Oregon House Republicans
Child Welfare System Did Not Meet National Standards In Any Of 14 Areas Assessed
Salem, Ore. – On Wednesday, April 20, 2016, Oregon Department of Human Services Director Clyde Saiki informed members of the Legislature of Oregon’s performance on the 2016 Federal Child Welfare Review (CFSR). The review, which states receive approximately every six years, seeks to assess the overall ability of the child welfare system to serve and protect vulnerable children.
The results from Oregon’s most recent report were very poor, with the state failing to meet national standards in 14 out of 14 assessed areas.
According to the Department of Human Services, the general areas of the assessment included:
- Statewide Information System
- Service Array
- Case Review System
- Staff Training
- Quality Assurance System
- Agency Responsiveness to the Community
- Foster & Adoptive Parent Licensing, Recruitment & Retention
“This new report is a sobering reminder of how broken our state’s child welfare system is,” said Representative Duane Stark (R-Grants Pass), who serves as Vice Chair of the Human Services and Housing Committee in the Oregon House. “I trust that Director Saiki will take seriously this performance review and move as quickly as possible to ensure that the most vulnerable children in our communities are safe, protected and provided adequate care. It’s time to fix our child welfare system once and for all and make the well-being of children a priority for our state again.”
Results of an additional phase of the performance review are expected by the end of 2016. DHS officials expect that Oregon will fail to meet national standards in the final report as well.
“The heartbreak that accompanies this kind of report is matched only by the anger in knowing that so much of our state resources are being spent by an agency that struggles to carry out its most basic responsibilities,” said Representative Greg Smith (R-Heppner), who chairs the House Republican Budget Committee. “The failures of our state government are resulting in chronically poor care for our children. That is simply unacceptable. We must take action to demand accountability from our child welfare system and ensure that Oregonians’ tax dollars are being handled prudently, and in a way that maximizes positive outcomes for children in our child welfare system.”
In his announcement to legislators, Director Saiki specifically praised the legislature for its passage of House Bill 4080 and Senate Bill 1515 during the 2016 session. Rep. Stark played a key role in helping secure passage of both measures, which seek to reform Oregon’s foster care system.
The full Child and Family Services Review can be accessed here.