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Frequently Asked Questions

Oklahoma Statutes

Title 10A. Children and Juvenile Code

 

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ'S)

Your right as a parent

How do I contact/visit a youth in custody?

If you need information about your child in state custody, please call or email the case manager. If your child has been arrested by law enforcement, he/she may have been taken to the nearest detention or receiving/youth services center. (Do we have a link to OJA policy for more information?)

Who is the legal guardian?

At the time your child is placed with the Office of Juvenile Affairs (OJA), temporary custody is given to OJA by order of a juvenile judge. Parents remain the child’s legal guardian.

What are my parental rights with a youth in the system?

As legal guardian, you will be given the opportunity to take an active role in treatment decisions, including but not limited to, participation in treatment decisions, treatment team meetings and access to family counseling sessions. The Court may order you child support payments to OJA during the child’s time in out of home placement.

What is my role as a parent once my child is ordered into custody?

As legal guardian, you will be given the opportunity to take an active role in treatment decisions, including but not limited to, participation in treatment decisions, treatment team meetings and access to family counseling sessions. The Court may order you child support payments to OJA during the child’s time in out of home placement.

Who is my contact person?

Your contact person is the case worker. Parents are encouraged to maintain close contact with their case worker.

Your child requirements

How long will my child be in out of home placement?

Your child will be given a treatment plan from the facility upon completion of the treatment plan the child will be allowed to return home. Residential Level E programs have an average length of stay of seven (7) months. Secure care treatment facilities have an average length of stay of twelve (12) months. Family engagement in the treatment process typically helps a child stay focused and complete their plan according to the appropriate time table. 

What happens if my child does not follow the program or fails to complete the program?

Upon placement into the facility the child and parent/guardian will be given a copy of the treatment plan and facility handbook. This information will provide you with protocols in place if your child is not following their treatment plan. If those protocols do not work, your juvenile justice specialist will work with the appropriate juvenile justice staff to decide next steps.

Other questions 

What services are available once my child returns home?

Many services are available to youth and families after the youth is released. Services may vary depending on what area of the state you live in. OJA case managers can contract for out-patient services once your child returns home if they are still in the state’s custody. Secure-care youth may receive (any type of program for them) as well as individual and family counseling. Case managers can also contract for out-patient services for youth on parole.

Does a mental health counselor see the youth while in detention?

Yes, depending on the needs of the youth. The department currently contracts with private mental health providers to provide mental health services at detention center. Each mental health provider must designate a single licensed mental health professional to serve as the Designated Mental Health Authority in the detention center. The detention center’s mental health clinical staff ensures that youth with identified mental health, substance abuse and/or suicide risk issues are seen for the purposes of screening, assessment, treatment and crisis intervention services.

What services are available for my child to avoid more trouble?

OJA has contracts with thirty-nine (39) Youth Service agencies that provide services for youth in all seventy-seven (77) counties at no or minimal cost to families. Services provided by these agencies include but are limited to: “prevention” or “diversion” programs, individual and/or family counseling, life skills programs, tutoring, or truancy prevention, drug and alcohol counseling, and other services depending on the agency. Each agency also offers families a program based on the “It’s My Life” model that teaches youth better skills to make healthy choices and helps develop better communication skills.

 

Children and Juvenile Code §10A-1-6-102. Confidential records.

A. Except as provided by this section and except as otherwise specifically provided by state and federal laws, the following records are confidential and shall not be open to the general public or inspected or their contents disclosed:

1. Juvenile court records;

2. Agency records;

3. District attorney's records;

4. Court Appointed Special Advocate records pertaining to a child welfare case;

5. Law enforcement records;

6. Nondirectory education records; and

7. Social records.

B. The limitation of subsection A of this section shall not apply to statistical information and other abstract information obtained pursuant to the provisions of the Oklahoma Children's Code.

C. Except as authorized by Section 620.6 of Title 10 of the Oklahoma Statutes and this chapter and except as otherwise specifically provided by state and federal laws pertaining to education records, medical records, drug or alcohol treatment records, law enforcement, or social service records, the records listed in subsection A of this section shall be confidential and shall be inspected, released, disclosed, corrected or expunged only pursuant to an order of the court. A subpoena or subpoena duces tecum purporting to compel testimony or disclosure of such information or record shall be invalid.

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