HB 2033A Modifies education requirement for child case workers

VOTE: YES – Governor Brown Signed

Status (overview) of bill:https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2019R1/Measures/Overview/HB2033

AMENDED – THANK YOU FOR SPEAKING UP TO GET THIS BILL AMENDED
This bill reduces minimum educational requirements for child welfare caseworkers from a bachelor’s degree to an associate degree plus additional coursework and training related to the field of human services.

Fiscal Responsibility
Reviews of Oregon’s child welfare system have highlighted persistent problems, including inconsistencies in how workers screen reports of abuse going back to at least 2002. Adding specific coursework and training in human-services is a step to resolve problems.

Limited Government
Research evidence on the viability of the child welfare workforce supports the desirability of more education and training, not less. Over the past 25 years, the following high level reports have concluded repeatedly that workforce shortages and turnover are due to poor working conditions, not educational barriers. Director Marilyn Jones said “we are not desperate in our hiring, rather we want to honor life experience and continue to build a diverse workforce that is inclusive across language, race, class and culture.” Currently, the state can already hire caseworkers who are on track to earn a bachelor’s degree if managers have difficulty filling a job. The bill is amended to reduce minimum educational requirements for child welfare caseworkers from a bachelor’s degree to an associate degree, plus require additional training related to the field of human services.

~~ORIGINAL BILL~~

This bill removes minimum degree requirements for individuals who conduct child abuse investigations or make determinations regarding protective custody of children.

Fiscal Responsibility
Reviews of Oregon’s child welfare system have highlighted persistent problems, including inconsistencies in how workers screen reports of abuse going back to at least 2002. We don’t need to add to the liability by hiring untrained workers.

Limited Government
Research evidence on the viability of the child welfare workforce supports the desirability of more education and training, not less. Over the past 25 years, the following high level reports have concluded repeatedly that workforce shortages and turnover are due to poor working conditions, not educational barriers. Director Marilyn Jones said that eliminating the degree requirement would benefit children and families by opening up a more diverse pool of job candidates. We “are not desperate in our hiring, rather we want to honor life experience and continue to build a diverse workforce that is inclusive across language, race, class and culture.” To diverse the workforce we must lower the standards? The state can already hire caseworkers who are on track to earn a bachelor’s degree if managers have difficulty filling a job.

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