Oregon increasingly ships foster children to other states
State child welfare officials offered welcome news last fall in a report to Gov. Kate Brown: It had been weeks since they placed a foster child in a hotel.
The development was an improvement for the Department of Human Services, which weathered a firestorm of criticism and a civil lawsuit in 2016 after it was revealed Oregon foster care children were being placed in hotel rooms.
Many of those children struggled with mental, behavioral and psychiatric issues, but the state didn't have anywhere else to put them.
But in the report, it seemed agency officials were making headway in finding placements for some of the state's more vulnerable children.
"We continue to build capacity to fit the needs of the children we are serving," they said in the report to Brown and other lawmakers.
But what the agency didn't tout: As the number of children in hotels has dropped, the number shipped out of the state has risen sharply.
Oregon is sending children — once again some of the most vulnerable, those with mental health and psychiatric issues — across state lines to Utah, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Wyoming, Pennsylvania and Tennessee, to name a few.
Oregon Public Brodcasting is a news partner of the Portland Tribune. You can read the rest of their story here.
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