The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) was launched in 1983 by a group of citizens as the result of an investigative report by the national news media which exposed a horrific story of cruelty and abuse experienced by Oklahoma children who were in the state’s custody.  That media report, “Oklahoma Shame,” spurred child advocates from every corner of the state into action to create an organization whose mission was to ensure the protection of Oklahoma’s children. OICA was established to create a strong advocacy network that would provide a voice for the needs of children and youth in Oklahoma, particularly those in the state’s care and those growing up amid poverty, violence, abuse and neglect, disparities, or other situations that put their lives and future at risk.


Our Mission:
“Creating awareness, taking action, and supporting policy to improve
the health, safety, and well-being of Oklahoma’s children.”

OICA has remained vigilant to that mission, fighting for policies that improve the lives of children and families and being their voice at the State Capitol and in the communities where they live and learn.

Our advocacy in action:

  • Is Data-Driven – sharing the latest, most relevant data and research on key issues and indicators related to the well-being of children and youth.
  • Promotes Best Practices – translating data and research into practice and promoting best-practice program models and effective partnerships that achieve results.
  • Supports Policies – using data, research, and partnerships to identify solutions and inform policy-making decisions.

For three decades, the Institute has been informing and educating state policymakers and other citizens on the importance of investing wisely in children and families.  We understand that when children thrive — our state thrives.  Whether working with state policymakers and agencies, or with health, education, business, and community organizations across our state, Oklahoma’s children — and our state’s economy — are reaping the benefits of the work we do together as voices for Oklahoma’s future.

Our goal, quite simply, is to ensure that every child in Oklahoma – from birth to adulthood – is nurtured, healthy, educated, protected from harm, and thriving.  We have a lot of work to do, together, to achieve that goal!

Board of Directors

Annual Reports

OICA Staff

Recommended Resources

State Issue Initiatives



Our Partners:

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