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Kay County CPS Supervisor provides big HOPE from a little house

Just over a year ago, Child Welfare Services (CWS) Supervisor Karol Daniel had the opportunity to purchase and renovate a small house in Kay County. At the time, she didn’t know what she was going to do with the house, but quickly began working to renovate it from top to bottom. Smoke-stained walls were painted a warm tan, worn carpets and flooring were replaced with new, softer textures and the whole house was outfitted with new décor and furniture to make it feel fresh and homey.

By the holiday season, the house was nearly done and Daniel had begun using it as a home office. She fashioned one of the bedrooms into an office with two desks and invited her new workers to the house to get oriented. From this space, she could help the new workers walk through cases and sit right next to them to navigate immediate questions or concerns.

Around that same time, Daniel learned that storage space was needed for holiday gifts for children in state custody. True to her generous nature, she graciously offered the house. The garage, closets and a storage shed in the backyard quickly filled with holiday gifts, clothes, car seats, backpacks and other donations from a local church, Studeville Ford, Heather Cannon Honda and the community members of Kay County who helped fill the sleigh and angel tree tags.

Beyond that first holiday season, Daniel embraced the house’s newfound purpose and continued to make use of its extra space in service to others. Over time, she and her network of co-workers, friends and community members began to assemble many other items needed by her Child Welfare colleagues to ensure the health and well-being of those served by the agency – diapers, wipes, suitcases, strollers, toys, a pack-n-play, clothing of all sizes and so much more. Dressers filled with toiletries, pajamas and undergarments were placed in the spare bedroom so workers can gather items needed for children or families. She says the house is “packed with stuff” to serve others.

“I fostered for over 20 years and that’s how I became an OKDHS worker,” said Daniel. “Just seeing the kids come with what they came with as a foster parent or if they had been in the office all day, it was difficult. This was just something I had available and wanted to offer to support our community. This is just what I do and we all work together to support it.”

Daniel’s generosity overflows from the house, from the freezer meals and other food items she keeps stocked in the kitchen so they are available for children and staff who need them, to the warm, fuzzy blankets she ensures are tucked over couches to offer comfort and warmth, to the child-friendly streaming services available to offer some levity and distraction during otherwise difficult times.

“We are so thankful to Karol for providing this home to CWS so children feel at home and staff have a comfortable place to work while taking care of children,” said Troy Aebi, CWS District 8 Director. “The home is an innovative and creative way to meet the needs of children in foster care, their families and staff.”

Daniel allows Child Welfare employees to access the home for any needs they may have in order to serve their community’s children and families. Like its transformation, her house proves that hope and big dreams can be realized from humble beginnings and a lot of hard work.

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Last Modified on Nov 17, 2022
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