After going through the Oklahoma Department of Human Services foster care training last fall, we've provided emergency foster care in our home to seven Oklahoma City children since the beginning of January. As emergency short-term care is the biggest DHS need (especially as of March 1, when shelters stopped taking children younger than 6 as part of the Pinnacle Plan), we signed up for these three-day to 30-day placements because we love God, we love people and we love Oklahoma City. The fact that more than 8,000 children still remain in the DHS system continues to be a black eye on the body of Christ in this city.
When we read “DHS disciplines worker after HIV disclosure” (News, March 31) about the DHS child welfare specialist (wrongly) suspended for three days without pay after she warned foster parents a child under their care might be HIV-positive, we again found ourselves shaking our heads. Such practices don't help in the recruitment of new families to foster care. Nor do they reassure current foster families that they're getting all the information necessary to succeed in caring for another's child. Withholding such information puts foster parents (and their own children) at risk. Although we're on the list to take HIV-positive kids, others may think twice about doing so — if they choose to get on the list at all.
Craig and Megan Dunham,Oklahoma City