"Think Out Loud" host Dave Miller discusses the child welfare system with Oregon Department of Human Services Director Fariborz Pakeresht and Director of Child Welfare Marilyn Jones in front of a live audience at Bridge Meadows in Portland on March 27, 2019

"Think Out Loud" host Dave Miller discusses the troubled child welfare system with Oregon Department of Human Services Director Fariborz Pakeresht and Marilyn Jones, then the child welfare director, in front of a live audience at Bridge Meadows in Portland on March 27, 2019

Amanda Rhoades / OPB

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Oregon lawmakers are considering bills that would expand access to services and support foster kids in the state’s troubled child welfare system. Royce Bowlin is the executive director of the Oregon Alliance, a coalition of 40 child advocacy groups in the state. Those member groups work with the Oregon Health Authority, DHS Child Welfare and the Oregon Youth Authority. They are also the second-biggest provider of foster care in the state. Bowlin says Oregon must boost wages to bring down the sky-high turnover rate, which is between 40-60 percent.

We talk to Bowlin about those bills and about SB 707, which would allow all Oregon youth sent across state lines between 2016 and 2019 to access all their relevant records documenting their treatment during that time. In those out-of-state facilities, children and youth experienced abuse, neglect, and sexual assault.

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