The compounding challenges which Oregon has faced in the past few years — the COVID-19 pandemic, economic disruptions, and historic wildfires — have upended the stability of families across Oregon and altered many aspects of daily life. The first step in stabilizing our communities is to make sure that Oregonians have their most basic needs met.
Across Oregon state government, Governor Brown has called on all agencies and programs to put kids and families first. Nowhere is the need more evident — and the opportunity greater — than in child welfare. Governor Brown's vision is to create a comprehensive child welfare system that protects children, stabilizes families and breaks the cycle of poverty.
Governor Brown has more than 20 years of experience as an attorney protecting children and families involved with the foster care system. This work has informed her strong commitment to focusing on a comprehensive system of child welfare that ends the cycle of poverty and keeps more families safely together. Her top priority is to provide Oregon individuals and families with the support they need to thrive.
The Governor has worked to achieve this goal by increasing access to quality, affordable child care, expanding high-quality preschool for low-income children, and helping parents stabilize their careers to better support their families.
In 2017, Governor Brown convened a Children's Cabinet. The cabinet is made up of statewide leaders across disciplines who work together to create pathways toward prosperity for Oregon children and families living in poverty.
Together, the Cabinet has identified existing gaps in services for struggling families and children and developed evidence-based solutions that will provide the biggest possible return on investment toward helping families thrive. We know that 90 percent of a child's brain development occurs before five years old, so the Cabinet focused on developing a system of early childhood care and education.
The Governor's Human Services Office focuses on maximizing the efficient delivery of services to support all Oregonians, particularly our most vulnerable. This team works with state agencies, community partners, client advocates, and legislative and judicial branch partners to ensure that state programs are designed to meet the needs of children, families, the elderly, and people with disabilities, and to ensure that state-delivered services work in tandem with the delivery of federal human services.