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Department of Human Services 2013-2015 Budget Information

Agency Request Budget

 

Erinn Kelley-Siel

The mission of the Department of Human Services (DHS) is to help Oregonians in their own communities achieve safety, well-being and independence through services that protect, empower, respect choice and preserve dignity. DHS is responsible for the care of some of Oregon's most vulnerable citizens – children, families, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and seniors. DHS is also responsible for serving Oregonians at times when they are most in need – when they have experienced abuse, when they are hungry, when they are homeless.

 

The Department's ability to achieve its mission and carry out that responsibility has been significantly affected by several biennia of program reductions and the unprecedented increase in demand for services during the economic recession. Even so, agency employees and partners have redoubled their efforts to provide excellent customer service and maximize outcomes with the resources available.

 

 

The results of those efforts are evident in the following data:

  • A 41 percent increase in the number of abused/neglected children who are served safely at home with their parents and avoid the trauma of foster care;

  • Nearly 12,000 vulnerable adults (seniors, people with disabilities) protected over the course of one year;

  • Wait-time for food stamp benefits going from nine days to same day/next day service for more than 90percent of the nearly 820,000 Oregonians served;

  • A total of 1,671 seniors choosing to transition from nursing facility care to in-home and community-based settings;

  • 67 percent of children and adults with developmental disabilities served in their own homes; and

  • 11,064 people with disabilities and low-income parents going to work.

 

Proud of those accomplishments, but recognizing that the challenges of today demand a transformative, proactive approach to the ongoing and future delivery of human services, the Department is proposing a 2013-15 budget guided by the following principles:

 
  • Focus on the needs of customers and communities, not on individual programs.

  • Invest upfront to prevent the need for crises and higher cost services. Where possible, target investments to supports that will promote independence and avoid, delay or reduce the need for services.

  • Transform service delivery models to address current gaps, anticipate future needs and to repurpose the time of people delivering services to allow for more time serving people and less time on paperwork and process.

 

Erinn Kelley-Siel, Director