OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Lilyfield’s new prevention program, EmpowerOKC, received a grant from the Corporation for National and Community Services (CNCS) to improve outcomes and overcome barriers for at-risk students.

“We believe all children, regardless of their circumstances or background, deserve a safe and stable family environment,” Executive Director of Lilyfield Holly Towers said. “At Lilyfield, we care for children in the child welfare system by connecting them with foster and adoptive families. However, research shows that in many circumstances, a child fares better when his or her birth family stays intact and is supported with resources to keep them healthy and safe We are working with at-risk families to help resolve the issues that lead to foster care in the first place.”

Through a partnership with the Oklahoma City Public Schools (OKCPS) and the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS), EmpowerOKC is implementing Check and Connect, an evidence based, comprehensive student engagement intervention in south Oklahoma City. Check and Connect is a structured mentoring program that utilizes mentors who serve children and their families through a combination of in-school and out-of-school check-ins.

Among the mentors serving with the EmpowerOKC program are community volunteers and AmeriCorps members. The swearing-in ceremony for the AmeriCorps members serving in the 2019-2020 school year will take place on September 6, 2019, at 10 a.m. at the former Westwood Elementary School building, 1701 Exchange Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73108.

Lilyfield is a nonprofit organization with offices in Tulsa, Edmond, and south Oklahoma City. The EmpowerOKC is a prevention program designed to reduce the circumstances that lead families to be involved with the child welfare system and respond to the educational, social and emotional needs of children who have experienced or are at high risk of experiencing abuse or neglect. The program is dedicated to building healthy families and communities where children can be safe and can thrive.

EmpowerOKC has five focus areas: education, family strengthening/mental health, health and wellness, housing and economic development. To learn more visit www.lilyfield.org or www.empowerfamiliesokc.org.