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Director's Bulletin - August 2007
From Director Robert Jester
OYA Director Robert Jester
I had hoped to use this space to talk about the challenges and opportunities that our new budget and new biennium will bring, but instead want to talk about another challenge -- and opportunity -- currently facing OYA.
 
As I think all of you know, former RiverBend Superintendent Darrin Humphreys resigned his position with OYA and is facing a criminal investigation by the Oregon State Police.  While I can’t yet discuss the specific allegations, it is important for all of you to know that none of the allegations of misconduct involve youth safety.  The OYA Professional Standards Office has led a review team and made recommendations to me for changes at RiverBend and elsewhere in the agency, and four RiverBend staff have been placed on administrative leave as a result of information gathered during the review.

This is the second time in my tenure as director that apparent ethical lapses and law violations involving OYA staff has been in the news media.  And while there are significant differences between the Michael Boyles sex abuse case and the allegations involving Darrin Humphreys, there are some troubling similarities that I wanted to discuss with you.
 

In both cases, our agency culture has been called into question because agency staff had suspicions about the inappropriate conduct and did not report them.  In both cases, the conduct of an individual staff has affected all of us by diminishing OYA’s reputation and calling attention away from our many professional accomplishments.
 

I want to make it clear to everyone in OYA that I want and expect all our staff to live up to our agency’s Principles of Conduct, and conduct themselves in an ethical and professional manner.
I and this agency encourage youth, staff, stakeholders, parents, and anyone with concerns about inappropriate conduct to report them to the agency.  We have established the Professional Standards Office and a toll-free hotline specifically to encourage these kinds of reports to be made.  If the reporter does not have faith that the agency will respond appropriately, there are many other avenues to ensure the concerns will be addressed.  These include the Secretary of State’s waste/fraud hotline, the Governor’s Citizen Representative Office, and even law enforcement agencies.

 
I have heard that some people believe that inappropriate conduct is condoned by managers and staff because they assume that management is aware of the conduct.  This is a dangerous assumption – it shows a distrust that the agency wants to address inappropriate conduct, and allows people with knowledge of inappropriate conduct to rationalize not acting on that knowledge. Just as our duty as mandatory reporters of suspected child abuse requires a report regardless of whether other reports have been made, reporting misconduct within the agency is required by our Principles of Conduct.  I will continue to do everything I can to ensure that OYA encourages reporting inappropriate conduct, that there is fair and complete follow-up on those reports, and that people who report inappropriate conduct are not penalized in any way for doing so.

We can regain our credibility by responding vigorously to misconduct.  After the Michael Boyles case, we had two separate reviews of our agency, established the Professional Standards Office, adopted our Principles of Conduct, renewed training on appropriate professional boundaries, and changed many of our policies, procedures, and practices.  Our efforts were acknowledged by the legislature this year.  I intend a similar response to the problems at RiverBend, so that the success of youth participating in that program resumes its rightful position as the focus of our attention.
 
The actions of each of us reflect on all of us, so we all have a shared responsibility to ensure that we act ethically and professionally.

Oak Creek YCF Update
With Oak Creek slated to re-open in January 2008, several key steps are in full swing.  Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services solicitations went out for bid on approximately $2 million to remodel the facility in preparation for female programming.  Contracts will be awarded in the near future, and work will begin once awards are made. 
 
OYA is in the process of contracting for a design expert to consult in the planning process and a project manager to assist OYA staff Mike Conzoner and Rex Emery in the renovation oversight work.
 
Shirlee Pierce from Facility Operations will provide operational project coordination.  A Steering Committee and workgroups have been formed to assist with planning for staff and youth transition, training, and other related re-opening needs.  Please click on Oak Creek Steering Committee and Workgroup for a listing of members.  Recruitment for the Oak Creek Superintendent position is currently underway.  Internal and external candidates are encouraged to apply.  Please view the position announcement.
 
This is a very exciting time for Oregon’s young women and their unique needs!  Regular updates will be provided to keep staff and partners informed of progress and accomplishments.
 
Direct your questions and suggestions to Shirlee Pierce.

From Program Office
Evidence-Based Practices Move Forward
 
Partnering with Linn County
Submitted by Paul Egbert
 
The Linn County Juvenile Department has partnered with OYA to implement evidence-based practices (EBP) and case management for local juvenile justice.  Linn County administers the full risk needs assessment (RNA) and automated JJIS case plan tools on all their Juvenile Crime Prevention (JCP) screened high-risk youth.  Selected county probation officers and the probation supervisor participated in the OYA evidence-informed case management trainings in June and July.  This will greatly help Linn County in developing a continuum of services with OYA to serve our delinquent populations in reducing future crime.  The Linn-Benton Detention Center has also implemented an array of cognitive-behavioral interventions.  We appreciate the commitment and energy from this county partner.
 
Read more from Paul on what shared training brings . . .
www.oregon.gov/OYA/bulletins/2007_aug/ebp.shtml
 
 
From Clackamas County OYA
 
JPPO Don Tomfohr sees all of us as a part of facilitating the success of achieving lasting change.
 
In the past, our approach to supervision in the OYA emphasized individual accountability from offenders and their supervising officers without consistently providing either group with the skills, tools, or resources that science indicates are necessary to reduce risk and recidivism.
 
Implementing evidence-based practices has required our agency to change the way we operate and rethink the way we do business, which has been no easy task.   This level of change required dynamic and committed leadership with the ability and willingness to place equal focus on evidence-based practices, organizational development, and collaboration.
 
Read the article in its entirety . . .
www.oregon.gov/OYA/bulletins/2007_aug/ebp.shtml
 
 

Annual Staff Updates: Out with the Old
 Gone are the days of the OYA Field and Facility (8-hours stand-up in front of you and lecture) “Annual Staff Updates.”  Now, as a replacement, we’re focused on developing unit-based training “packets.”
 
The packets contain all the information and media a supervisor or instructor needs to facilitate a training session for their unit.  The packets we provide include facilitator checklists and interactive CDs and DVDs - you may remember the Fire Suppression CD and Mandatory Child Abuse Reporting DVD.  We’re still working hard learning new software and trying to polish our skills to make your training more engaging and effective. By the way, thanks for all your positive feedback – we think we’re on the right track. 
 
Positive feedback aside – we really need to hear from you when training is not working.  Your comments are one of our biggest keys to improving training – and we do respond.  For example, a few months ago we received feedback that interactive CDs are great – but it’s not always convenient for each employee to view them individually at their workstation.  So, we heard that as a call to create a more flexible way of sharing information.  As a result, one of our most recent interactive CD releases – the July 2007 Policy Update – offers the ability to view it individually or in a facilitated group - we’ll wait to hear from you on this one!
 
Please contact Lynn Oliver at the Training Academy if you have comments about this article: Lynn.Oliver@oya.state.or.us.
 
 
P.S.  The schedule of courses offered by the Training Academyis available in the Outlook Public Folders – link to Training Calendar-- and on the OYA website at http://egov.oregon.gov/OYA/OJJTA/calendars.shtml.  

Charitable Fund Drive
Since its inception, the Oregon State Employees’ Charitable Fund Drive (CFD) has raised more than $17 million through the generosity and support of state employees.  Employees’ contributions support over 850 organizations across the state, providing vital resources and services to build safe, supportive, and healthy communities.
 
The 2007 CFD will take place during September and October.  Your local manager will ensure that you receive a copy of this year’s materials. 
 
For more information, visit the Fund Drive website and read about the activities planned by participating organizations in the CFD August newsletter.

From Field Operations
No longer moving to the beat of the morning commute along Highway 217, the OYA Washington County Parole and Probation Office is off to greener pastures.  Now located near the Tualatin Hills Parks and Recreation Center in Beaverton, our Washington County OYA staff are enjoying their new space. 
 
Washington County OYA
1600 SW Cedar Hills Blvd
Portland, OR  97225-5439
503-672-9569, ext. 223
fax  503-672-9578
 
Also on the move is the OYA Jackson County Parole and Probation Office.  The office is co-located with the Jackson County Juvenile Department.
 
Jackson County OYA
609 West 10th Street
Medford, OR  97501
541-774-3800
fax  541-774-3825
 
For a list to the addresses, phone, and fax numbers of all OYA field offices, click www.oregon.gov/OYA/field/field_list.shtml.

From Facilities Operations
 
The Corvallis House Young Women’s Transition Program opened in March of 1999.  The Corvallis House is an OYA community-based transition program for young women ages 15 to 25.  The treatment focus is designed for young women moving from a youth correctional facility back to community living.  The young women learn and practice independent living skills. The transition program focus is on issues that young women face; this includes continuing treatment, ongoing social skill building, continuing education and vocational needs.
 
Corvallis House recently provided an opportunity for team building among staff and youth . . . click to read more. . .

From Business Services
Budget & Contracts
New:  Solicitations Now Only on ORPIN
 
The Department of Administrative Services (DAS) has implemented a new system for posting state agency solicitations.  The new system is the Oregon Procurement Information Network (ORPIN).  Due to DAS reporting requirements, OYA solicitations for contracted services are now posted on ORPIN.   OYA will no longer post solicitations on the OYA website but there is a link to ORPIN on OYA’s webpage to assist with this transition.  If providers need help with ORPIN please have them call the ORPIN help desk at 503-378-4642.  If you need access to ORPIN to get a copy of a solicitation, please send an email to Jacky Harris or Brenda Brown  at OYA Central Office.

Employee Services
Employee Assistance Program -- How to Use Your EAP
 
The EAP is a free service for you and your eligible family members.  All EAP services are completely confidential.
 
EAP Services for you and your family are more than counseling. 
  • Legal & Financial Advice
  • Homeowner Savings
  • Child and Eldercare Advice
 
For more information on the Employee Assistance Program, follow this link www.oregon.gov/DAS/PEBB/EAP.shtml
 
Cascade Centers, the contracted EAP provider, wants to make access to the EAP as easy as possible and offer as many avenues of access as possible.
 
For additional information on the benefits of using email to communicate with the EAP, www.oregon.gov/OYA/bulletins/2007_aug/eap.shtml.
 
 
National Immunization Awareness Month
 
August is recognized as National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). The goal of NIAM is to increase awareness about immunizations across the life span, from infants to the elderly.
The OYA has a solicitation open for our Hepatitis immunization program.  Statewide, staff will be able to select from either using their personal physician or the organization awarded the contract to provide Hepatitis B immunizations.  More information to follow on this program.
 
A recommended adult immunization schedule is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/schedules/downloads/adult/06-07/adult-schedule-11x17.pdf.
 

Information Systems
Outlook as an Informatin Resource for OYA Staff
 
Have you ever explored Outlook beyond your email and calendar?
 
Are you aware of everything available in the Public Folders?  You’ll find OYA forms, policies, training calendars, and more.
 
Just open Outlook, scroll down to Public Folders, and take a look around.  Some folders are protected for specific work projects, but the "All Staff" section has many information resources.

MacLaren's 4th Annual Luau
MacLaren YCF will hold their 4th Annual Luau on August 18.  This experience helps youth learn about other cultures.  The modern term "luau" originated from the great co-ed feasts of the Hawaiian King Kamehameha II.
 
Historically, Hawaiian men and women were not allowed to eat together and women were forbidden to eat certain kinds of foods.  King Kamehameha II abolished these laws in 1819, and held a symbolic feast with women invited.  One of the main dishes was a chicken and greens called "luau" and as a result the feasts themselves came to be called "luaus".
 
For more information contact: Funaki Letisi.

Thank You's
To read recent accolades of the following OYA staff, click www.oregon.gov/OYA/bulletins/2007_aug/thanks.shtml
 
Lily Caceres
”I want you to know how much I appreciate Lily Caceres . . .”
 
 
Mary Hunter (Lane OYA) and Deanna Garcia (Marion OYA)
Hard work and going the extra distance in office coverage earns top marks for two support staff. 
The Linn-Benton-Lincoln Parole/Probation Unit would like to recognize and thank Mary Hunter and Deanna Garcia . . . 
 
 
Jim Denault and Jim Hupp
Family Safety Survey delivers high marks for OYA Marion JPPO’s.
On June 26, the Professional Standards Office (PSO) received final safety and services surveys from a parent of an OYA youth.
 
 
Darth Watkins & the Camp Florence Work Crew
Director Jester received a letter of appreciation from a Florence, Oregon, resident commending the special efforts of Darth Watkins and his crew.
“The Oregon Youth Authority is lucky to have such a dedicated State Employee . . .”
 
 
Laura Storey
Steve Brinlee, OYA Foster Care Manager, shared a letter he recently received from a foster parent complimenting the work of Laura Storey.  Laura has been a foster home certifier in the southern region for the last four years, and she is currently providing coverage for Multnomah County, where she relocated July 1.
 



Formatted Version in PDF
If you would like to view or print a formatted version of the August 2007 Bulletin, click here.  You will need the Acrobat Reader to open the file.

Input, Suggestions?
Suggestions or input for future Bulletins?  Contact Robyn Cole.
 
Electronic versions and archives of past Bulletins are available from the OYA Newsroom – www.oregon.gov/OYA/newsroom/newsroom.shtml