With deep cuts needed to balance our state budget for fiscal year 2012, the Oklahoma State Department of Health is faced with the prospect of eliminating the Office of Child Abuse Prevention (OCAP). I have to ask…..do we really believe the children of Oklahoma are healthy and safe enough? Are we confident there’s no need to be concerned for the wellbeing of 54,000 babies who will be born in our state this year? Are we sure they will all have what they need to thrive and learn and grow up to be healthy, productive, responsible adults? Has it really been a long time since you heard or read a news story about child abuse or neglect? Or are we just willing to turn the page or change the channel?
This story, produced one year ago, is even more poignant today in pointing out what is at stake for Oklahoma’s children if we do not prevent abuse and neglect. The first segment features one of the 21 programs funded by the Oklahoma Office of Child Abuse Prevention. The second segment features the Oklahoma City chief of police. The third segment features a children’s advocacy center in Norman.