SALEM. Ore. (KOIN) – On the heels of a federal review that showed failing grades in all 14 categories, the Oregon Department of Human Services met Friday for a stakeholder meeting.
Both DHS Director Clyde Saiki and interim Child Welfare Director Dr. Reginald C. Richardson Sr. spoke at the presentation and hosted a Q & A with those in attendance.
“We’ve had some significant changes in our leadership in the last few weeks,” Richardson told KOIN 6 News. “We talked about some of those and change in our direction, an emphasis on making sure people we take care of throughout our department are safe — that they’re receiving the type of care that Oregonians expect we provide as a state agency.”
Deborah Cathers-Seymour, the director for Chehalem Youth and Family Services, attended the meeting.
“Now I hear there is hope on the horizon that we might be able to receive some retroactive funding. But it’s too little ,too late,” Cathers-Seymour told KOIN 6 News. “We have 17 programs that are behavior rehabilitation service providers who have already closed because they could not make it.”
She said it’s important to remember what this is all about.
“It’s about children’s care. People who are caring for children have to be given the opportunity to have a relationship with kids and not just do paperwork and make reports and make phone calls. They have to be present and relating to the children.
“What we’re doing is expanding the bureaucracy to the point that our staff can’t even do their jobs.”