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June 2007
OYA Director's Bulletin
 

Welcome to the OYA Director's Bulletin,
a monthly newsletter for sharing information
with our partners, staff, and the public.
 

From Director Bob Jester
The legislative session is winding down and the successes of Oregon’s juvenile justice system have been affirmed by the legislature.  We have heard from our partners and legislative members' great support for OYA’s stewardship of state resources.  Along with this affirmation comes tremendous responsibility to use these resources wisely and responsibly.  We must continue to use state services to reduce future crime.
 
The OYA is also an agency that must exemplify who we are through our Principles of Conduct and Code of Ethics.  These tell the story of what values we are committed to:
 
  • Treating each other with respect;
  • Providing a transparent work environment; and
  • Ensuring a safe work and living environment for staff and youth.
 
This successful session has emphasized the importance of the agency values, affirmations, and responsibility that guide us daily as we perform the duties of our jobs.  We have a responsibility to our public, youth and families, and the mission and vision of the Oregon Youth Authority.  We are a collaborative agency that works together and engages many partners in carrying out our goals.  We must all continue to work together to achieve success.

Professional Standards Office
In April 2005, I requested a Youth Safety and Abuse Prevention Review Committee assist us with examining practices and policies surrounding youth services.  A series of recommendations were made by this group which included creating the Professional Standards Office (PSO).  Lead by Jason Barber (Manager) and Annette Hilton (Administrative Specialist), our PSO staff has been working with many OYA staff and partners in the development of the office.   The office is operational, receiving concerns from youth and families across the state.
 
For more on the PSO, visit
http://www.oregon.gov/OYA/pso.shtml
 

Legislative Update
OYA is closely tracking 29 bills this session that may have a direct impact to our agency operations.  HB 5006 and its companion bill SB 5544 are bills that provide our budget for 2007-09.  I shared with you that this is moving along well and I anticipate a positive outcome for the session.
 
Oregon will have a new “Plain Language” law requiring state agencies to present information to the public in simpler formats.  Central Support staff are beginning work on this by looking at policy and training implications.  We anticipate a change in our initial parent and youth handout information.  This law does not affect our policies or staff information.
 
For a full list of OYA bill tracking, visit
http://www.oregon.gov/OYA/bulletins/2007_june/bill_tracking_2007.shtml

 

Foster Care Appreciation Month
It should be every month -- when you look at the commitments and dedication our foster homes provide. There is no change of shifts, their work hours do not stop at 5 p.m., the same youth that may have been in an institution or detention the night before is now sleeping in one of their rooms.
 
Foster Parents continue to provide an important service to the OYA and have helped promote the change often needed with our youth.  As many of you are aware, before entering foster care, some of these youth had never experienced a safe home with ample, nutritional meals, or received help with their homework.
 

National Safety Month
In 1996, the National Safety Council established June as National Safety Month. Its purpose is to increase public awareness of safety and health risks and ultimately decrease the number of accidental injuries and deaths. Each week focuses on a specific safety venue: workplace, traffic, home, and community.
  • June 4-8:  Workplace Safety
  • June 11-15:  Driving Safety
  • June 18-22:  Emergency Preparedness
  • June 25-29:  Safety in the Home & Community
 
Please join us in celebrating Workplace Safety, Driving Safety, Emergency Preparedness, and Safety in the Home & Community, and make a commitment to the safety and well-being of yourself and those around you everyday.

In the Field
Federal Dollars Cut
Cuts in federal dollars have had an impact locally.  Hit particularly hard are the counties of Josephine, Curry, Lane, Lincoln, and Linn.  In Josephine County, both juvenile detention and shelter services have closed and JPPO’s Bill Bowers and John Beairsto are working with just a few county employees in what was a vibrant juvenile department.  Detention and shelter services for Josephine County will be provided in Douglas County.
 
 
 

A Visit to Central Support
JPPO Alex Contreras stopped in at Central Support to take a tour on May 17.  Alex was curious about the work functions and was particularly impressed with Linda Gesler and the staff from Budget and Contracts.  A total of one staff each is assigned to oversee the respective budgets, Tina Crawley for field and John Fox for facilities.  Among the numerous folders of projections and calculations Alex found it refreshing to see them “working so hard."  Thanks for stopping in, Alex.
 
 
 

Multnomah is on the move . . .
After months of waiting, our Multnomah OYA staff moved into their new office May 24.  All in all, this location provides a great opportunity to network with other juvenile justice professionals, see youth and families easily, and access the court on a moment’s notice.  Multnomah joins Columbia, Crook, Curry, Josephine, Lane, Lincoln, and Yamhill OYA offices in co-housing with either juvenile departments or courts.  There is no change to the phone system -- the new address is . . .1401 NE 68th Ave.  Portland (97213).
 
 
 

A Parent's Appreciation -- Letter to Vikki Whitmore and Larry Wilson, Clackamas OYA
My wife and I would like to take time to thank you and Mr. Wilson for his involvement with [our son] during our experience with the Youth Authority.  He has been very helpful and supportive of not only [our son], but also the needs of our family.  The representation, guidance and support that he provided for and with [our son] was nothing short of awesome.
 
In the time that we have been working with [our son] and his development (17 years) we have not encountered a more capable staff.  In dealing with public employees in the human resources arena, I can count a handful of qualified people.  Larry Wilson is one of them.
 
His optimism and outlook on life has brought hope to me personally and I can say that through his efforts and those of the other team members, my wife and I feel like for once we can relax and maybe breathe a little.  Thank you so much, Larry.
 
Guy H.
 
 
 

Did you know . . . ?
  • The first edition of OYA’s Directions will be out in July 2007.  Coming to your email and the OYA web soon . . . a recent look at OYA recidivism by Research and Evaluation.

  • Most Bulletin articles will now have links for more information available through email and the web.

 

Director's Bulletin Archives
 
2007