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Oregon’s foster care system is facing a crisis of catastrophic proportion, including a class-action lawsuit, which cites Oregon’s Department of Human Services agency as having failed to address a need for an additional number and range of appropriate placements and necessary services, despite the fact that the problem has been known for a growing number of years.

With the ever-growing child-abuse rates, the lack of DHS response and the sheer number of DHS misplacements, Oregon’s child welfare system is in need of serious reform. Accountability is needed overall as:

1. There were 26 children who died from causes related to abuse during 2018. Two of those were siblings who died as a result of the same incident of abuse. Twenty of those fatalities were due to severe neglect. (DHS, 2018).

2. 16% of children who receive free or reduced lunch in Oregon have been victims of sexual abuse. (Oregon Health Authority, 2018).

3. In 2015, two young children ages 3 and 5 endured extreme starvation at the hands of their foster parents, to the complete knowledge of Oregon’s DHS management. The children were ignored until they weighed the same as a 1 and 3 year old, respectively. (Critical Incident Response Team Report, 2015).

Oregon is in need of reform!

Kassy Ketchum

Jefferson (May 30)

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