Number of children in Oklahoma foster care system rises
The number of Oklahoma children in foster care rose in 2011 and 2012.
Number of children in state DHS care rises in 2011, 2012
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The number of Oklahoma children in foster care rose in 2012, figures from the Oklahoma Department of Human Services show.
Information through June 30 shows that 9,131 children were in foster care in Oklahoma. That is an increase from 8,206 that were reported in DHS care in 2011.
Oklahoma's foster care numbers had consistently declined from 2008, when 11,201 children were in state custody, to 2010. That number dropped to a low of 7,970 in 2010. The numbers began climbing in 2011 and again in 2012.
DHS spokeswoman Sheree Powell said child welfare administrators believe the recent increase is tied to increased reports of substance abuse and domestic violence in Oklahoma.
“Those two issues are leading to unsafe environments for children,” she said.
Not only are increased reports of domestic violence and substance abuse leading to more children being removed from homes, they are causing children to be kept out of homes longer because they typically require more counseling than some other types of issues, she said.
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