Last Saturday, more than 30 children in foster care and their families participated in the first “Fostering Outdoor Oklahoma Families” event. This collaborative partnership between Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS), Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC), State Sen. Paul Rosino, Oklahoma City Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 123 (OKCFOP), International Association of Firefighters Local 157 (OKCFF) and the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Foundation (OWCF) brought families and children together with first responders and Wildlife Department staff to enjoy an evening of fun, food and fishing.

The participating children in foster care received a new rod-reel-tackle combo purchased by OKCFF, OKCFOP and OWCF to use at the event and take home. The Foundation also gave fishing licenses to foster parents wanting to continue their families’ fishing adventures after the event.

Through the great national pastime of fishing, kids get to build confidence, social and emotional skills, communication and an appreciation for nature while getting them away from technology for a while. Fishing also allows families to build closer relationships by enjoying the activity together. And catching fish is just a lot of fun!

“Watching our kids and families interact with local police, firefighters and ODWC staff while reeling in fish after fish was so heartwarming,” said OKDHS Director Justin Brown, who is also the state’s Secretary of Human Services and Early Childhood Initiatives. “Events like this demonstrate the positive changes happening within communities across the state thanks to these critical state and local partnerships. We are making joint responses that bring hope to Oklahoma’s children and families.”

ODWC Director J.D. Strong said, “One of the highlights of my career was kicking off this new partnership with OKDHS. There’s nothing more rewarding in life than sharing the joys of fishing with those who need more joy in their lives. This event was the launch

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