Community meetings in OKC and Tulsa will look at extending foster care to age 21

road to independenceYoung people who age out of foster care face significant challenges transitioning to adulthood on their own. More than 40 percent of young adults who leave foster care become homeless or are in an unstable living situation at least once by age 23. Many have been homeless multiple times.

The Oklahoma Department of Human Service’s Road to Independence Network is hosting community meetings in Oklahoma City and Tulsa to explore addressing the problem by extending the foster care age in Oklahoma from 18 to 21. Dr. Mark Courtney of the University of Chicago will speak at the meeting in favor of the extension.

Dr. Courtney is a national expert on child welfare issues and policies and the Principal Investigator of the Midwest Evaluation of the Adult Functioning of Former Foster Youth.  He was the founding director of Partners for Our Children (POC), a public-private partnership housed at the University of Washington devoted to improving child welfare services.

The meetings are free and open to the public. The Oklahoma City Community Meeting will be held on July 31 at the United Way of Central Oklahoma’s Legacy Room (1444 NW 28th St) from 8:30 – 11:30am. Register here for the OKC meeting. The Tulsa Community Meeting will be held on August 1 at the OU Schusterman Center, Room 231 (4444 E 41st St) from 8:30-11:30am. Register here for the Tulsa meeting.

Questions or concerns should be directed to Jacqueline Pereira-McDaniel, MHR, Program Supervisor, Road to Independence Network, Oklahoma Department of Human Services. Office: 405-522-3869. Cell: 405-698-7204


Carly Putnam joined OK Policy in 2013. As Policy Director, she supervises policy research and strategy. She previously worked as an OK Policy intern, and she was OK Policy's health care policy analyst through July 2020. She graduated from the University of Tulsa in 2013. As a student, she was a participant in the National Education for Women (N.E.W.) Leadership Institute and interned with Planned Parenthood. Carly is a graduate of the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits Nonprofit Management Certification; the Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council’s Partners in Policymaking; The Mine, a social entrepreneurship fellowship in Tulsa; and Leadership Tulsa Class 62. She currently serves on the boards of Restore Hope Ministries and The Arc of Oklahoma. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, and doing battle with her hundred year-old house.

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