OKLAHOMA CAPITOL-- The state’s plan to improve child welfare services will be presented in April as part of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) Lecture Series. “The Oklahoma Pinnacle Plan: An Improvement Plan for Child Welfare Services” will be presented Friday, April 20 from Noon to 1 p.m. in the Chesapeake Room of the Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive in Oklahoma City.
Deborah G. Smith, MSW, Director of OKDHS Children and Family Services Division, will talk about the plan, which is a key component in settling a federal class action lawsuit. It must address 15 key performance areas. The lecture will summarize the efforts planned to improve outcomes for Oklahoma’s 8,000 children in foster care including improving safety, increasing the number of foster homes, and decreasing the length of stay.
Smith was appointed to her position in 2010, and has worked in child welfare services since 1998. She has expertise in child protective services, permanency planning, foster care, the Child and Family Services Reviews process, program improvement plans, supervisor case reviews, and the use of data to inform practice and policy. Smith also helped develop and lead the implementation of Oklahoma’s Child Welfare Practice Model. She has a strong network of professional relationships and is skilled in continuous quality improvement. Smith has a combination of direct practice experience in rural and metro Oklahoma counties and has working knowledge of all six geographic areas of the state.
The Practice and Policy Lecture Series has been developed to provide thought-provoking presentations on Oklahoma's emerging policy issues, trends and best practices. The series is sponsored by the OKDHS Office of Planning, Research and Statistics and the University of Oklahoma Center for Public Management with the goal of providing the best educational opportunities available in a forum that offers participants an opportunity to question, share and learn from each other. Additional sponsorship for this lecture is provided by the OKDHS Children and Family Services Division.
All lectures are free and open to the public. For more information contact the Office of Planning, Research and Statistics at (405) 521-3552 or visit thePractice and Policy Lecture Series website (Link opens in new window).