Salem, OR—Governor Kate Brown and Interim Department of Human Services Director Clyde Saiki today announced the members for an external advisory committee charged by the Governor with conducting an independent review of the state's child foster care system and services.
“Recent information has come to light that calls into question Oregon's foster care services and state agency accountability,” Governor Brown said. “This is unacceptable. As part of an independent review of the DHS child foster care system, this external advisory committee will provide additional community perspective to the reviewer and oversight of the assessment process.”
An independent third-party contractor, yet to be determined, will lead the review of Oregon's child welfare program. The review will also identify issues that can be corrected and implemented immediately, without requiring legislative action.
The members of the advisory committee are listed below:
• Senator Gelser
• Senator Winters
• Representative Piluso
• Representative Stark
• Mark McKechnie, Executive Director, Youth Rights and Justice
• Robin Donart, Executive Director, Maple Star Oregon
• Craig Opperman, Executive Director, Looking Glass Youth and Family Services
• Kay Toran, Executive Director, Volunteers of America
• A representative from Child Welfare League of America to be named
• Caroline Cruz, Health & Human Services General Manager at Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs
• Lené Garrett, Executive Director, CASA Marion County
• Christine Hartmann, Oregon Foster Parent Association
• Josh Graves, Chief Administrator Officer, Catholic Community Services of the Mid-Willamette Valley and Central Coast
The Governor has said the independent review will focus on the following areas of DHS child welfare and foster care:
• Adequacy of oversight and licensing
• Cultural responsiveness of our system
• Abuse and neglect investigations in licensed care
• Communications and accountability mechanisms within the agency
• Financial stability and sufficiency of foster care providers.