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Oregon Department of Human Services


Current News

Oregonians Seek In-home Services

Information about services to help Oregonians stay at home and avoid long-term care facilities was one of the leading topics callers asked the Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC).

Learn how the ADRC helps.

Differential Response

Oregon is working to implement DR in its child welfare system, but doesn’t that depend on communities having the right services in place to work with parents?

Learn more about strengthening, preserving and reunifying families.

This is where SB 964 comes in.  This is the statute establishing Strengthening, Preserving and Reunifying Families programs. We are working statewide to enhance the service array for families through collaboration with local community partners. These SB 964 services will specifically address needs of children and families who come to the attention of child welfare through a report of abuse or neglect. They are designed to address gaps in the service array that already exists in local communities -- specifically, those services aimed at maintaining children safely in the home, reducing the length of stay in foster care, supporting families in successfully reuniting with their children and reducing re-abuse of children.

These programs are an essential complement to the implementation of Differential Response and supporting children being safely parented at home. Families will connect to these services through the child welfare system. And all families involved with child welfare, whether they receive the traditional or the alternative response, will be able to access the expanded service array.

Some examples of the types of services communities are putting in place are: front end interventions; family meeting facilitation; trauma and therapeutic services; enhanced family visitation; youth transition and mentoring services; intensive in-home services; parent navigators; parenting education and classes; parent mentoring and coaching; relief nurseries; child care; housing stability assistance; emergency and short term housing assistance; and employment assistance.

To support statewide implementation, each local DHS office is working closely with their stakeholders, community and county partners, families and DHS staff in a process of identifying the current services available and resources needed through a gaps and needs analysis. The implementation of this expanded service program is scheduled to be completed by May, 2014 when we begin the staged implementation of Differential Response in the first counties, Lane, Klamath and Lake Counties.

As you might expect, DHS child welfare will be continually evaluating the impact of these resources for the families that access them. There is a complexity to this analysis because frequently, families access multiple services.  Our goal and the goal of our communities is to keep children safe and increase the strength and resiliency of families.  Our ability to join with our local partners and look at the effectiveness of the service array will increase our success and the success of our families.

Learn more about Oregon's DR implementation.

IDD Awareness Focuses on Employment

​The Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities held its annual Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Awareness Celebration March 7.

Learn more about the Awareness Celebration

​The Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities (OCDD) held its annual Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Awareness Celebration on March 7 at the Capitol, which included a ceremony attended by more than 150 people for the DD Champion Advocacy Awards.

This year’s theme focused on employment and youth transition. OCDD Executive Director Jaime Daignault opened the event by addressing the importance of providing employment services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).

“In line with local and national Employment First efforts, we believe that with high expectations, opportunity, appropriate support and the right job match, people experiencing intellectual and developmental disabilities can get and keep regular jobs in the community,” she said.
Erinn Kelley-Siel, director of the Department of Human Services, and Sarah Drinkwater, assistant superintendent in the Department of Education’s Student Services Unit, spoke at the event, along with Rep. Sara Gelser, who read the Governor’s Proclamation declaring March 2014 as Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.
Kelley-Siel said the state is focused on growing capacity to support more individuals with I/DD to live and work in the most integrated community settings appropriate to their needs, abilities and choices.
“In the last year, I’ve had the privilege of spending time with individuals and their families, and if there was one message that I heard consistently, it was the message that expectations, and support that reinforces those expectations, change lives,” she said.
The DD Champion awards were presented to:
  • Molly Elliot, vice president of Eugene-based KindTree - Autism Rocks. Elliot spent 40 years developing inclusive recreation programs for people with disabilities. After retiring, she started volunteering at Kind Tree Autism where she has developed a new program focused on youth transitioning from school to adult life.

  • Ruth Morris, vice chair of the Oregon Self-Advocacy Coalition. Morris has been involved in People First since the 1960s. She has also been a member of the Community Advocacy Council at the University of Oregon’s Center on Human Development for more than a decade. She was recognized for her advocacy for herself and other people with developmental disabilities.

  • Marilee Bell, operations and policy analyst with the Office of Developmental Disability Services (ODDS). Bell was recognized for significant leadership, advocacy, and guidance to others in her work on behalf of individuals and families experiencing developmental disabilities. She began her career at age 22 helping children and families transition into Salem public schools with the passage of Public Law 94-142 (Education of All Handicapped Children Act), now known as IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act).
In addition, an award was presented to state Sen. Chip Shields, for his support of integrated employment for individuals with I/DD. Kaaren Londahl, who works in his office creating and sending out birthday cards to voters in northeast Portland, presented the plaque to Sen. Shields.
“Having Kaaren in our office has really upped the level of correspondence we have with our constituents,” he said. “She provides a great service so I am just humbled and honored to receive this honor.”
Self-employment an Option for Some

Support for self-employment or business ownership is an available service option for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).

Learn how self-employment is one way to achieve economic goals.



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