Behind closed doors, Malheur County citizens insist on the best for foster children

A special citizen committee makes sure that children put into foster care get what they need, including appropriate clothing. (The Enterprise/File)

ONTARIO – Behind closed doors, the four citizens asked probing questions about a foster child in state custody.

One asked about school. Another asked about how therapy was progressing. And another asked how the child’s mother was doing with treatment for a drug addiction.

A state caseworker sat before them, answering the questions, occasionally referring to a file several inches thick with reports, medical records, and more.

The four are a quiet but essential part of Malheur County’s foster care system. They are members of the Citizen Review Board, with the power to question how well the state is tending to children placed in foster care. They can push and prod the state to . . .