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Ardmore officials meet with state youth organizations

Published: Oct. 7, 2021 at 12:15 PM CDT
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ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) - Leaders from the Oklahoma commission on children and youth and the Oklahoma institute for child advocacy have been traveling across the state and touring communities to gain insight on local childcare practices to help them create the Oklahoma state plan for services to children and youth.

On Wednesday they made their final stop here at the Ardmore public library.

The plan that OCCY is creating will help childcare services across the state determine what they can do better.

OCCY executive director Annette Wisk Jacobi says they are going directly to communities to hear about some of the challenges they’re currently facing.

“We want to be a voice and lift up those issues particularly the common themes across the state,” Jacobi said.

A common theme heard on all six stops is a need for alternative hour childcare for families with jobs that work unusual shifts.

However Ardmore did have unique issues that were presented by city officials.

“If juveniles are having a mental crises we really do not have a place for them to go,” said Ardmore Chief of police Kevin Norris. “There is counseling available but sometimes people need more than counseling, they may need to have some in service treatment rather than outpatient and i believe its important that we get something in our area.”

The commission will use the information they’ve gathered to create a report on what communities should do more or less of going forward.

Ardmore Mayor Sheryl Ellis believes that this direct approach will lead to better results.

“Talking to the people who are actually dealing with the issues, are aware of the issues, are aware of maybe some solutions on what has gotten better and what has gotten worse,” Ellis said. “And what it says to me is there really is help out there all we have to do is work together.”

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