Oklahoma Human Services announced new features to its popular okbenefits.org website today, including considerable support for foster and adoptive families.
With this second release of okbenefits.org, prospective foster and adoptive families will find an easier way to say yes to fostering or adopting. New users can create an account to begin the application process and throughout their journey their very own dashboard will provide a progress stepper that shows where they are in the certification process. Families are also able to upload required documents and receive messages about their progress on their own schedule, day or night.
The website, first launched in February as part of a multi-year plan to replace the agency’s outdated case management legacy systems, brought online the ability for Oklahomans to apply for child support and view benefit information to better manage their cases. More than 19,000 Oklahomans have already created accounts on okbenefits.org.
“Our agency is dedicated to serving our customers where they are, and with the most efficient and effective tools at our disposal,” said OKDHS director Justin Brown. “OK Benefits is creating pathways for our customers to improve outcomes, and we’re doing it by providing more information and transparency than ever before.”
Once approved, a foster family can access important information about children placed in their home, including medical cards, education and child care information, all in an easy-to-use and mobile-friendly format. This process revolutionizes the exchange of information between the agency and its foster families, who are critical partners to Oklahoma’s children and families engaging with the state’s Child Welfare system.
“Our foster families bring hope and help, living every day in service to the children in their homes, as well as their biological families,” said Dr. Deborah Shropshire, Child Welfare Services director. “I am proud of our agency for not only making the application process for new foster and adoptive families easier, but also for finding innovative solutions to better support current foster families. This has been years in the making and will help us serve Oklahomans in new and more effective ways at a time when it’s needed most.”
Families interested in learning more or applying to become a certified foster family in their local community can be some of the first to use okbenefits.org for this purpose! Follow the prompts on the website to make application or call 1-800-376-9729 to speak to someone by phone. Interested Oklahomans may also visit www.ourokdhs.org to raise their hand and join the agency's efforts to better serve the community through innovation and collaborative partnerships.