Federal Government Considers Using Foster Care System For Immigrant Children

Wednesday, July 23rd 2014, 6:25 pm
By: Dana Hertneky

The federal government is considering using Oklahoma foster care families for some of those undocumented children at Fort Sill, that according to Gov. Mary Fallin, who points out the state is already dealing with a huge foster care crisis.

On Wednesday 11,566 children were in state custody.

Lisait and her husband have adopted two children and are fostering another. Her charity OK Foster Wishes also connects the community with opportunities to serve the increasing number foster children in our state.

“The number has grown larger than I’ve seen it in the past five years and we’re just really in dire need of families to consider opening their home,” said Feist.

Charities like Lisa's, along with the state, have been actively trying to recruit new foster families but are still falling short. The latest data shows Oklahoma has added only approximately 40% of the new family foster homes required by a class action settlement set out in the Pinnacle Plan.

“The next time somebody’s going home and going past that office that could be a bedroom, or that guest bedroom that’s never used we just hope that they would consider if they have some room in their heart and their home to bring home a child who’s in crisis,” said Feist.

But now Fallin says the Department of Health and Human Services has contacted DHS asking for foster families to house some of the younger children housed at Fort Sill.

“Which takes away from Oklahoma Kids who are waiting to get into foster care systems,” said Fallin.

News 9 reached out to HHS about their request but have not heard back.

Fallin has launched a petition drive asking the Federal Government to close the Fort Sill shelter on October 10, as originally planned.