The Parent Child Center of Tulsa posted on the web site www.PreventNeglect.org a short video highlighting the frightening proposed elimination of Oklahoma’s Office of Child Abuse Prevention.
Oklahoma’s Office of Child Abuse Prevention provides in-home services for babies and toddlers who are at risk for child abuse and neglect. Some services are provided by the State Department of Health nurses called “Children First” and some services are provided by child development specialists working in community-based nonprofits across the state.
These nonprofits have different names but they contract with the State Department of Health as a “Start Right” program. Start Right programs – such as Healthy Families at The Parent Child Center of Tulsa – are effective in strengthening family functioning, increasing parenting knowledge and skills, and improving child safety and healthy child development.
Dr. Terry Cline, commissioner of the Oklahoma State Department of Health, says that further state budget cuts could lead to eliminating the Office of Child Abuse Prevention. This translates to a significant or complete loss of funds for 13 community-based nonprofits across the state who are on the front lines of reducing the risks for abuse and neglect that has held Oklahoma back for years.