The legislative-mandated Children, Adults and Families 21-member Child Welfare Advisory Committee counsels the agency on the development and administration of the policies, programs and practices. The entire committee meets every other month, with two work groups, Budget/Legislative Concepts and Services to Teens that meet on the alternate months. Members represent other state agencies, representatives of professional, civic or other private organizations, private citizens interested in service programs and recipients of assistance or service of their representatives.
The federally mandated Children’s Justice Task Force Act (CJA) provides to DHS a biennial report and recommendations to improve Oregon’s investigation, prosecution and judicial handling of cases of child abuse and neglect.
The Committee meets quarterly. Membership consists of representatives of the law enforcement community, judges and attorneys, child advocates, health and mental health professionals, individuals experienced in working with children with disabilities and representatives of parents’ groups.
The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) was originally enacted in 1974 to provide annual federal grants to states, based on the population of children under the age of eighteen, in order to improve their child protective services system. The amendment in 1996 added a new eligibility requirement for states to establish citizen review panels. The panel members are volunteers who broadly represent the community in which the panels are established. Oregon has CAPTA panels in Jackson, Malheur and Multnomah Counties.
The 16-member Family Service Review Commission is appointed by the governor to advise the Oregon Department of Human Services on policy matters related to public welfare policy and to advocate for interests of public welfare clients and Oregonians in need of public assistance. Members include legislators, advocates, educators, attorneys, private citizens and employees of other state agencies.
Outdoor Youth Program Advisory Board
In 2001, the Legislature passed a law requiring that wilderness youth programs be licensed by the State of Oregon. The Outdoor Youth Program Advisory Board was created to provide public input into the process. The Boards consists of six members. Over a period of two years the Department of Human Services and the Board have worked together to develop a set of rules designed to set standards for the quality of these programs, and for the safety of the staff and students involved. These rules were adopted during the summer of 2002.
The Outdoor Youth Program Advisory Board continues to advise the Department as it monitors the activity of wilderness programs in Oregon in this field. At the present time there are three programs designed to help youth at risk licensed to operate in the State of Oregon.
The 14-member Refugee Child Welfare Advisory Committee, established by the Oregon Department of Human Services, assists and advises DHS in the development and administration of the policies, programs and practices related to refugee children and families. The members are charged with identifying, developing and certifying family foster homes that meet requirements for placement of refugee children with an emphasis on locating refugee homes and developing training programs for agency employees to insure the availability of culturally sensitive social work.