Skip to main content

Oregon State Flag An official website of the State of Oregon »

Oregon Department of Human Services Search Site

Guiding Principle 1: Supporting Families and Promoting Prevention

Our Child Welfare transformation is built on trauma-informed, family and community-centered and culturally responsive programs and services focused on engagement, equity, safety, well-being and prevention.

This means strategies:

  • Are centered on family support focusing on individual needs and appropriate services.
  • Value the voices, experiences, cultures, intellect and uniqueness of the children, young adults and families we serve. 
  • Are based on early support services at a time when small interventions can make an enormous difference in people’s lives, prevent a crisis and provide appropriate resources if a crisis occurs.
  • Use a multi-generational approach to meet families’ needs and address factors that contribute to risk, trauma and safety concerns and the cycles of child abuse and neglect.
  • Focus on strengthening and preserving connections to family and community by keeping children and young adults safely in their own homes and communities whenever possible; maintaining connections to family, culture and community when temporary substitute care is needed; and making permanency the priority, starting with safely reunifying families.
  • Engage with the community by integrating the voices of children, young adults, parents, families, Oregon Tribal Nations and partners to be more responsive to the needs of families and community partners.
  • Honor and support the self-determination of communities of color and other marginalized communities and aim to build their power.
  • Are culturally responsive by embracing the communities’ lived experiences and the cultures of children and young adults in decision-making that affects their safety, health and well-being; as a result, delivering services aligned with the cultural context of children, young adults, family and community so they can live their lives with dignity, autonomy and equality.
  • Are trauma-informed to recognize the impact of trauma, including historical trauma, and promote a culture of safety, empowerment and healing.
  • Strength-based to support families and individuals with the tools to better handle mental health, substance use, domestic violence issues, and other factors that can contribute to child abuse and neglect.

Desired outcomes

By following this principle, we expect to achieve these outcomes:

  • A more equitable system leading to better outcomes for children of color.
  • Fewer children in foster care.
  • Safer and more stable placements.
  • Stronger community partnerships.
  • Stronger tribal relationships.
  • Increased cross-system collaboration.
  • Decreased racial disproportionality and disparities.
  • More children served in their homes and fewer in substitute care.
  • Lower rates of child neglect and abuse.
  • Fewer child fatalities.
  • Lower rates of child neglect and abuse perpetrated by those who experienced substitute care.
  • Fewer re-reports and recurrences of maltreatment.
  • More diverse foster care providers.
  • Reduced time to achieve permanency, including reunification, guardianship or adoption.