“The Laura Dester Children’s Shelter was never intended to serve as long-term placement for deprived children,” said Kristine Bridges, executive director of the Child Protection Coalition. “However, the children currently living at Laura Dester represent the populations of deprived children for which our child welfare system has a shortage of placements: developmentally delayed services, therapeutic foster care and transition to adulthood care for older children.”

The coalition committee has been meeting with shelter staff and a monitor for the Pinnacle Plan to ensure quality placements for children.

It is also a participant in the Oklahoma Fosters statewide campaign. It has set a goal to recruit more than 1,000 foster families by the end of June by rallying state, tribal and local governments with businesses, nonprofits and the faith communities.

Read the entire Tulsa World Article – published November 28, 2015 – by clicking here.


In a press release on November 23, 2015 the Child Protection Coalition announced support of the OKDHS Oklahoma Fosters Initiative.

Child Protection Coalition Executive Director, Kristine Bridges states, “While DHS is making strides towards meeting the Pinnacle Plan and developing [foster] placements, there is still much work to be done in our state to provide appropriate placements in our child welfare system.  One way the Coalition is working with our DHS partners is in supporting the Oklahoma Fosters initiative.”

Oklahoma Fosters is a statewide campaign uniting state, tribal and local governments, businesses, nonprofits and the faith-based community to end the foster care crisis in Oklahoma. The first goal is to help DHS recruit more than 1,000 new safe, loving foster families statewide by the end of June 2016. The hope is that the Oklahoma Fosters campaign is the birth of a statewide movement around the foster care crisis.  More information can be found at www.oklahomafosters.com

Read the entire Press Release here: Tulsa Child Protection Coalition Press Release – Nov 23

Oklahoma shows little to no improvement for major factors in child well-being according to the latest KIDS COUNT report released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. OK ranked 39th overall, same as last year, and state data showed a slight worsening in three of four economic factors: children in poverty, children whose parents lack secure employment and number of teens not working and not in school.

The newly released KIDS COUNT Data Book is a great resource for checking how well we measure up in child wellbeing against other states. Check it out here: 25th Edition of the National KIDS COUNT Data Book

In the September 2015 issue of Tulsa People, Former Director Lynn Sossamon shares our Coalition stakeholders’ perspective and ideas on the future of the Laura Dester Children’s Center. Several foster family stories are also included in this feature.

The Tulsa County Child Protection Coalition was featured recently in the Tulsa Business & Legal News.  Executive Director Kristine Bridges discusses the Coalition’s mission and its key partnerships supporting the child protection system.  EDITOR’s NOTE: Children’s Action Network was mistakenly not listed as a founding member in this article.

Read the full story

Shutting down Laura Dester will require many adjustments.

The closing of the Pauline Mayer Shelter in Oklahoma City provided a blueprint for shifting the use of Tulsa’s Laura Dester Shelter by the end of the year, officials from the state Department of Human Services told a group of advocates and stakeholders Thursday.

Read the full story in the Tulsa World

Angry doesn’t begin to describe the small brown dog yapping canine curses. Until 40 strangers on a tour invaded his space and took turns peering into his temporary quarters, he’d had this spacious kennel all to himself.

Read the full opinion piece from Julie DelCour in the Tulsa World.

Oklahoma is making strides in lowering caseloads for child welfare workers to allow for more visits to foster children, but it’s failing in finding enough therapeutic foster homes and permanent placements, according to a report released Wednesday.

Read the full story in the Tulsa World.