Connect with us

Oregon

Oregon lawmaker, advocates comment on foster care after FOX 12 investigation

Published

on

Oregon lawmaker, advocates comment on foster care after FOX 12 investigation


PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) – FOX 12 Investigates has obtained data showing that state investigators rule abuse and neglect allegations from foster children as “unfounded” in nearly all cases.

Through a public records request, the FOX 12 Investigates team learned that from 2019-2023, there were 2,415 Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) investigations into alleged abuse and neglect by foster parents towards their foster children. Of all those investigations, over 88% of those allegations were determined to be unfounded, and just about 12% founded.

In emotional stories from former foster youth who FOX 12 spoke with, all say this trend does not surprise them.

Oregon state senator, Sara Gelser Blouin (D-Corvallis), who also chairs the Senate Human Services Committee, has worked on child welfare legislation for years, specifically trying to improve the quality of foster care in Oregon. FOX 12 Investigates presented our findings to the senator showing that even after a thorough audit of ODHS and the foster care system in 2018, abuse and neglect allegations by children in foster care went unfounded nearly all the time.

Advertisement

“There has been tremendous resistance from the agency and providers to look at, whether it’s abuse data or licensing data, through a lens of curiosity, to find out how do we make these services better,” said Gelser Blouin.

The senator has helped pass legislation in the past designed to improve how ODHS to conduct abuse and neglect investigations within the foster care system. Gelser Blouin says despite changes she pushed for, there are still gray areas in these investigations.

“Just because something is unfounded doesn’t mean that the child was not accurate in what they reported,” she said. “It could be that there was conflicting information and therefore they couldn’t come to a substantiated finding.”

Gelser Blouin says abuse and neglect investigations specifically look for evidence needed to prove an allegedly abusive foster parent broke the law.

“The question isn’t was the child mis-treated? Was the child harmed? Is the child uncomfortable? The question is: did this person that’s alleged to have committed the abuse do something that is a violation of what is explicitly written in the statute?”

Advertisement

In response to FOX 12′s reporting on the ODHS data on abuse and neglect investigations in foster care, an ODHS spokesperson sent the following statement:

“The data provided to KPTV is not troubling – instead, it shows that the vast majority of resource (foster) parents in Oregon provide safe and supportive homes to children experiencing foster care. In Oregon, cases of abuse by foster parents are rare…

We feel empathy and compassion for the traumas experienced by children in foster care, and ODHS is committed to listening and responding to the concerns they have…

Oregon has made significant progress since the 2018 Secretary of State audit…. including in child safety, resource (foster) parent recruitment and support, and using data to improve outcomes for children.”

Advertisement
According to data obtained by the FOX 12 Investigates team, foster parents accused of abusing and neglecting their foster children usually get absolved by state

The FOX 12 Investigates team also shared our findings with Hannah Royal, another former foster youth. In the past, Royal has testified on behalf of the organization, Oregon Foster Youth Connection, in front of Oregon state lawmakers in Salem with the hopes of improving the quality of foster care. She says foster children’s complaints leading to unfounded investigations is nothing new.

“I think that there’s a stigma against foster youth for being like just untruthful people in general,” said Royal. “And so the fact that so many of them went unfounded doesn’t really surprise me.”

Royal feels a critical solution is improving the staffing of DHS case workers, who are supposed to be assigned to each foster child and check in with them regularly. Royal also feels more guidance is needed for foster children on recognizing what abuse looks like.

“I think the biggest trend is, a lot of them don’t even feel comfortable reporting that sort of abuse or like, they’re not even sure what is the line between the normal treatment of (a) parent to child, and where’s the line of that actual abuse and neglect.”

Advertisement



Source link

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Oregon

10 most expensive homes sold on the northern Oregon coast, May 13-19

Published

on

10 most expensive homes sold on the northern Oregon coast, May 13-19


A house in Seaside that sold for $5.4 million tops the list of the most expensive residential real estate sales on the northern Oregon coast in the past week.

In total, 39 residential real estate sales were recorded in the area during the past week, with an average price of $921,190. The average price per square foot was $519.

The prices in the list below concern real estate sales where the title was recorded during the week of May 13 even if the property may have been sold earlier.



Source link

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Oregon

Oregon Commit Akili Smith Jr.

Published

on

Oregon Commit Akili Smith Jr.


EUGENE – Oregon football class of 2025 Quarterback Commit Akili Smith Jr. is set to compete in the Elite 11 finals. This elite quarterback event provides training and competition for the nation’s most dominant quarterbacks.   

The 2024 Elite 11 finals will feature 20 of the top quarterbacks in the 2025 graduating class. According to the Elite 11 website, these prospects will “receive advanced, one-on-one quarterback instruction in a highly competitive setting.” The event will also incorporate on-field drills, competition, classroom instruction, and off-field development.  

Oregon head coach Dan Lanning leads practice with the Oregon Ducks Saturday, April 6, 2024 at the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex in Eugene, Ore.

Oregon head coach Dan Lanning leads practice with the Oregon Ducks Saturday, April 6, 2024 at the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex in Eugene, Ore. / Ben Lonergan/The Register-Guard / USA

“Elite 11 alumni feature 28 of the past 32 current NFL starting quarterbacks and 16 of the past 17 quarterbacks who have hoisted the Heisman Trophy.”  

– elite11.com

The Elite 11 final roster was announced on Wednesday. The list featured student-athletes committed to USC, Georgia, Ohio State, Florida, and more. Four-star Oregon commit Smith Jr. is also on the roster.   

Advertisement

Following the announcement, Smith Jr. took to social media to share the announcement. The post reads, “Blessed and excited to compete!!”   

Smith Jr. is rated by the 247Sports composite as the No. 78 overall player in the class of 2025 and the No. 8 quarterback.   

The 6-foot-5, 215-pound signal-caller, son of legendary former Oregon Duck and former NFL first-round draft pick Akili Smith, committed to Oregon in July 2023.   

Nov 5, 2000; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Akili Smith (11) scrambles with the ball during the game against the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium. The Ravens beat the Bengals27-2. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 5, 2000; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Akili Smith (11) scrambles with the ball during the game against the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium. The Ravens beat the Bengals27-2. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports / Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Athletics’ Antonio Morales called Smith Jr. “a high-quality get for the Ducks.”  

Last season as a junior, Smith Jr. Had 148 completions for 2431 yards and 25 touchdowns. He averaged 202.6 yards per game during the season.   

Advertisement

Smith Jr. Will compete at the Elite 11 finals alongside the following prospects:   

The Elite 11 finals will take place June 18th-20th in Los Angeles, California. Fans can watch Smith Jr.’s performance and see updates online at elite11.com.



Source link

Continue Reading

Oregon

Oregon provides funding boost to local meat processors to strengthen food supply

Published

on

Oregon provides funding boost to local meat processors to strengthen food supply


Oregon agricultural regulators are once again giving a boost to locally-owned slaughterhouses to build up local meat supply. On Wednesday, the Oregon Department of Agriculture announced a “substantial investment” of $8.2 million, intended to keep more meat local.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) meat inspectors and graders at a processing facility. Nov. 29,2018.

Preston Keres / U.S. Department of Agriculture

The funds will go to 14 Oregon-based meat processors that are either already inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture or will come under the state’s fledgling inspection program. That program came online in 2022 following a $9 million investment from the state Legislature after the USDA agreed to give the state Agriculture Department the ability to establish its own inspection program, so long as it met federal inspection requirements.

Advertisement

This time around, the state will distribute the money in the form of a grant for local processors to purchase new equipment and increase processing capacity.

Lisa Charpilloz Hanson, director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture, said the investment is a strategic move to address some of the limits processors and ranchers face.

“This is the second major investment the state is making in meat processing in Oregon. Our beef industry is a significant contributor to the national livestock supply chain, but much of the economic opportunity is lost because the processing is out of the state,” Charpilloz Hanson said in a statement.

Charpilloz Hanson also said the investment gives more options to ranchers and farmers when they’re looking for a processor, thereby strengthening the local food supply.

Before the Oregon state meat inspection program came online, ranchers and farmers relied on just 13 USDA inspected processors scattered across the state. A shortage of inspectors, especially at the peak of the pandemic, made it increasingly difficult for smaller to medium-sized ranchers to find a place for butchering livestock, said Casey Miller, owner of the Meating Place, a butcher shop and cafe in Hillsboro.

Advertisement

“There’s just not nearly enough inspected processors to really make the local food chain work. Right now, people are having to truck their animals all the way to Eastern Oregon or Idaho or southern Oregon or even farther to get them processed under inspection,” Miller said. “ODA’s program is really trying to simplify all those steps and get more meat producers under inspection within the state.”

Miller’s butcher shop was one of the first state inspected facilities. His business also just received $697,500 from the latest grants.He said the plan is to build a new slaughterhouse division to process animals for other meat producers under inspection. Which means that ranchers can then be able to sell it under their own label at restaurants, farmers markets or grocery stores.

“These funds are going a long way to taking the risk out of us jumping in to kind of fill this void,” Miller said.

ODA projects the state investment will lead to an additional 3.5 million pounds of locally sourced meat in communities throughout Oregon annually.



Source link

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Trending