The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is restoring $2 million dollars in contract funding for the Office of Child Abuse Prevention (OCAP) for State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2019.
Funding had been cut by former agency leadership from the SFY 2018 budget, terminating contracts with partner organizations involved in the Parents as Teachers (PAT) home visiting program. OCAP funding meets a requirement for state mandated services related to child abuse prevention programs.
“I am pleased that we are able to restore the OCAP to its previous level of funding,” said Interim OSDH Commissioner Tom Bates. “We must focus on delivering core public health services and fulfill mandates required by the legislature. This is an important piece of our statewide effort in child abuse prevention.”
OSDH currently provides assistance to families in targeted areas, through the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) grant. MIECHV funds support three home visiting models, Children First (Oklahoma’s Nurse Family Partnership program), PAT and SafeCare Augmented. The OCAP funding provides the opportunity to serve families across the state who may not meet the eligibility requirements for other models.
“OCAP contracts are just one part of our overall effort to prevent child abuse,” said Beth Martin, interim director for OSDH Family Support and Prevention Service. “A continuum of services including the Parents as Teachers program, allows us to reach families that might otherwise fall through the cracks.”
The restored funding will provide for up to 10 contracts that will be awarded following review of Requests for Proposals (RFP) that must be submitted as part of the SFY 2019 budget process. State law requires interested parties to submit new proposals for funding.
Through the OCAP funding in SFY 2017, Parents as Teachers contractors served 608 families in 26 counties.