Legislators OK Hiring 113 Child Welfare Workers At DHS

Oregon legislators on Friday approved hiring 113 child welfare workers, an effort they said is needed to help prevent abuses such as those that recently came to light.”What is going on there is a direct result of a lack of funding,” said Sen. Alan Bates, D-Medford.”There were such huge caseloads that there was no way in the world they could follow what is going on properly in some areas.” Bates was referirng to recent lawsuits filed against the Department of Human Services for negligence. The state budget includes $10.7 million more from the tax-supported general fund, and $20.4 million more overall, for 113 more child-welfare positions. That’s about 85 full-time workers, according to a budget report. Erin Kelly-Siel from the DHS did not respond to a request for comment on those numbers Friday.
There are approximately 8,700 Oregon children in foster care and each one spends about 457 days in foster care, according to DHS’ website.
www.opb.org/news/article/legislators-ok-hiring-113…t-dhs

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