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With transportation a major obstacle, grant is aimed at helping families

Sue Ann Arnall, left, met with Millie Carpenter, interim director of child welfare services at the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, at an event Thursday to announce an Arnall Family Foundation grant to fund development of innovative transportation solutions for underserved populations. [Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman]

A Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization has been selected to lead a four-year pilot project geared toward reuniting parents with children who have been removed from home and placed in foster care.

The Arnall Family Foundation said the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) will receive a $1 million "transportation innovation" grant focused on Oklahoma County families.

Participants will receive help with child visitation, and with class, therapy sessions, and court hearing attendance, the foundation said in a grant announcement.

Services will include on-demand rides and one-on-one mobility coaching for biological parents. Planned and unanticipated trips necessary to fulfill obligations will be scheduled through a custom mobile app.

Foundation President Sue Ann Arnall said the association's experience "developing transportation solutions for social service as well as their collaborative approach with local partners made them the clear winner.”

The foundation announced the grant competition last August.

The winning organization gets four years and $1 million to develop a pilot program for improving transportation for parents working toward reunification with their children.

In announcing the competition, Arnall said one goal was to develop ideas that could "be replicated to benefit other vulnerable populations, including those affected by the criminal justice system."

She said transportation needs were identified by the United Way of Central Oklahoma as among the top three obstacles facing clients of the organization's partner agencies.

William Crum

OU and Norman High School graduate, formerly worked as a reporter and editor for the Associated Press, the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, and the Norman Transcript. Married, two children, lives in... Read more ›