Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy Executive Director Linda Terrell
Annette Deal – Serenity Deal’s grandmother
Dr. George Young – Holy Temple Baptist Church
WHAT: Press Conference – OICA will host a press conference to discuss the economic burden of child abuse and the importance of child abuse prevention, the recent developments with the DHS lawsuit settlements and the opportunities to fix our broken child welfare system. Annette
Deal, grandmother of 5-year-old Serenity Deal, will speak briefly about how bold reform to the OK Child Welfare system must happen to ensure no child faces the same fate as Serenity.
WHEN: Tuesday, April 3, at 11 a.m.
WHERE: Governor’s Conference Room 2nd floor at the Capitol
WHY: In 2010, Oklahoma had more than 7,200 confirmed cases of child abuse and neglect; that year, OKDHS assessed and investigated 45,811 cases of possible child abuse or neglect. Currently, there are about 8,000 children under the care of about 1,000 DHS employees and caseworkers. The overall economic burden of child abuse reaches billions of dollars annually, including an estimated $1.2 Million in lost productivity for businesses throughout Oklahoma and the United States. Action must be taken to prevent cases like Serenity Deal’s and the countless others like hers from happening again. Our Serenity Project calls for recommendations to reform the broken Oklahoma DHS - child welfare system in order to better protect our kids.