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Foster Care Services

What is Foster Care?

Foster care is part of the continuum of care provided for youth committed to the Oregon Youth Authority (OYA). Youth served in foster care are at a lower risk to re-offend criminally, but for various reasons are not yet able to return to their families’ homes and/or are not yet ready to live independently. For example, many youth transition out of residential programs or youth correctional facilities and need practice living successfully in the community in structured environments. Foster homes allow youth opportunities to reacclimate to a community setting. For these youth, living in a certified foster home may offer the best opportunity to successfully move back into the community and lead crime-free lives.
Youth are in OYA’s care because of their delinquent behaviors. Services offered to them focus on correcting their problematic thought processes and reducing delinquent behaviors. It is important that OYA foster parents understand that these youth require a high level of supervision and accountability. OYA also places a strong emphasis on youth reformation, including participation in treatment.
OYA foster care is somewhat different from foster care in the Department of Human Services (DHS) system. Both systems require foster parents to meet certain requirements and complete initial and ongoing training. However, DHS provides services to children ages 0-18 who need care because of family circumstances. OYA serves youth between the ages of 12 and 25 who are court-ordered into OYA custody because they have been adjudicated for criminal acts.


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OYA Foster Care on Facebook!

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OYA Foster Care is now on Facebook!
Go to OYA Foster Care's Facebook page and "like" it to keep updated on ways you can help Oregon youth. 

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Foster Parenting

Foster parents provide a safe, nurturing community-based home for youth. Foster care placements are a stepping stone for a youth to complete identified goals and move toward becoming a responsible young adult. Foster parents are not a replacement for a youth biological family, but work collaboratively with OYA staff, treatment providers, youth and their families toward the common vision of supporting youth in leading crime-free lives.
Foster parents come from all walks of life.
​     ​They are single, married, divorced, male, female, straight or gay.
     They are young (at least 21) or are grandparents.
     They live downtown or in the country, in apartments or on farms.
     They stay-at-home or have careers.
     They are able-bodied or live with disabilities.
     They are different races and ethnicities.
     They belong to many difference communities of faith.
     They may be related to the youth in their care. These are "youth specific" or "relative foster
     They all have a genuine compassion for youth and a desire to make a difference in their lives.
Foster parents are part of the screening process to determine appropriate youth for their home. They work with OYA Juvenile Probation/Parole Officers (JPPOs) to determine youth treatment needs and goals. A Foster Care Certifier assists in making the foster care experience positive for both youth and foster families, providing ongoing training, support and crisis intervention.
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Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to become an OYA certified foster parent?

It can take as little as 4 weeks or up to 6 months or more. The length of time depends on the applicant’s and the certifier’s availability as well as the complexity of each family or personal situation. 

What does it pay and how is the money to be used?

All foster care providers must demonstrate financial stability without using foster care reimbursement. The standard reimbursement rate is $1,003 a month per youth. Payment is made in the middle of the month and is issued only for the number of nights the youth actually lays his/her head upon a pillow in the home. The foster parent provides basic housing and food for the youth. The foster parent also provides for ongoing clothing, transportation, spending money, recreational opportunities, and other reasonable incidentals. The youth receives a medical card which covers medical, mental health and other necessary treatment.

How many youth may be placed in a home?

The maximum number of youth in a home is three. Factors that determine the number of youth  include the size of the home, the size of the family, what the foster parents can offer the youth, and the foster parents’ experience. 

What about sharing bedrooms?

Youth cannot share bedrooms with children of the foster parent. They may share bedrooms with other youth, within set guidelines. 

What are the ages of youth in foster care?

Youth in OYA range in age from 12-25. Typically, youth in foster care are 14-20 years old. 

What kinds of crimes have the OYA youth committed?

Many youth have committed serious crimes including theft, burglary, a sex offense, forgery or assault. Most youth have drug and alcohol issues. Youth assessed as appropriate for foster care have completed all or most of their treatment and have demonstrated behavioral stability. 

What about school?

Most youth attend public school, while others may need educational assistance. These youth may have Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), and may need to attend alternative schools, vocational, or higher education programs available in the area.

What is expected of foster parents?

Foster parents are expected to role model appropriate behaviors, hold each youth accountable for his/her behaviors, and support the youth in learning new skills and behaviors. Youth are in need of structured supervision. Foster parents are expected to supervise and know where the youth is at all times. Foster parents work with the youth's Juvenile Probation/Parole Officer (JPPO) to establish a case plan for the youth that addresses the needs of the youth, which may include contact with the youth's family. This plan also may include goals around vocational training, school, employment or treatment. For youth who are working, foster parents help the youth budget and save money. 

How long do youth stay in placement?

Youth foster care placements can be short- or long-term depending on the individual needs of the youth, which are continually assessed as placement in foster care continues. 

How do I learn more?

OYA encourages you to contact your local Certifier to ask questions that will help determine if foster parenting is the right choice for you, your family, and for OYA.

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Foster Care Certifiers

Certifier Roles & Responsibilities
The role of the Foster Care Certifier is to recruit, train, certify and maintain a pool of qualified foster homes. The certifier becomes the “gatekeeper” for assigned foster homes – screening referrals, providing support, and acting as a liaison between foster parents, JPPOs and community partners. The certifier also provides technical support to ensure foster homes are in compliance with certification rules, supervision expectations, and standards of care.
Foster Care Certifiers and JPPOs work collaboratively with foster parents to ensure each youth is appropriately matched with a foster home resource. The specific characteristics of the youth are considered when determining an appropriate placement including crime, behavioral issues and treatment needs. These characteristics are compared to the particular skills and experience of the foster parents to determine the best match. 
Working with foster parents is fun and rewarding. OYA foster parents are wonderful people with great practical experience and senses of humor. Foster Care Certifiers work to support each home’s culture, interests, and skills so foster parents can promote positive change in OYA youth. 

Local Foster Home Certifiers
Contact the certifier in your area.

Area Certifier Office 
  • Crook
  • Deschutes
  • Gilliam
  • Hood River
  • Jefferson
  • Sherman
  • Wasco
  • Wheeler

Sarah Caskey, Certifier

Deschutes County OYA
62910 OB Riley Road Suite A204
Bend OR 97701 

541-388-6155, x 227; 541-410-2435 (cell)

FAX 541-388-6348

  • Lane

Kelly Okili, Certifier

Lane County OYA
115 West 8th Ave, Ste 180
Eugene OR 97401 
541-684-2622; 971-803-8154 (cell)

FAX 541-684-2611

  • Baker
  • Grant
  • Harney
  • Malheur
  • Morrow
  • Umatilla
  • Union
  • Wallowa

Chris Jensen, Certifier

Malheur County OYA
2411 SW 4th Avenue
Ontario OR 97914
541-889-3810, x226; 541-429-5097 (cell)
FAX 541-889-5786

  • Benton
  • Lincoln
  • Linn
  • Marion
  • Polk
  • Yamhill
Rod Green, Certifier

Marion County OYA
2001 Front St NE, Suite 110
Salem, OR  97301

503-378-2571; 541-953-6010

FAX 503-378-5882

  • Clackamas
  • Clatsop
  • Columbia
  • ​Multnomah
  • Tillamook
  • Washington

Jered Schlunegger, Certifier

Multnomah County OYA
1401 NE 68th Street
Portland OR 97213

971-718-7902 (cell) 

FAX 503-731-4993

  • Coos
  • Curry
  • Douglas
  • Jackson
  • Josephine
  • Klamath
  • Lake

Sheila Kelly, Certifier 

OYA Central Office
530 Center Street NE, Ste 500
Salem, OR  97301

503-373-7272; 971-283-6404 (cell)

FAX 866-603-7174

​OYA Foster Care Unit

Robyn Jacobson, Manager

971-283-5004 (cell)

OYA Community Resources

Kris Scrabeck, Manager 
503-551-9218 (cell)

Tessa Schwass, Support

FAX 1-866-603-7174

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Foster Care Forms

YA 5007 - Foster Home Certification Safety Requirements Checklist
YA 5009 - Foster Home Agreement
YA 5013 - Foster Care Incident Report
YA 5016 - Foster Home Youth Cell Phone Use Authorization
YA 3070 - Sub-Care Clothing List / Authorization
YA 3080 - Recreational Activity Risk Assessment
YA 3081 - Consent for Youth to Participate in Recreational Activity
Emergency Protocols
Foster Home Performance Review
Monthly Progress Report
Maintenance Rate Qualifications

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Foster Parent Handbook

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