Hearing Held On Reforming DHS

Tuesday, April 8th 2008, 6:05 pm
By: News On 6

At the Oklahoma Capitol, an Oklahoma lawmaker is taking another crack at reforming the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.

Representative Richard Morrissette's bill to split DHS into smaller, more manageable divisions never got out of committee, so on Tuesday, Morrissette held a public hearing on the issue.

On what was Child Abuse Prevention Day at the Capitol, several people, many with DHS horror stories to tell, testified in front of Morrissette and others.

One woman said DHS is forcing her 9-year-old granddaughter to live in a home where she's being sexually abused.  She says DHS is dysfunctional and lawmakers need to do something.

"I don't think the legislators realize how strong this is to the voters.  I don't think they think it's important enough that it needs to be addressed," said Allene Hebensperger.

A common theme among those testifying was that DHS workers lack competence and that the agency refuses to accept responsibility when that lack of competence causes problems for clients.

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