In March 2018, Gov. Kate Brown requested a monthly progress report on Child Welfare. In April 2019, the Governor issued Executive Order No. 19-03 which created a Child Welfare Oversight Board to assist her in making and implementing recommendations to improve Oregon’s system for supporting safe children and thriving families. The report is published monthly and was revised in June 2020 to share progress on the directives from the Governor and the Child Welfare Oversight Board.
This Month in Child Welfare
With COVID-19 still present, the Child Welfare program wants
to acknowledge both the worries that we all have about the virus and our desire
to do visits as safely as possible. We remain dedicated to maintaining
parent-child visits and connecting safely through in-person, face to face
contact. Updated visitation guidelines outlining health precautions and what
can be expected were created with collaboration from multiple community
partners, including a public health advisor. We also recognize the anxiety that
exists in the community.
As families prepare for a very different school year, and
with many having to juggle education, work, and general life during a pandemic,
things can be hard and will continue to evolve. Our education coordinator for
foster care is working across the state to bring information to caregivers and
answer questions related to resources, transfers, and schooling options. This
is a challenging time for parents, foster parents and our staff.
Racial justice also remains at the forefront with another
very public incident. Our state and local leadership are engaged in efforts to
grow our capacity to remove structural racism from our systems and practices.
While much continues to evolve and situations remain
dynamic, I am grateful for the widespread community care for Oregon families.
Rebecca Jones Gaston, MSW
Director, Oregon Child Welfare