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Tribe Brings Online Network to Help Foster Kids to Cherokee County

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Cherokee Nation Welcome Center
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Cherokee Nation is the first tribe in Oklahoma to join an online network aimed at helping foster children.

The tribe has joined CarePortal, a network that partners with churches. Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. said churches will receive alerts when foster children in Cherokee County have needs.

"For example, if it's something as simple as needing a new change of clothes for a toddler, I mean, we can have the faith-based community step up and get that resource to the child," Hoskin said.

Nine churches have signed up for alerts so far.

"It's going to give them an opportunity to know where to go to help out because they've got great hearts, they want to help and this is a great tool to connect them with us and with other agencies in the area," Hoskin said.

The hope is more churches will join CarePortal soon.

"We're never surprised when we make a call for help that the churches stand up and help, and so in this case, we think that more and more churches will get connected to the CarePortal to give their folks a way to give back," Hoskin said.

Cherokee Nation is the first Oklahoma tribe and Cherokee County is the fourth Oklahoma county to have a CarePortal network. The tribal and county governments will co-coordinate the network.

There are about 1,800 Cherokee kids in foster care right now.