Amid a week of crescendoing allegations and a new class action lawsuit filed against Oregon’s foster care system, Gov. Kate Brown issued an executive order Thursday forming a Child Welfare Oversight Board.
Brown will chair the board, which she describes as a, “crisis management team” or “SWAT team.” The governor is also forming an on-site crisis management team to ensure the board’s recommendations are implemented.
Long the subject of lawsuits and stinging headlines, Oregon’s Department of Human Services came under new scrutiny earlier this year when OPB reported the department was sending foster children to substandard, jail like, facilities. Then earlier this week, Corvallis Senator Sara Gelser reported her findings that the foster children being sent to these facilities were disproportionately, children of color.
Earlier this week, two advocacy organizations filed a class action lawsuit against DHS on behalf of 10 plaintiffs, including a Corvallis teenager. Part of the 77 page complaint accuses the state’s foster system of “revictimizing” children in its care.