Earlier this month, my office held a press conference and released an audit report revealing the dire condition of Oregon’s foster care system. At that time, I called on Governor Brown and the Legislature to provide our foster care leaders and caseworkers with the funding and tools they need to serve this most vulnerable population entrusted to their care.
I am delighted to see appropriate action being taken to immediately address the staffing shortage in our foster care system. Governor Brown should be commended for her new staffing plan, which will help alleviate some of the burden on current employees and provide better support for our foster children. While this additional funding won’t fix Oregon’s foster care system overnight, it is a great first step in the right direction.
The new plan has legislative support for an additional $14.5 million for foster care in this biennium, allowing 185 positions to be filled immediately. I congratulate Governor Brown and the Legislature on making additional funding for this program a top priority. Protecting Oregon’s children is one of the most important issues facing us today. Our children cannot wait.