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CAI Holds Congressional Briefing to Unveil New Report:

Shame on U.S.
Failings by All Three Branches of Our Federal Government Leave
Abused and Neglected Children Vulnerable to Further Harm
January 27, 2015

The federal government's dereliction allows states to fall short on meeting minimum child welfare standards. Below is information specific to Oregon:

CFSR Results Summary: In its Child and Family Services Review (CFSR) process, HHS determines whether each state is in substantial conformity with 7 specific outcomes (pertaining to the areas of safety, permanency and family and child well-being) and 7 systemic factors (relating to the quality of services delivered to children and families and the outcomes they experience).  In the first two rounds of the CFSR, HHS has concluded that Oregon was:

Round 1 (2001)

  • NOT in substantial conformity with 6 of the 7 Outcomes
  • NOT in substantial conformity with 2 of the 7 Systemic Factors

Round 2 (2008)   

  • NOT in substantial conformity with 7 of the 7 Outcomes
  • NOT in substantial conformity with 4 of the 7 Systemic Factors

Although federal law mandates that any state found not to be operating in substantial conformity during an initial or subequent review must begin a full review within two years after approval of the state's program improvement plan, HHS has announced that Oregon will not undergo Round 3 of the CFSR until FY 2016 (see CFSR Technical Bulletin #7 (March 2014)).

Documents from the U.S. Health & Human Services Children's Bureau

Child Welfare Litigation*

  • A.S.W. v. Oregon
    This class action challenges the Oregon Department of Human Services’ 7.5% across-the-board unilateral reduction of Adoption Assistance Program (AAP) payments and denial of an administrative fair hearing to contest Defendants’ actions. Defendants implemented the 7.5% AAP payment reduction in conjunction with a 7.5% reduction in foster care rates in response to state budgetary pressures. Plaintiffs challenge the AAP reductions on grounds that the defendants’ actions violated federal and state law requiring a binding AAP agreement and the concurrence of the adoptive parent for any changes in the AAP payment amount, and deny recipients due process of law under the federal Constitution.

*litigation summary taken from information provided by the website of the National Center for Youth Law

Child Welfare In the News**

  • Even pets are better protected than young kids under Oregon abuse laws, prosecutors say
    The Oregonian - January 22, 2015
    The Washington County case put the spotlight on a quirk in state law -- as interpreted in two Oregon Court of Appeals rulings - that has made it much more difficult to level criminal charges against adults who punch, slap or otherwise beat children.
  •  Legal troubles continue at DHS
    Statesman Journal - December 24, 2014
    Legal troubles at Department of Human Services continue to roil, with a federal judge's consideration of monetary sanctions against it the latest in a string of unfavorable actions.
  • Everyone must do more for foster children: Guest opinion
    Oregonian - December 19, 2014
    Tragically, having safe and loving foster families, competent workers and best-practice policies could be the norm, but not having enough safe and loving homes would still continue to lead to compromised situations.
  • State must do better by foster children: Guest opinion
    The Oregonian - December 16, 2014
    Last week, a courageous and angry Multnomah County jury awarded two little girls a substantial amount of money for enduring nearly two years of physical, sexual and emotional abuse in a state-certified foster home. The jurors' verdict - for every penny they could legally award - was clearly intended to send a loud and strong message to the state of Oregon, and we hope the Oregon Legislature, the Department of Human Services and the other state and local agencies charged with the safety of foster children were listening.
  • OR-Kids tech flaws cause $23 million in false federal claims
    Portland Tribune - December 12, 2014
    Managers at the state Department of Human Services were aware of defects in the OR-Kids information system when they decided to go live with it in August 2011, but they forged ahead anyway, according to an audit report released by the Secretary of State's office on Thursday.

**news summaries taken from daily newsfeed service of HHS' Child Welfare Information Gateway



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Children's Advocacy Institute
University of San Diego School of Law
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