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Oregon’s child welfare director sees reforms taking hold

Rebecca Jones Gaston (Contributed photo)

Rebecca Jones Gaston stepped into one of the state’s biggest crises in 2019, taking over the Oregon agency charged with safeguarding children.

Nearly 18 months later, Jones Gaston is optimistic.

She is director of the state Child Welfare Division, where reforms are taking hold.

Fewer children go to foster care.

More caseworkers are on duty watching over children abused or at risk of being abused. 

And citizens calling a hotline to report suspected abuse now reach someone in about two minutes – far quicker than once was standard.

“I’m really hopeful for 2021, that we continue to get some traction on those things that are in motion,” Jones Gaston said.

She assayed the agency’s performance in a wide-ranging interview with . . .