This past April and May, the Child Welfare office of the Department of Human Services assigned and received about half the number of child protective services investigations it had during that period last year.
VALE—The foster care oversight board needs volunteers to help monitor how state officials are dealing with local children in foster care.
The Citizen Review Board serving the Malheur County area only has three volunteers, and needs six to not get overwhelmed.
“We are in desperate need of volunteers,” said Lee Graves, board member.
The board confidentially reviews child care case files which can be up to 500 pages, and presents their findings to a meeting of the review board, the children’s caseworker, caregivers, the state Department of Human Services and the child, if over 14.
After reviewing the services offered, the child’s circumstances and their family, the board can recommend changes to state child welfare workers.
Reviewing the files for each child can take between three and 10 hours, and the meeting for each child takes around two hours, said Graves.
“The board is absolutely crucial to make sure kids don’t fall through the cracks, and to make sure they have what they need for their safety, health and welfare,” said Graves.
This month, 202 children were in foster care in Malheur County, according to Wendy Hill, DHS District 14 manager.
The application can be found on the Citizen Review Board’s website.
Interested people need to pass a background check, attend training in Hermiston, and sit through a juvenile court proceeding before they are sworn in.
People who would like more information can talk with Graves at 541-709- 8174.
“It is a commitment. It’s a commitment of time, and it’s a commitment to the children,” said Graves.
Citizens with power keep eye on government’s care of foster children
Volunteers needed on Malheur County’s foster care panel
Behind closed doors, Malheur County citizens insist on the best for foster children
News tip? Contact reporter Aidan McGloin at [email protected] or at 541-473-3377.
KEEP THE ENTERPRISE GOING AS OTHERS CLOSE…..
Reader support allows the Enterprise to provide in-depth, accurate reporting that otherwise would not get done. Keeping the community well informed is essential. SUBSCRIBE – $5 a month, automatically. DONATE – to provide additional support.