Through no fault of their own, there are thousands of children in the custody of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS). These children may not be orphans in the sense that they no longer have parents, but their families are not able to care for them due to incarceration, extreme poverty, physical abuse, drug abuse, neglect or abandonment.
History: Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (OFBCI) became more involved with engaging the faith community in 2008 through the creation of the Top 10 Things You Can Do For A Foster Child information card, an awareness campaign for May’s Foster Care Awareness Month and community awareness events. This engagement intensified in December of 2010 when a collaboration of OKDHS, OFBCI and local faith leaders purposed to launch a strategic, comprehensive campaign to more intentionally recruit foster families from the faith community.
Current: The intensified shift resulted in the 111Project, a campaign to recruit foster families specifically from Oklahoma churches. 8046 was the number of children in OKDHS custody on January 2, 2011 and that number became the overarching theme for the inaugural campaign. 110 families were recruited. The final count of number of approved foster families is still pending. The 2012 initiative will focus on the 8308 number which was chosen from the snapshot on January 1, 2012 when there were 8308 children in OKDHS custody.
Local foster care ministries and churches across the state have partnered with OKDHS and OFBCI to reach a common goal of making a difference in the lives of Oklahoma Children.
The 111Project launched in April 2011 began as a campaign to recruit 111 foster families from Metro Oklahoma City churches but evolved into the ongoing 111Project of 1 church, 1 family, with 1 purpose: to leave no Oklahoma child without a family. For more information visit www.111project.org.