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Think Out Loud

A Union For Foster Parents?

Pete Springer/OPB

Oregon State Senator Chip Shields (D-Portland) feels strongly about foster parents’ right to organize. He’s introduced a bill in the legislature that would establish foster parents as public employees, allowing them to join or form a union, but not to go on strike. He says this would help create a stronger voice for foster parents at the state level.

Shields, who has been a foster parent in the past, introduced similar bills in 2011 and in 2009. Both died in committee. He acknowledges it’s unlikely his current bill will pass, but he wants to keep the idea alive.

Do you have experience as a foster parent? Would you support the right of foster parents to organize? Why or why not?

2013 session foster care legislature politics union

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