The director of Oklahoma's Department of Human Services is asking lawmakers to appropriate almost $33 million in state tax dollars to operate the agency through the end of June.
DHS director Ed Lake will discuss the supplemental funding request on Monday at a meeting of the House Appropriations and Budget Subcommittee on Human Services.
In a letter to state officials, Lake says the agency has encountered several funding problems since the 2013 legislative session, when lawmakers approved the agency's budget for the fiscal that ends June 30.
Oklahoma's Department of Human Services says it's firing two employees over their mishandling of a case involving a disabled 15-year-old boy who died of pneumonia last year after suffering alleged neglect and abuse at his father's home.
Quinten Wood died Jan. 4, 2013.
The state agency also said Monday that an internal investigation into Woods' case has prompted an overhaul of how it improves child protection — particularly when DHS becomes involved in cases with children who have mental and developmental disabilities.
A woman who says her special needs brother died from abuse is calling for an investigation into Oklahoma's child welfare services.
Valerie Wood-Harber presented an electronic petition with 460,000 signatures to Gov. Mary Fallin's office Tuesday. Wood-Harber is calling for an investigation into the agency after she made 22 unanswered calls in a span of weeks to report alleged abuse of her brother. Fifteen-year-old Quinten Wood later died of pneumonia.
Divorce and the effect it has on state government spending in Oklahoma, including welfare programs, is not something that can be improved with new policies or programs. That's according to Marriage and Religion Research Institute Director Patrick Fagan and Jim Struby, director of Adult and Family Services at the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.
Both spoke during a Human Services hearing on Thursday at the State Capitol.
The number of people on the list has risen by 24 percent since 2010, when Oklahoma had the third largest waiting list for such services in the nation, according to a University of Minnesota study. Just under half the applicants are children; most are from low-income families.