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Library: Policy

340:75-10-8. Purpose and authority

Revised 7-1-11

 (a) Purpose.  The emergency shelters managed and operated by Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) provide, temporary placement for children ages 0 to 17 years of age who have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect.

(b) Authority.  OKDHS is authorized pursuant to Section 1-9-111 of Title 10A of the Oklahoma Statutes (10A O.S. § 1-9-111) to manage and operate the children's shelter located in Oklahoma City, known and designated as the Pauline Mayer Children's Shelter, and the children's shelter located in Tulsa, known and designated as the Laura Dester Children's Center.

(c) Certification.  OKDHS managed and operated shelters are certified by the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth in accordance with 10 O.S. § 601.3 and the Child Care Facilities Licensing Act.

(d) Admissions.

  • (1) Children between the ages of 0 and 17 years of age may be admitted to an OKDHS-operated shelter by a:

    • (A) law enforcement officer who has assumed protective custody of the child without a court order;

    • (B) law enforcement officer who has executed a court order for emergency custody of the child;

    • (C) child welfare specialist with court-ordered emergency custody of the child; or

    • (D) child welfare specialist, when the child is in the emergency, temporary, or permanent custody of OKDHS and the child has experienced a placement disruption.  • 1

  • (2) Children with substantial physical injuries, medical problems, or who appear chemically intoxicated, are seen by medical personnel prior to admission to the shelter.  An examination is facilitated before admission by the police officer when the child is in protective custody or by OKDHS when the child is in OKDHS emergency, temporary, or permanent custody.  • 2

(e) Capacity.  The Pauline E. Mayer Children's Shelter has a licensed capacity of 48 children and the Laura Dester Children's Center has a licensed capacity of 63 children.  Pursuant to 10A O.S. § 1-9-111, OKDHS has structured a plan to place no more than 25 children at a time in each OKDHS managed and operated shelter.  Foster care homes are utilized for placement of children instead of the shelters when possible.  • 3

(f) Confidentiality.  In accordance with 10A O.S. § 1-6-103, information acquired as a result of a child's placement in the shelter is confidential and may be disclosed only as provided by the Oklahoma Children’s Code, applicable state or federal law, regulation, or court order.  OKDHS is not prohibited from disclosing confidential information necessary to secure appropriate care, treatment, protection, or supervision of a child alleged to be abused or neglected.  • 4


Revised 7-1-11

1.(a) Admission by a Child Welfare (CW) worker.The CW worker accompanies the child to the shelter and provides information essential to planning the child's care including, but not limited to:

(1) the child's identifying information such as name, date of birth, and parent(s)' name and address;

(2) the child's medical information such as current prescriptions, planned medical appointments, medical problems, and current medical provider;

(3) the reason for admission;

(4) discharge plans;

(5) any significant behaviors regarding the child such as suicidal behavior;

(6) visitation plans; and

(7) the child's education history such as the name of the last school and grade attended.The CW worker continues to provide updated information during the child's stay.

(b) Shelter Child Welfare specialist (CWS) responsibilities.The CWS:

(1) counsels the child admitted to the shelter:

(A) to assist with the child's adjustment to the facility;

(B) to provide the child an age-appropriate explanation of the shelter's rules, the child's rights, and the grievance process;

(C) regarding the child's family situation, return home, or pending change of placement; and

(D) about acceptable behavior and the consequences of misbehavior.

(2) documents information including, but not limited to:

(A) information provided by law enforcement or the CW worker during the admission process;

(B) date and time of admission;

(C) reason for admission;

(D) name of staff person on duty during admission;

(E) description of the child's physical and emotional condition, including child's bodily injuries;

(F) comments relating to circumstances concerning the child's placement;

(G) name of child's school and grade;

(H) child's parent's names, address, and phone number; and

(I) child's medical conditions and current medications;

(3) reviews and prints information from KIDS necessary to planning the child's care and places the information in the child's shelter record;

(4) updates the KIDS system during the resident's stay in the shelter, including the shelter admission and discharge, and entrance into emergency foster care, when applicable; and

(5) maintains the resident's shelter record.

(c) Shelter direct care specialist (DCS) responsibilities during the admission process.The DCS:

(A) records the child's weight and height;

(B) ensures the child is fed, bathed, and provided clean clothing, as needed;

(C) orients the child to the shelter; and

(D) documents child's bodily injuries when requested.

2.Medical exam prior to admission.When a child arrives for admission to the shelter with a medical problem, injury, or appears chemically intoxicated and has not been cleared by medical personnel for admission to a shelter setting, shelter staff requests:

(1) when the child is in protective custody that law enforcement obtain medical attention and clearance for the child to be placed in a shelter setting; or

(2) when the child is in OKDHS emergency, temporary, or permanent custody that the CW worker obtain medical attention and clearance for the child to be placed in a shelter setting.

3.Shelter capacity.It is the intent that children move from shelter care into appropriate placements as soon as possible with the goal that the child five years of age or younger is discharged to emergency foster care (EFC), per OAC 340:75-7-262 at the earliest opportunity.The shelter CWS notifies the EFC contractor and facilitates placement when appropriate.All information secured during the intake process is shared with the EFC provider by the shelter CWS.

4.Diversion.OKDHS operated shelters deny further admission of children in OKDHS custody when operating at 90% capacity, in order to meet obligations under established court orders.

(1) When the resident population of the Pauline E. Mayer (PEM) shelter reaches 42 or more children, or the Laura Dester Shelter (LDS) reaches a resident population of 50 or more children, the shelter administrator or designee directs CWS staff to divert further admissions or current residents to other non-OKDHS operated shelters.This process continues until the PEM population is reduced to less than 42 or the LDS population is reduced to less than 50 children.

(2) When a child arrives at the shelter for admission and diversion is necessary, the child is admitted and the intake process is completed.

(3) Shelter CWS staff contacts participating youth services shelters to arrange placement of the child requiring diversion.All intake information is sent with the child to the youth services shelter.

(4) The child diverted to a youth services shelter is not returned to PEM or LDS.EFC services are sought for the eligible child who is diverted.

(5) The admitting shelter CWS documents in KIDS the arrival, departure, and diverted placement of the child.

5.Confidentiality.Confidential information may be disclosed as necessary to secure appropriate care, treatment, protection, or supervision of a child alleged or adjudicated to be abused or neglected.Staff shares information only with persons who require the information to carry out their professional duties and who are bound by the same rules of confidentiality, such as police, physicians, psychologists, social workers, child welfare specialists, and DCS who are directly responsible for the welfare of the children.Shelter staff consult the supervisor when questions arise about disclosure of confidential information

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