OKLAHOMA CITY – State leaders demand accountability of the commissions who overseas theDHS. In the past ten years 129 children have died while in DHS custody. Several lawmakers are outraged about the number of tragedies.
Earlier this week, Representatives Mike Sanders and Richard Morrissette baited the eight commissioners of the DHS to volunterily come answer some questions about DHS failure.
Mike Sanders says, “We’ve heard the swan song. We were following proceedures and children are still dying. I would like to know (excuse my french) does that make you mad as hell when you heard that answer? That that is the standard company line.”
Anne Roberts and Steven Dow were the only two commissioners who came. Both are relatively new appointees. Both were clearly frustrated as well. Roberts and Dow started their nine year terms at the request of Governor Brad Henry. They are hopeful a new practice model unveiled yesterday will help.
The commissioners believe part of the reason their commission has been ineffective in implementing change is a serious lack of information. Seven DHS kids have died since 2010. However, the commission has never discussed any of those cases specifically.
They have never had access to cricical confidential information. Morrissette blames a muddled beaucratic mess heavy with unneccessary “middle-managers.”
DHS funding accounts for 35% of our state budget. It is the third largest state-funded agency. Critics say there are for too many supervisors collecting salaries and contributing to the problem.
Mike Sanders says, “At the end of the day this is a black eye on teh face of our great state.”