Foster Care

Matt Trotter / KWGS News

Help is on its way to hundreds of foster families in five counties neighboring Tulsa.

Tulsa-based nonprofit Fostering Connections bought a Thomas Built bus for the new Mobile Connections program. They'll stock the bus with clothes, toys, furniture, hygiene products, car seats and other items, then drive them out to give away to foster families in need living in Creek, Okmulgee, Osage, Rogers and Wagoner counties.

Fostering Connections Programs Director Mandy Graham said unlike expecting parents, foster parents may learn they’re getting a child within hours.

KWGS News

The coronavirus pandemic has put a strain on Oklahoma’s child welfare system.

The pandemic initially diverted the Oklahoma Department of Human Services’ attention from improvements needed to help kids in foster care with multiple needs, like health and behavioral issues. There was a need for the agency to suddenly shift social workers to telework and scale back in-person visits.

On this encore edition of ST, we hear from the Oklahoma-based writer and writing teacher Brandon Hobson, whose latest novel is "Where the Dead Sit Talking." Set in rural Oklahoma during the late 1980s, it's a lyrical and at times troubling story about a fifteen-year-old Cherokee boy who's been placed in foster care. As was noted of this book in a starred Publishers Weekly review: "Hobson's narrative control is stunning.... Far more than a mere coming-of-age story, this is a remarkable and moving novel."

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak with Jeff Olivet, who is the President and CEO of the Boston-based Center for Social Innovation. Olivet is also a nationally recognized expert on homelessness, poverty, affordable housing, behavioral health, public health, and HIV -- and he'll be speaking about "Racism and Homelessness in America" at this year's National Zarrow Mental Health Symposium, which happens here in Tulsa from today (the 28th) through Friday (the 30th) at the Cox Business Center downtown.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak with Alton Carter, an Oklahoma Book Award-winning author whose memoir, "The Boy Who Carried Bricks," was originally published in 2015. It's a painful-to-read yet ultimately uplifting autobiography that details Carter's growing up in smalltown Oklahoma. Carter will be participating in the upcoming "Chapters" event at the TCCL's Hardesty Regional Library, on September 8th at 6:30pm; this event is a fundraiser in support of adult literacy programs, and the deadline to register for it is September 1st.

Our guest today on ST is the child welfare advocate and author Ashley Rhodes-Courter (born 1985), whose first book, a memoir called "Three Little Words," began as a prize-winning high school essay, later appeared in The New York Times Magazine, and finally became a bestselling book.