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Cuts to Child Abuse Prevention Program impact 700 Oklahoma Families

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK  –  After the state of Oklahoma’s recent revenue failures, several state programs are on the chopping block.

This includes the Department of Health’s child abuse prevention program.

On July 1, the Department of Health will be eliminating the Start Right program.

In an effort to prevent child abuse, this program provides in-home support programs to new parents who may lack resources and parenting skills.

Thirteen different agencies provide these Start Right services to families all over the state.

As a result of these cuts, 700 families who receive assistance through this program will have nowhere else to turn.

“It’s really disheartening, to know that we’re going to eliminate a prevention program that seeks to strengthen families,” said Sherry Fair, executive director of Parent Promise.

Fair said Parent Promise provides in-home support services to 35 families in the metro.  But after June 30, she said these families they serve now could fall on even harder times.

“Some will be able to roll into another program, but some won’t be able to do that because of the qualifications for the program,” Fair said.

On Thursday, Fair is going to the Capitol with the other 12 agencies to ask lawmakers for more time before the cuts go into place.

Fair said she is hoping her agency can either transfer the families to another program or raise enough money to keep her program going.

“I have confidence that given the appropriate amount of time, those funds could be raised,” Fair said.