First-of-its-kind program in Oklahoma helping families reunite with children in foster care

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Parents in Oklahoma County who have children in foster care will now have a little extra help when it comes to being reunited with their children.

Parent Partners is the first-of-its-kind in Oklahoma and is designed to offer hope, guidance and advocacy for parents whose children are in foster care.

Families involved in the program will be paired with a mentor who has successfully navigated the Department of Human Services child welfare process.

“Many parents entering the child welfare system feel scared, hopeless, angry and overwhelmed,” said Ashley Smith, program manager at NorthCare. “We believe Parent Partners will help to strengthen the foundation for parent engagement that ultimately will result in successful child and family outcomes.”

The program has been designed and is being managed by NorthCare, a comprehensive community mental health and behavioral health provider.

At this point, NorthCare has hired two Parent Partners who will each work with up to 20 parents at a time. Officials say they are professionally trained Peer Recovery Support Specialists and have undergone additional training to better understand the process.

The program is currently underway and is accepting applications. 

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