A bill that holds great potential to reduce the number of children who are in foster care in Oregon so they can remain in their families may have gotten less attention than it deserves in the Oregon legislature's rush to adjourn.
Senate Bill 964 would require the Department of Human Services and its county partners to implement "strengthening, preserving and reunifying families programs to provide family preservation and reunification child welfare services."
In testimony before the Ways and Means Human Services Subcommittee last month, Lynne Saxton, executive director of ChristieCare, said, "According to industry data, there are 8,689 children in foster care in Oregon today. For every 10,000 kids in the state, 100 are in foster care. The national average is 57 and the average in Tennessee is 45."
"Stop and think about this statistic for a moment," she added. "It is nothing if not sobering."