What ideas do you have to better the lives of Oklahoma’s children?
A healthy childhood begins in a healthy home. We need to continue the fight to keep children at home with their parents and out of state custody.
I look forward to Speaker McCall approving my interim study request to shorten the time children are in the State’s care. On average, children remain in state custody for 16.3 months, the national average is 9.1. Development, health outcomes, educational outcomes, etc. are far better for children at home versus state custody.
What have you done to support children prior to this election?
Prior to running for office, I worked and volunteered for children’s services. For seven years, I worked in pediatrics at The Children’s Hospital at St. Francis in Tulsa and have worked with Youth Services of Tulsa’s Safe Place Program. As a volunteer, I served as both a Creek County CASA advocate and as former chairman of Youth Services of Creek County. Helping children and families in need is my calling and I hope I am able to further serve in this capacity at the Capitol.
What will you do to support families in your new role, if elected?
I believe the priority of the legislature should be to reduce ACE scores for Oklahoma children. There are many avenues to achieve this goal. Domestic violence continues to destroy families in this state. It is imperative that we pursue initiatives to help families combat poverty, food insecurity, and substance abuse. Further work in criminal justice reform, rehabilitation/treatment, drug court, and mental health go hand-in-hand with helping families stick together and keeping children in safe, healthy homes.