Representative Ron Maurer and Linda Flores call for welfare investigation

Press release from State Representative Ron Mauer and State Representative Linda Flores 12-18-2007:

Reps Maurer & Flores Call for Child Welfare Investigation

(Salem) “Oregonians deserve to know what’s really happening to these children we send out of the country,” said State Representative Ron Maurer (R-Grants Pass) after learning one of the eleven children who have been sent to Mexico to live with relatives has been murdered. This disturbing news was disclosed by Bryan Johnston, the Interim Director for the Department of Human Services (DHS) Division for Children, Adults and Families, on the Lars Larson Radio program earlier today. State Representative Linda Flores (R-Clackamas) was equally outraged explaining, “this development raises even more questions about the lack of accountability inside this agency. Clearly we need more oversight and a top-to-bottom review of how these cases are handled.”

Maurer and Flores have both been named to serve on a special Sensitive Review Committee which has been charged with examining the case involving Gabriel Allred, the young boy who was almost sent to Mexico to live with a relative he had never met. Last week DHS agreed to allow Gabriel to be adopted by his foster parents in Oregon. The Review Committee meets for the first time this Wednesday. 19 children under state custody have been sent to other countries for adoption in recent years.

Maurer, an Assistant Whip for the House Republican Caucus intends to contact Dr. Goldberg, DHS Director, to personally express his concerns about how these decisions are made. Flores, the Deputy Whip for House Republicans started looking into a number of related issues when she chaired the House DHS Taskforce Subcommittee on Child Welfare in 2006. Maurer and Flores sponsored legislation this year to create a special Inspector General’s office to provide outside, independent review of actions taken by DHS in cases such as baby Gabriel.

“What is disturbing to me is this department is perceived to be run by investigative journalism,” noted Maurer. In yet another alarming disclosure Johnson stated that DHS relies on their counterparts abroad to assess the living situation of the adoptive family in their country. Those foreign agencies then certify that family meets their own standards not the ones we use in Oregon. “Clearly a second or third world country will have a different standard of what is acceptable,” said Flores.

Both Maurer and Flores serve on the House Committee on Health Care. Maurer also serves on the Committee for Human Services and Women’s Wellness. He is Co-Chair of the Legislature’s Mental Health caucus and is a founding member of the Senior and Disability caucus. Flores is a member of the House Judiciary Committee and the Oregon Commission for Child Care. “Clearly our state’s youngest and most vulnerable citizens have been unnecessarily been put in harms way. This is unacceptable and DHS must be held accountable,” pointed out Maurer.

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Posted by at 08:54 | Posted in Measure 37 | 5 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • CRAWDUDE

    Wait a minute, once again, how many children sent to live with unfit parents in this country suffer the same fate?

    What are these 2 politicians plans to stop that abuse? Do they have one?

  • Richard Brown

    First of all good work Lars but I still hate you Statist Guts. I still think Lars should had pushed and have Dr. Goldberg name the Kenya Child welfare agency charge to inspect the home. I did not know one exist. As for the Children sent to Mexico DHS can brag that 90.9% of children are still alive.

    This is just part of a bigger national problem with social work and child government welfare agencies in the US. This is putting family ties and race before the welfare of the child. I am Black and I can care less about the race of the a couple wanting to adopt Black cchild. To me a love two parent home beats out racial considerations.

  • RinoWatch

    Unfortunately, in this state a Republican’s call for an investigation is like _____ing in the wind…

    Been there, done that.

  • Captain_Anon

    I personally think the baby gabriel case was insane. i’m glad he is staying in oregon with the allards. I also believe that sending the kids abroad was PROBABLY a bad idea. but not necessarily without knowing all the facts.

    that being said, i think it’s BS for flores and maurer to be expressing outrage over this. the state of oregon is not responsible for sending representatives to foreign nations to examine and investigate home conditions or situations of families. it is not their job to investigate murders in other countries. that is a complete waste of tax payer money. it is entirely appropriate for our government to ask the government of another country if the proposed home of the child is appropriate. that is for them to decide. they know thier country best, not us. While i consider mexico and Kenya thrid world nations, they also have families and areas of great wealth. Mexico has a substantial middle class and small upper class. Kenya has a middle class as well. a child placed in those homes could do very well.

    I think the representatives are just taking this opportunity to bash an agency they love to hate. there is no way any person, or agency is able to foresee and/or stop abuse or murder from happening. people get murdered all the time and always without knowing its coming. people get abused all the time. craw astutely points out it still happens HERE, in Oregon. they still haven’t solved that.

    this situation calls for review of the policy on whats in the best interest of the child, attachment issues, and helping facilitate a healthy child – which in my mind would limit how many are sent out of the country. this isn’t about who the state shoudl rely upon to investigate the homes in other nations, nor how oregon could possible investigate such matters.

  • Aries76

    I would like more in debth information expecially on the creating of jobs, I think it is atrocious that it is so hard for people to create jobs in Oregon, everybody needs a break for at least the first five (5) years of beginning a business, not too mention the number of people whom need jobs desperatly in Oregon.  If we have to go back to the beginning and start creating our own jobs such as actually building something usable for the people of our nation, like hosehold appliances, automobile factories, food as in packaging and canning, we can go a lot further but that is enough for now, thanks.

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