Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) established a statewide, centralized hotline that operates 24 hours per day to receive child abuse or neglect reports at 1-800-522-3511. An allegation of child abuse or neglect reported in any manner to a OKDHS county office is immediately referred to the Hotline.
If you suspect that a child or vulnerable adult is the victim of abuse, neglect or exploitation,
please call the Statewide Abuse Hotline.
Oklahoma Safe Haven Law
Many State legislatures have enacted legislation to address infant abandonment and endangerment in response to a reported increase in the abandonment of infants in unsafe locations, such as public restrooms or trash receptacles. Beginning in Texas in 1999, "Baby Moses laws" or infant safe haven laws have been enacted as an incentive for mothers in crisis to safely relinquish their babies to designated locations where the babies are protected and provided with medical care until a permanent home is found. Safe haven laws generally allow the parent, or an agent of the parent, to remain anonymous and to be shielded from criminal liability and prosecution for child endangerment, abandonment, or neglect in exchange for surrendering the baby to a safe haven.
Oklahoma Specific law:
A child who is 7 days old or younger may be relinquished. The child may be relinquished by his or her parent.
The following entities shall, without a court order, take possession of a child if the child is voluntarily delivered to the entity by the parent of the child and the parent did not express an intent to return for the child:
- A medical services provider, including a physician's assistant or nurse practitioner, a registered or practical nurse, and a nurse aide.
- A child rescuer, including any employee or other designated person on duty at a police station, fire station, child protective services agency, hospital, or other medical facility.
Any entity to which a parent seeks to relinquish a child pursuant to the provisions of this section may:
- Request, but not demand, any information about the child, including relevant medical history, that the parent is willing to share.
- Provide the parent with printed information relating to the parents' rights, including both parents, with respect to reunification with the child and sources of counseling for the parents, if desired.
Once a child has been relinquished, the entity receiving the child shall:
- Perform or provide for the performance of any act necessary to protect the physical health or safety of the child.
- Notify the local office of the Department of Human Services that a child who is 7 days of age or younger has been relinquished, and that the entity has taken possession of the child.
A medical services provider or child rescuer with responsibility for performing duties pursuant to this section shall be immune from any criminal liability that might otherwise result from the entity's actions, if acting in good faith in receiving a relinquished child. In addition, such medical provider or child rescuer shall be immune from any civil liability that might otherwise result from merely receiving a relinquished child.
A parent shall not be prosecuted for child abandonment or child neglect when the allegations of child abandonment or child neglect are based solely on the relinquishment of a child 7 days of age or younger to a medical services provider or a child rescuer.
The entity receiving the child shall respect the wish of the parent if the parent desires to remain anonymous.
The Department of Human Services shall immediately check with law enforcement authorities to determine if a child has been reported missing and whether the missing child could be the relinquished child.
The department shall disseminate information about parents' rights with regard to reunification with a child, including, but not limited to, information on how a parent can contact the appropriate entity regarding reunification and information on sources of counseling for relinquishing parents.
Supervision for Children
How old does my child need to be before I can leave him home by himself?
There is no law or policy in Oklahoma for how old a child has to be in order to be left alone. Here are the recommended guidelines for parents:
Infants and children under 6 years of age should never be left alone without adult supervision.
Generally, grade school children who demonstrate the ability to be responsible and mature may be left alone one or two hours during the day with access to a responsible adult.
Grade school children should never be left to care for younger children.
Middle school children who demonstrate the ability to care for themselves without help may be left alone for up to four hours during the day and evening.
Middle school children may care for one or two younger children if there is constant access to a responsible adult.
See more information here.
Safe Sleep for Infants
Safe Sleep Saves Lives (Pub 20-03)
We are a resource for service providers and advocates throughout Oklahoma and Indian Country who work to prevent and eliminate domestic, sexual, and systemic violence. We provide education, shed light on issues that affect all victims, and advocate for legislation that will better support victims. Together we work towards an abuse-free future for our state, our country, and our world. https://www.ocadvsa.org/
*add in resources/ information about the effects of DV on children: brain development, tss, etc.