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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal funds will go toward child abuse prevention and treatment efforts throughout Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) announced on Wednesday that over $325,000 in funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) will be spread among state programs concerned with preventing child abuse and treating victims.

Doctor's office

The ARPA funding, which is provided through supplemental federal funds directed to the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), will be provided to freestanding multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) in each county, child advocacy centers (CACs) in each district attorney’s district, and one hospital team, according to Human Services personnel.

MDTs and CACs respond to child abuse and neglect investigations in a “coordinated, comprehensive and timely” manner to ensure children are not further traumatized during an investigation, OKDHS officials said.

“OKDHS is dedicated to strengthening Oklahoma families with the support and shared investment of collaborative, community-based partnerships like MDTs and CACs,” said Dr. Deborah Shropshire, OKDHS Child Welfare Director. “These prevention strategies help the agency reach children and families before they are in crisis and potentially mitigate unnecessary trauma and generational cycles of child welfare interventions. With these services and treatments, families can be equipped and empowered to provide a safe home for their children.”