|Gov. Kate Brown|
Wow. An independent review and a task force. She really must be serious.
Except she's not. Because, according to The Oregonian, the review will focus on “abuse investigations, licensing practices and how the far-flung agency can better share warning signs.”
In 2014, more than half of complaints were ruled closed during an initial screening, in part because state law strictly limits investigations, usually to cases involving serious injury or an ongoing threat.
‘Neglect’ means negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child, including the failure to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical treatment, or supervision.
With a definition like that, there is hardly an impoverished parent in Oregon who couldn't be labeled neglectful at some point.
Somewhere along the line, someone in Oregon apparently figured this out - because, it seems, Oregon officials are not about to let such a broad, vague definition apply when they are the ones responsible for the placement.
The news accounts don't specify exactly what the definition of abuse is when it happens in foster care, so I don't know if that definition needs to be broadened, as one Oregon legislator is proposing. But the definition that applies to all other Oregon parents needs to be narrowed. And, of course, the definitions should be the same.
Perhaps the task force could get to work on that. And if that's too much for a mere task force, how about a "blue ribbon commission"?