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Oregon DHS Workers Are Stressed Out, But Proud Of Their Work

File photo of the Barbara Roberts Human Services Building in Salem.
Chris Lehman
/
Northwest News Network
File photo of the Barbara Roberts Human Services Building in Salem.

Working for Oregon's Department of Human Services is stressful. That's one of the findings of an agency-wide survey released Wednesday by the Oregon Secretary of State's office.

The agency runs programs that serve people with disabilities, senior citizens, low-income families, and children in foster care. Nearly two-thirds of the agency's 7,900 workers responded to a survey this year from auditors with the Oregon Secretary of State's office.

The result: Working at DHS can be stressful, especially in the child welfare division where nearly three-quarters of respondents said work-related stress is "too high." And nearly half of respondents across all divisions said they didn't have the tools and resources necessary to do their job.

Despite the challenges, more than 85 percent of the DHS employees who responded said they were proud to work at the agency.

Copyright 2016 Northwest News Network

Chris Lehman covers the Oregon state capitol for JPR as part of the Northwest News Network, a group of 12 Northwest public radio organizations which collaborate on regional news coverage. Chris graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He began his career producing arts features for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana and has been a reporter/announcer for NPR station WNIJ in DeKalb, Illinois. Chris has also reported from overseas, filing stories from Iraq, Burkina Faso, El Salvador, Northern Ireland, Zimbabwe and Uganda.
Chris Lehman
Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.