Count Me In 4 Kids

Philosophy

Vision Statement: Every child has a family that loves and nurtures them and has a safe place to call home.

Count Me In 4 Kids seeks to establish a sustainable forum to best match the needs of at-risk and foster children, foster families, and children aging out of foster care with those who can provide them with services they need and with individuals and entities who want to help.

At the heart of this vision is a shared a belief that these children need all of us to succeed. The collaborative will exist to shine a light on the idea that each of us can do our part and to connect interest and resources with the needs of these children and families.

Project Description

In the summer of 2012, a group of Oklahoma City business leaders began to dream about engaging the citizens of Oklahoma City in support of some of the state’s most vulnerable children…those at risk for or in foster care. Realizing that the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) shouldn’t have to bear the responsibility of recruiting foster parents and supporting these children and families alone, a new public/private collaborative, Count Me In 4 Kids (CMI4K) was launched.

As a result of many discussions about what could make a meaningful difference for these children, a framework has been developed that will establish a sustainable infrastructure (clearinghouse) to better connect the organizations serving these children and families and to significantly increase public participation in providing appropriate, timely, loving homes and support for children in foster care, while also providing support for their families and foster families.

The Count Me In 4 Kids framework includes five key objectives:

  1. Increase the awareness level of all Oklahomans of the conditions, needs and ways to support and nurture children and families in foster care.
  2. Maintain a collaborative leadership group that will provide leadership, energy and commitment to developing and implementing new processes for this service.
  3. Maintain an infrastructure that can match needs and services, and do so in a timely, customer-friendly manner.
  4. Engage the interest of more Oklahomans in becoming foster parents.
  5. Identify, engage and organize donors and volunteers to broaden the base of people who take ownership of the needs of children in foster care.

Program Specifics

A collaborative has been formed and over the coming months, an action plan will be developed.

Collaborative Partners

Jennifer Abney
Angels Foster OKC

Susan Agel
Positive Tomorrows

Audrey “Lyn” Banks
Foster Care Program Administrator

Rev. Dr. Stan Basler
Criminal Justice & Mercy Ministries

Susan Bergen
Fresh Foods To You

Susan Binowski
Buy For Less

Ray E. Bitsche, Jr.
Sunbeam Family Services, Inc.

Dr. Laura W. Boyd, PhD
Oklahoma Therapeutic Foster Care Association

Jane Brown
Oklahoma County Juvenile District Attorney

Stephen Buck
Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse

Jack Chapman
Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth

Greg Dewey
SandRidge Energy

Lana Freeman
Foster Care & Adoptive Association of Oklahoma

Laura Gamble
Family Builders

Doug Gibson
Sunbeam Family Services, Inc.

Deborah Goodman
Bridge Family Resource Center for New Foster Care & Adoption Families, OKDHS

Jacque Hensley
Native American Liason, Office of Governor Mary Fallon

Tricia Howell
OKDHS

Robin Jones
SALLT

Dr. Kerri Kearney, EdD
Oklahoma State University

Judge Richard Kirby
Oklahoma County Court

Director Ed Lake
Oklahoma Department of Human Services

Lee Ann Limber
CASA of Oklahoma County, Inc.

Becky McNeese
Former Asstistant District Attorney/Community Leader

Judge Gary Miller
Canadian County District Judge

Mary Myrick
Public Strategies

Ben Nockles
111 Project

Sherri O’Neill
Citizens Caring for Children

Greg Parks, Ph.D.
Oklahoma City Community College

Steve Petty
Integris Health

Jeaneen Pointer
Waddell Pointer & Associates

Myron Pope
University of Central Oklahoma

Sarah Roberts
Inasmuch Foundation

Blair Schoeb
Schoeb & Associates

Jennifer Seaton
OKC Chamber of Commerce

Deborah Shropshire, MD
OU Children’s Physician/Oklahoma Department of Human Services

Jane Silovsky
OU Health Science Center

Deborah G. Smith
Oklahoma Department of Human Services

Terry Smith
Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy

Dr. Sue Steib, LCSW, PhD
Casey Family Programs

Timothy Tardibono
Family Policy Institute of Oklahoma

Kathy Taylor
Stand In The Gap Ministries

Marnie Taylor
Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits

Tsinena Thompson
Oklahoma Lawyers for Children

Holly Towers, LCSW
Lilyfield Christian Adoption and Foster Care

Karen Vinyard Waddell
The Lynn Institute

Gayla Westbrook
Family Builders

Amy White
Oklahoma Department of Human Services

Rev. Trevor Williams
LifeChurch.TV

Project Updates

4/4/2013

Today, the Oklahoma Special Review Committee Report on OKDHS’ Role in Child Abuse and Neglect Deaths was released and as part of that discussion, citizens were given information about how to engage with Count Me In 4 Kids. These reports and other supplemental documents can be found by clicking the links listed below:



Count Me In 4 Kids is a community-led collaborative with the goal of engaging all of Central Oklahoma in meeting the needs of the children in foster care. It will achieve that goal by strategically aligning needs and resources so that children and families are best served and by developing a clearinghouse to connect children, families, service providers, state leaders, and the community in ways that can support on-going improvement of the safety net for our community’s children.

Make a Donation

Please tell us about yourself so we can help you become part of the solution for these children.

I am interested in learning more about Safe Families For Children
I am interested in becoming a foster family!
I am interested in learning more about how to support a foster child!
I want to volunteer with Count Me In 4 Kids and work to engage my friends, family, and community!
I would like to make a financial contribution to Count Me In 4 Kids!
I would like to help connect my community organization (i.e. church) so they can become involved with Count Me In 4 Kids!

Once you have entered information into all of the above fields, please hit submit so that we have your information and can get back to you.

Thanks again for your willingness to become part of the solution!