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DHS news release

January 20, 2005

Contact: Ramona Foley (503) 945-7001; Patricia Feeny (503) 945-6955

Critical Incident Response Team Report on Ashton Parris

Summary of Preliminary Findings

The Oregon Department of Services, through its Critical Incident Response Team process, has identified some emerging statewide systemic issues in child protection.


Actions of DHS staff were reviewed for compliance with administrative rule and policy, as well as approved practice. The team's preliminary findings are in regard to the case of 15-month-old Ashton Parris, who died as a result of inflicted injuries.


To ensure the safety of children, DHS is directing that reunification plans be reviewed with the casework supervisors to be certain that parents have the capacity to protect their children and that known safety threats have been resolved. This supervisory review must occur and be documented before the child is returned.


Initial CIRT recommendations include addressing these critical key functions:

  • Maintaining thorough documentation and organized records;
  • Revising rules and procedures to include all appropriate partners in critical child safety decisions;
  • Revising the intake and screening process; and
  • Evaluating caseworker assignments, roles and responsibilities.

The 30-day CIRT report in this case is available in PDF format.