with the Commission of Human Services, which previously had served as the agency’s governing board. When the DHS commission was abolished, the Legislature put in place four citizen advisory committees to provide oversight of the department, but these committees were allowed to sunset and no entity currently provides oversight for the Department.
DHS had overall expenditures of some $2.2 billion in FY 2019, of which some $730 million was state appropriated funds.