This bill establishes the Child Welfare Equity Advisory Committee in the Governor’s Child Foster Care Advisory Commission to improve equitable treatment of all populations who receive foster care.
DHS is directed to provide the Commission with necessary clerical and administrative support, including at least one full-time policy analyst. DHS assumes that this position will be filled with one full-time permanent Operations and Policy Analyst 3 position, which with associated Services and Supplies is estimated to cost $143,870 General Fund and $47,956 Federal Funds in 2021-23; and $188,929 General Fund and $62,975 Federal Funds in 2023-25.
In August 2020, at Oregon Foster Youth Connection’s virtual 2020 Policy Conference, current and former foster youth identified a need for an oversight entity with diverse membership to provide culturally responsive services and resources that meet the needs of foster youth of color. HB 2505A expands the Governor’s Child Foster Care Advisory Commission membership to include family members of foster parents. Specifies which state agencies’ decisions should be advised by the Commission. The commission shall establish a Child Welfare Equity Advisory Committee composed of members of the commission, employees of the Department of Human Services who make decisions regarding the removal of children from their homes, current or former foster parents or foster children and other child welfare stakeholders. The commission shall appoint members of the committee in such a manner as to ensure representation from all segments of the child foster care system that are affected by the work of the committee, taking into consideration the geographic, racial, ethnic and gender diversity of the populations receiving child welfare services. A majority of the members of the committee must represent populations disproportionately overrepresented in the child welfare system. The committee’s report to the commission must include ways for changes to policies, procedures, administrative rules or legislation to ensure that the commission and the department are effectively serving Racial and ethnic minorities; People with disabilities; Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and other minority gender identity communities; and Other historically disproportionately overrepresented communities in the child welfare system.