Government’s emphasis on faith-based initiatives largely began when the Welfare Reform Act of ’96 was passed. This legislation revolutionized the welfare system of America and contained the Charitable Choice provision. It outlined the terms whereby the government could purchase services from faith-based organizations and clarified church/state issues.
New Opportunities for the Faith Community
The Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (OFBCI), also known as Faithlinks, was established in July 2000 to encourage faith-based initiatives throughout Oklahoma. It promotes collaboration between state agencies and faith-based, community organizations to provide social services.
To accomplish its mission, the OFBCI relays accurate church/state information to the government and faith sector about opportunities to work together and the guidelines for doing so.
A successful collaboration does not necessarily involve government funding and faith-based groups are encouraged to conduct a thorough investigation of potential resources, financial and otherwise.
Operations and Staff
In pursuit of its mission, the OFBCI is continuously engaged in various projects. The office and its operations are facilitated through the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.