New law, new leaders: DHS ready to change

SB-1515 takes effect July 1

State Senator Sara Gelser, January 2016 (KOIN)
State Senator Sara Gelser, January 2016 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A new law changing the way DHS handles investigations and prosecutes employees who ignore abuse reports is set to take effect July 1.

On Wednesday, stakeholders gathered to talk about rolling out the new rules. Co-sponsor Sara Gelser said it will be a challenge.

“I have been incredibly impressed by the energy of the department to roll out SB-1515,” Gelser told KOIN 6 News. “I think it’s a challenged, but I think the department is up to it, particularly because of the changes in leadership.”

Jerry Waybrant, the Chief Operating Officer for Child Welfare and Self Sufficiency programs and Lois Day, the Director of the Child Welfare program were both fired in March.

The DHS just sent a letter Wednesday to revoke licensing for the Chehalem Youth and Family Services. In a letter, DHS said the facility:

• Failed to comply with mandatory reporting requirements
• Inability to provide adequate supervision and protection of youth in their care
• Incomplete training and inadequate behavior management
• Failure to comply with emergency procedures
• Financial mismanagement.

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