Salem, Oregon – Gov. Kate Brown has announced a bold plan to improve the lives of Oregon’s foster children. Gov. Brown has called on the legislature to spend $14.5 million this biennium to hire 185 new staff members at the Department of Human Services (DHS), including 75 social workers. This comes on the heels of an audit released by Secretary of State Dennis Richardson, which revealed rampant dysfunction in Oregon’s foster care program.
“Oregon’s foster care system has faced serious challenges,” said Delmar de la Torre Stone, Executive Director of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Oregon Chapter. “Oregon foster kids deserve the highest standard of care, and this announcement is a step in the right direction.”
NASW has consistently said that social workers must be part of the solution to Oregon’s foster care crisis. Social workers receive extensive training, take a rigorous exam and are licensed to protect the public, making them the most qualified to serve as the professionals in child welfare. The high ethical standards of social workers will help DHS avoid the crises that have befallen the agency in recent years.
In order to implement this plan, the legislature needs to take action and designate the necessary funds in the state budget. “NASW will be working with legislative leaders to ensure the Governor’s request is prioritized,” said Stone.
Meanwhile, Gov. Brown has proclaimed March 2018 to be National Social Work Month in Oregon.
“Social Workers continue to engage and bring together individuals, communities, agencies and government to help society solve some of the most pressing issues of the day,” according to the Governor’s proclamation.
NASW thanks Gov. Brown for recognizing the contribution of our professionals to this state, and we remain committed to helping move Oregon forward.
Take time to read the official Oregon Social Work Month 2018 Proclamation!