A federal review of Oregon’s foster care system was released this week, and it doesn’t paint a very pretty picture of how we take care of our neediest kids. According to the report we have a serious shortage of foster care homes, and when kids are placed they are often moved from home to home, preventing them from receiving the stability and security they need to mature into confident adults.
A similar study was done in 2001, and we fared a little bit better than today. Why is the situation worsening for kids in foster care here? Is lack of government funding to blame? Are we asking case workers to do more than is reasonable? Or is there just not enough political will to make the system better?
Do you have any experience with foster care in Oregon? Is it as bad as this report suggests? If so, what responsibility do Oregonians have to improve it? Have you ever considered becoming a foster parent? What would it take for you to make that profound commitment?
- Brian Johnston: Head of Oregon’s child welfare system
- Kathy Kauffman: Policy and communications director of Children First for Oregon
- Susan Bell: Board member of the Oregon Foster Parent Association
- Janet Walker: Associate director of the Research and Training Center on Family Support and Children?s Mental Health and a co-facilitator of the National Wraparound Initiative