SALEM, Ore. (AP) – The secretary of state’s office says “extensive work” is needed to improve child safety within Oregon’s troubled foster care system.
The office says in a report Wednesday that the Legislature will need to make a significant investment in the Department of Human Services to improve child welfare.
The report says DHS has made some progress in improving workplace culture and training. But the department still needs to hire more caseworkers and address a lack of suitable foster homes.
Gov. Kate Brown suggested using $50 million of the state’s surplus revenue to do just that. She also called on the Legislature to increase DHS’ budget.
Legislative leaders are working with a tight budget despite historic revenue. Budgeters say they’re focused on investing the money in the state’s rainy-day fund to prepare for an economic downtown.