"Migrant Mother" Dorothea L, 1936
We are Oklahoma
When the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) was created in 1936, our parents, grandparents and neighbors were reeling from the effects of the Dust Bowl and Great Depression. The topsoil from millions of acres in the drought-stricken Panhandle blew east, destroying farms, homes and lives. Low cotton prices and little work forced many sharecropper and tenant farmers in the southern and eastern portions of the state to migrate west. As we always do during times of adversity, OKDHS employees -- people just like you -- pulled together to help individuals and families in need.
The "black blizzards" have long since ended, and Oklahoma enters its second century a visionary, creative and industrious people. We are tenacious and resolute, traits we have exemplified again and again. We see what needs to be done, and we do it. In cities and towns across our state, nobody exemplifies that spirit more than the people who are OKDHS -- We are Oklahoma.
You can be a part of that legacy. Though our agency has evolved over the past 7 decades, we believe that there are constants that remain firm as we grow and adapt to changing circumstances. Safety, respect, family, relationships and excellence are fundamental elements that have defined us from the start, and upon which we continue to build.
We Know Why We Come to Work Every Day
We don't wonder about the purpose of our jobs at OKDHS. Helping people through difficult situations provides a common mission. It drives us to work hard and with a sense of urgency.
We focus our efforts on unmet needs - be it a serious situation where there is a need for safety or providing effective services to allow families to grow and care for their loved ones. These are the areas where we can make the greatest difference.
We spend every day thinking about matters of life and death, and we feel a great responsibility to do our best work. However, we counterbalance this seriousness with an environment that is supportive, caring and rewarding.
You're the Only You We've Got!
We place great importance on our employees, and we strive to make each individual feel valued for his or her contributions to the OKDHS mission. We know that we need to recruit and retain highly-talented people in order to do this important work.
We aim for every employee to feel that his or her unique gifts and thoughts are welcomed, and that they can take the initiative to find new solutions in a world full of complicated issues.
We also encourage employees to express themselves and bring their way of celebrating life to our demanding workplace. For this reason, you'll find employee-run events that celebrate our Latino, African-American and Native American heritage, and OKDHS helps those in need through the State Charitable Campaign and numerous volunteer projects.