On Monday, an organization called Parent Promise learned their state funds would be eliminated.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health cancelled its contract with nine contractors across the state, including Parent Promise. Tony Sellars with OSDH said, “The termination of FQHC and OCAP contracts was necessary to help OSDH meet its budgetary responsibilities. It is not something that was done without serious consideration or one that the agency wanted to make.”
Cindy Allen, Development Director at Parent Promise, said they’ve been working with the state for a long time. For Parent Promise, 75 families will be impacted. She believes around 650 families in Oklahoma overall will be hurt by this cut.
Parent Promise provides in-home support to families with children under the age of five. With each home visit, a child gets a new book. Donations of toys, car seats or diapers are often provided. Parents also get education on how to care for their child. Parent Promise can also fund for parents who dropped out of school and are looking to get a GED.
Allen said Parent Promise has a good track record. 93 percent of families served never go into the DHS system. “That tells us our programs are working,” she said. She believes prevention programs are crucial to protect children from abuse.
Parent Promise will hold a special board meeting on Thursday to discuss the elimination of state funding. At this point, they hope they can continue to help families.