Project Overview for OKDHS

OKDHSOklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) identified the need to obtain support from the private sector to improve child welfare in the State of Oklahoma. The main focus of the project was to develop a system to improve the following:

  1. Recruitment and support of resource families.
  2. Increase efficiency of child welfare to enable OKDHS to provide more support and a higher quality of care to the children of OK.
  3. Increase the child welfare workforce capacity to enable OKDHS to fulfill support requirements and ensure the quality of the child welfare is meeting expectations and standards.

Project Objective

The OKDHS’s goal is for private vendors to: provide a system which enables children to be placed in a resource home on the same day they are referred, remain with their siblings, in their school and in their community.

Pinnacle Plan Standards OKDHS 2012 Baseline
# of total approved homes 1,669 1,169
# of total of children in custody per year N/A 13,557
% of children with less than three placements 58% 50%
# of child-nights spent in shelters per year 0 52,558
% of children not maltreated 99% 97%
% of children contacted by primary case worker 90% 51%
% of children returning within 1 year of discharge 8% 10%
% of families dropped due to poor customer service 0% 15%

Figure 1: OKDHS Baseline Performance Metrics

Vision of OKDHS

After cancelling contracts that resulted from use of the “traditional method”, the OKDHS requested the assistance of the OMES Central Procurement Division to optimize the quality of services and overall value provided to OKDHS. OMES with the assistance of Performance Based Studies Research Group (PBSRG) from Arizona State University wanted to implement the following futuristic concepts:

  1. Replace management, direction, and control (MDC) with the utilization of expertise.
  2. Identify experts who have expertise that can radically improve the existing conditions.
  3. Motivate the experts by giving them total control over their operations, have their own quality control and risk management system that is governed by metrics.
  4. Provide an environment of transparency that brings accountability and optimal performance.
  5. Transform a government operation into a public – private partnership that empowers the expert vendors and utilizes the leadership and resources of the government sector.

Vendor Selection

In October of 2012 OKDHS used the traditional vendor solicitation process for this project but due received tremendous feedback from the lawmakers, vendors, and stakeholders. OKDHS decided to cancel the 28 contracts awarded to 10 vendors and rebid the project using the best value PIPS process.

In August of 2013 OKDHS used the Best Value PIPS process to award 4 contracts to the most expert vendors. The Results of the vendor selection was the following:

  1. The PIPS process received 33% less questions than the traditional RFP. When accounting for “procedural questions” the PIPS RFP received nearly 50% less questions than the traditional RFP.
  2. The cost of the vendors services decreased by 20% even though the same vendors were awarded the contract [Traditional Cost: $10M vs. Best Value Cost: $8M]. The projected costs of the traditional RFP were approximately $10.5M. After utilizing Best Value PIPS, the projected project costs have decreased to $8.7M, a 19% decrease in the original budget.
  3. The Best Value PIPS solicitation took only 3 months to complete compared to the traditional process which took over 9 months.


In an effort to improve child welfare in the State of Oklahoma, OKDHS has awarded contracts to 4 private vendors to help develop a child placement program that will:

  1. Increase transparency and accountability in the child welfare system through documentation, measurement of performance, and making the information available to the public via the web.
  2. Create a system that will meet the Pinnacle plan requirements.
  3. Use the most qualified experts to recruit and support bridge families, place children, and minimize issues and risk in the child welfare system.
  4. Increase efficiency of child welfare to enable OKDHS to provide more support and a higher quality of care to the children of Oklahoma and participants.

Foster Care

July 8th 2016, Governor Mary Fallin from the State of Oklahoma announced that the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS), has successfully reached the goal of recruiting more than 1,000 new foster families in Oklahoma. DHS also has reported that the number of children in state custody has dropped below 10,000 for the first time in three years.

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