Children Unsafe in Oregon Foster Care, Lawmakers Learn

Oregon Department of Human Services Foster Care ServicesOregon children are not safe in foster care, the head of Oregon’s Department of Human Services (DHS) recently admitted.

Oregon lawmakers were outraged last September, when allegations went public about abuse of foster care children at Give Us This Day, a publicly funded day care center in Portland.

Allegations included unclean conditions, abuse and neglect of children, and the failure of Oregon DHS to follow up on complaints and provide effective oversight (See story).

More recently, when the head of DHS was called to testify in front of Oregon lawmakers, she was asked, “Given the role that you sit in right now, do you feel that all of the children that are in the care of the state today…are safe?”

Interim DHS Director Clyde Saiki responded, “No. There’s no other way I can answer that question.”

No doubt lawmakers want to improve Oregon’s troubled foster care system. These problems are not unique to Oregon. A 2005 study by The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry reveals that foster care alumni are five times more likely to commit suicide and eight times more likely to hospitalized for psychiatric disorders (Source).

Dumas Law Group has law offices in Portland, Oregon and serves clients in Oregon, Washington, California, and other states.

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