For The Children Weekly Column

Interim Study Requests Help “Break the Ice” with Lawmakers

June 20, 2022



Contact: Joe Dorman, CEO – Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy

Telephone: (405) 833-1117


OKLAHOMA CITY – If you do not know your own lawmaker and have an issue which would be good to review for Oklahoma children and families, the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) is interested in hearing from you.

Legislative leaders set the deadline for requesting interim studies as Friday, June 24. Now is the time to submit ideas for consideration by lawmakers before next session. These studies are official meetings held to review policy issues, held as committee hearings between legislative sessions.

They allow lawmakers and advocates to discuss ideas which might be considered in future bills, or possibly look at something which might be under implementation. You can submit your idea for a children’s policy study to OICA at and we will pass it on to a member of the Legislature.

Lawmakers often file these studies to look at issues at the request of constituents, the people who live in the area which can vote for that official. If you are not in contact with your own state senator or representative, then this is a good way to “break the ice” and get to know them.

You should either reach out to their Capitol office, or possibly meet with them while they are home over the summer months. Many will have campaigns running either for the upcoming Primary Election next week, or with a General Election in November; even so, they are almost always happy to hear from those they represent.

Ideas from citizens can make a difference. OICA was founded almost 40 years ago due to the idea of advocates who recognized the need for a watchdog organization to monitor policies which impact the youth of our state. Following the “Terry D” lawsuit, the action which broke the Department of Human Services into various entities and set up internal government oversight, the need for an outside-of-government watchdog on children’s issues was clear.

OICA has taken that mission seriously ever since, encouraging advocates to get involved and empowering other youth nonprofits to engage with their collective voices. As I mentioned, the Primary Elections will be next Tuesday, June 28 across the state. Candidates are vying for their party’s nomination during these early elections.

We have several races with both Republicans and Democrats, so every registered voter in Oklahoma will have choices to make. It is too late to request an absentee ballot, but you will be able to vote at your county election board on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday; or you can vote at your normal polling place on Election Day.

If you are interested in which candidates filled out our candidate survey on children’s policy, you can go to to see responses for those who were willing to answer the questions we asked about how they would enact policy to help children.  You can also go to our website to see our report card on the legislators who voted on youth issues over the past session.

Making an informed decision with your ballot is critical if we are going to see better from our elected officials. We hope this information – presented in a non-partisan, apolitical manner – will help you decide for whom you wish to vote.