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How Oregon must change foster care to satisfy a lawsuit settlement


The problems in Oregon's foster care system for children are numerous and long-running. Too many children are taken from their homes and placed into a foster care system that has too few available foster homes.

The situation has led to children being taken out of state to be housed, children being put up in motels while awaiting placement, and ultimately, a class-action lawsuit filed against the state. The state and Disability Rights Oregon, which brought the suit, recently agreed to settle out of court.

So changes are coming, but what will they be, and what is the timetable? We have these and other questions for Emily Cooper, the Legal Director at DRO, who joins us for an extended interview. She is accompanied by Anastasia Benedetto, the attorney for ABC, A Better Childhood, and Steve Rizzo, an attorney with a lot of experience taking on the state in foster care suits.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily news program focused on issues, people and events across Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the program's senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.