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Bill Would Give Foster Youth The Ability To Switch Case Workers

Chris Phan

Oregon lawmakers are considering a measure that would let children age 12 and older in foster care switch case workers. The bill would require the Oregon Department of Human Services to assign the child a new case worker within 15 days of the request.

"Sometimes a conflict arises between a case worker and a youth,” said Corvallis Democratic Senator Sara Gelser, one of the bill’s sponsons. “They're not getting along, the youth has difficulty getting in touch with or communicating with that case worker. And what the bill intends to do is to assure that the youth knows how to access help in that situation."

Gelser acknowledged that the agency is short on case workers and that the intent is not for youth to constantly switch. The bill would also allow older teens in foster care to access their case file.

The measure would require the Department of Human Services to notify foster youth of their right to switch case workers and obtain their case file.

Copyright 2017 Northwest News Network

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.