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
The past few weeks have been challenging for so many. As we find the world being upended once again by the COVID-19 public health pandemic, extreme heat and wildfires, many of us are feeling exhausted and emotionally drained. Coming together to support Oregonians when they need it most is a foundation of our work and we continue our dedication to serving the children, families, partners and providers working with the Child Welfare Division as we weather these challenges.
With the latest news about the highly transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19, the Child Welfare Division wants to acknowledge both the worries about the virus and our desire to maintain parent-child visits as safely as possible. We remain dedicated to maintaining this important family time and connecting safely through in-person, face-to-face contact. Updated visitation guidelines
outlining health precautions and what can be expected were created earlier this month with collaboration from multiple community partners, including active input from experts in public health. We are supporting many different settings where children, providers, staff, and caregivers interact, and prioritizing care in a variety of ways for exposed or COVID-19 positive children and young adults.
We also recognize the anxiety that exists in the community as families prepare for the 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.
During this new phase of COVID-19, we will continue to do what we know keeps us and our communities safe and work together with compassion and understanding.
Rebecca Jones Gaston, MSW (she/her)
Child Welfare Division Director