Oregon DHS Head Resigns

Oregon’s Director of Child Welfare, Lena Alhusseini, has resigned from her post less than a year after she assumed the position at the state Department of Human Services.  She will remain with the agency until September, although move to the human resource department’s diversity recruitment wing.

DHS has come under intense scrutiny in the past year. An internal study found that the department has major problems in how it investigates child abuse allegations.  Clyde Saiki, the Director of DHS, acknowledged that during Alhusseini’s tenure, “we have not been able to get the results we need to achieve” in improving basic child welfare practices and outcomes.

Ahusseini’s resignation comes less than two weeks after a story in The Oregonian/OregonLive about the Department of Human Services’ decision to remove a 4-year-old foster child from her aunt and uncle’s care, severing the girl from the only stable loving home she’d known.

DHS has suffered a number of setbacks the last few years, including high employee turnover rates, complaints of incompetence, and a general disregard for child welfare.  In one instance, the agency sent a child to a Northeast Portland foster care provider despite numerous complaints and lack of a state license.

Low public confidence isn’t the worst problem facing DHS. Innocent children are at the mercy of a dysfunctional program that is doing more harm than good.

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

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