Children, Youth and Family Services

House Committee

Committee on Children, Youth and Family Services

Committees News & Announcements

Apr 5, 2023
Recent Posts

House Democratic Leader Cyndi Munson Comments on the Ground-Breaking of the New Oklahoma Psychiatric Care Center in Tulsa

OKLAHOMA CITY –"It was an honor to attend the ground-breaking ceremony for the Oklahoma Psychiatric Care Center—a 140,000-square-foot, 106-bed facility that will double the number of beds in the current state-operated facility in Tulsa. As a member of the Legislature and the Joint Committee on Pandemic and Relief Funding, your hope is that the work you do is positive and truly helps Oklahomans all across our state. Today, because of the financial investment in our state with American Rescue Plan dollars, I can confidently say our collective work will help thousands of Oklahomans with critical services executed in state-of the-art facilities by smart, hardworking and passionate mental and behavioral health professionals that will ensure every person can and will live up to their fullest and highest potential. The future is bright for Oklahoma." -END-

Mar 22, 2023
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STATEMENT: Speaker, Lawson Applaud Pinnacle Plan Announcement

Oklahoma House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka, and House Appropriations & Budget Subcommittee on Human Services Chair Rep. Mark Lawson, R-Sapulpa, today released the below statements after the announcement that the Oklahoma Dept. of Human Services will exit supervision of the 23 Pinnacle Plan metrics not impacted by COVID-19. "Today is a great day for Oklahoma. This accomplishment is the culmination of years of hard work by our DHS leadership, staff and foster families, and the state owes them each a debt of gratitude. To be recognized by national experts as having a model foster care system is a huge achievement. Oklahoma’s children and families deserve nothing less than the absolute best we can offer, and House Republicans will continue to work with the governor and DHS to identify best practices for our kids, our families and our state moving forward."  – House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka "In the years since the Pinnacle Plan was implemented in Oklahoma, DHS leaders and the Legislature have partnered to improve our state's foster care system, protect our children and strengthen Oklahoma's families. Today's announcement is incredible news for our foster children and their families. Oklahoma is fortunate to have had so many fantastic foster families, support organizations and state employees rise to the occasion, and our placement as a model system is a testament to how hard we've worked to turn around our foster care system. Our commitment to improving services for our foster children must not waiver. All children deserve a safe, stable home and a loving family. I applaud the diligence of our DHS leaders and my colleagues in the Legislature who took what was once a failing system and made it one of the best in the nation."  – House Appropriations & Budget Subcommittee on Human Services Chair Rep. Mark Lawson, R-Sapulpa

Mar 13, 2023
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Hefner's HB 2716 Requires DHS to Report Families Moving Off Waiting List and Receiving Services, Passes House Floor

OKLAHOMA CITY –Last week, HB 2716 authored by Freshman Rep. Ellyn Hefner, D-Oklahoma City passed the House floor and is headed to the Senate for consideration. HB 2716 requires the Oklahoma Department of Human Services to report families moving off the Department of Developmental Disability Services waiting list and document services those families are receiving. The bill also requires the department to identify what other supports may be available to help families while they are waiting for services. OKDHS reported more than 5,000 families with children and adults with developmental disabilities are on the waiting list to receive services. Rep. Hefner is the parent of an adult with developmental disabilities. She said families have been on the waiting list for up to 15 years. “As a working mother and legislator, I know first-hand the amount of pressure and strain parents are under to ensure their children with developmental disabilities are able to live safe, healthy, independent and productive lives,” Rep. Hefner said. DDS provides a variety of services to support the independence and health of Oklahomans with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This includes personal care like occupational and speech therapy and services like career assistance and job placement.  “My plan with HB 2716 is to give families information on how the waiting list is moving by tracking the number of families that are currently on the list, the average waiting time and how many families are moved off the waiting list and receiving services,” Rep. Hefner added. “Because the waiting list was so long when we funded the elimination, tracking the progress and impact to families should be a priority for the state.” In conjunction with HB 4466 last year that appropriated $32.5 million to eliminate the DDS waiting list, Rep. Hefner said she hopes public reporting and tracking of this information will empower families and keep the list moving until there is no longer a waiting list. “This bill is about making sure Oklahoma families are healthy. It’s about making sure all families are supported. It’s about making sure families with children or adults with developmental or intellectual disabilities have the information they need to make the right decisions for a healthy, happy family,” Rep. Hefner said. Who is eligible for services from DDS? You must be: Oklahoma resident Over three years old An IQ of 70 or below A qualified diagnosis of a developmental disability -END-

Committee Members



John Talley


District 33

Vice Chair

Danny Williams


District 28

Mark Lawson


District 30

Cyndi Munson


District 85

Randy Randleman


District 15

Cynthia Roe


District 42

Marilyn Stark


District 100

House Staff Assigned

Carolina Attaway

Staff Attorney II

Suzie Nahach

Research Analyst

Tess Jackson

Staff Attorney I