Honoring 100 for the 100th: Lloyd Rader

Image of Lloyd RaderLloyd Rader Sr. was born August 30, 1906, and died December 6, 1986. History will be the best judge of the life and time of Lloyd Rader, Oklahoma's retired Director of Human Services and one of Oklahoma's foremost authorities in that field. His death at 80 ends a remarkable lifetime of service to his beloved Oklahoma.

Rader took over an inadequate welfare program 31 years ago. He served under eight governors in developing one of America's most progressive systems of help for the elderly, handicapped, children in trouble, and those mired in poverty and neglect.

During his tenure, he pioneered programs such as in-house services for the handicapped, programs in juvenile justice, foster grandparents, workfare, and programs for the intellectually disabled.

When he retired in 1982, he had already become the longest serving Director of Social Services in America and was one of the most respected persons in his field. He was considered in Washington to be the final authority in the delivery of social services on effective methods.

What these facts of Rader’s life cannot capture is the depth of his love and concern for the oppressed populations, especially children in trouble. What no historian will be able to capture was his determination to bring professionalism to a struggling department.

It was Lloyd Rader who required every appointment to his agency to pass a merit exam to ensure competence. He enhanced professionalism within the agency and helped produced the finest doctors, therapists, psychologists, and social workers.

As Oklahoma faced crises, governors and legislative leaders turned to Lloyd Rader for help. Over the years, they transferred agencies under the human services umbrella. The reason was simple: Rader had the administrative ability to create the change needed. His legacy will be known as one of positive social change as Rader was a change agent.

1 comment (Add your own)

1. Mike Fogarty wrote:
Many hundreds of us were able to complete MSW due to Lloyd Rader's enthusiastic support for employee social work graduate degree scholarships. I would like to think that over these many years Oklahomans in need have benefited from his insight to invest in the agency's and our future.
The last transfer of a state function in desperate need his leadership and resourcefulness was the OU teaching hospitals. They simply would not have survived to become the great centers of healthcare and education they are today were it not for his dedication, skill and hard work.

Mon, April 10, 2017 @ 12:05 PM

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