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3/31/2011 3:17:00 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Oregon--Calls Needed to Oppose DHS Pilot Program

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Oregon--Calls Needed to Oppose DHS Pilot Program!

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

We need your calls to help stop House Bill 2858. This bill would
create a pilot program to refer Lane County families with
unsubstantiated reports of abuse and neglect, and who have children
from newborns to age 5, for further assessment. Both children and
adults in these families would be considered for additional
evaluation. Caseworkers would also make recommendations for
appropriate interventions such as "parental education and support."

We have been closely tracking House Bill 2858 and working with
OCEANetwork to oppose this pilot program. Your calls are needed now to
help defeat this legislation while it is assigned to an unofficial
workgroup that is being held on the bill. We ask that you contact the
House Human Services Committee members listed below and urge them to
oppose this bill.

REQUESTED ACTION

(1) If you have not already done so, please call and/or email the
members of the House Human Services Committee listed below with the
following message in your own words:

"Please oppose House Bill 2858. Parents who have already been through
a DHS investigation and have had no indication of abuse or neglect
should not be referred for additional scrutiny and government
involvement. Additionally, since this pilot program's purpose is to
report the effectiveness of providing services to these families, I am
concerned that undue pressure will be placed on these parents to
participate in this third-party referral plan."

If your representative is on this committee, please let him or her
know that you are a constituent. Please let committee members know if
you live in Lane County. To find the name of your representative, use
HSLDA's Legislative Toolbox at http://www.hslda.org/toolbox . You do
not need to tell the committee members that you are a homeschool
parent.

House Human Services Committee:

Rep. Vic Gilliam (R), Co-Chair
Phone: 503-986-1418
Email: rep.vicgilliam@state.or.us

Rep. Carolyn Tomei (D), Co-Chair
Phone: 503-986-1441
Email: rep.carolyntomei@state.or.us

Rep. Lew Frederick (D), Co-Vice Chair
Phone: 503-986-1443
Email: rep.lewfrederick@state.or.us

Rep. Jim Thompson (R), Co-Vice Chair
Phone: 503-986-1423
Email: rep.jimthompson@state.or.us

Rep. Mitch Greenlick (D)
Phone: 503-986-1433
Email: rep.mitchgreenlick@state.or.us

Rep. Chris Harker (D)
Phone: 503-986-1434
Email: rep.chrisharker@state.or.us

Rep. Julie Parrish (R)
Phone: 503-986-1437
Email: rep.julieparrish@state.or.us

Rep. Jim Weidner (R)
Phone: 503-986-1424
Email: rep.jimweidner@state.or.us

BACKGROUND

Under the Lane County pilot program proposed by House Bill 2858,
families whose 30-day Department of Human Services (DHS)
investigations had been completed and closed without any evidence of
abuse or neglect would still be referred to a third-party organization
for additional review. All cases that are considered "founded" for
abuse and neglect already receive additional attention.

Under the pilot program, any family referred would be subject to a
determination of what services might be available and appropriate for
the child and parents. An assessment of the needs and resources
available to the family would also be done along with a recommendation
for appropriate "interventions" into the family's life. The
recommendations could include parental education and support, mental
health services, or other interventions.

According the DHS, 67,885 allegations of abuse and neglect were made
in 2009. Of those allegations, only 28,584 actually were investigated.
Thus, only 42.1% of all allegations met the threshold for abuse and
neglect and were referred to social workers for investigation.

While House Bill 2858 would only deal with those reports actually
investigated, nearly 75% of all reports actually investigated Oregon
in 2009 were determined to be completely unfounded or closed without
being able to determine any abuse or neglect. In Lane County, the
pilot program would cause the referral of 1,231 reports/families that
were unfounded and 411 reports/families that were closed as unable to
determine for additional scrutiny. Of the 2,324 investigations for
abuse and neglect in Lane County, 29.3% were founded, 53% were
unfounded and 17.7% were classified as unable to determine.

To see the annual reports on abuse and neglect statistics in Oregon
you can go to: http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=10784

To see more information on this and other bills HSLDA is monitoring in
Oregon, visit our website at: http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=10785
.

If you are not already a member, please consider joining HSLDA and
help support home education freedom in Oregon and beyond. You can join
online at: http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=10786 .

Sincerely,

Thomas J. (Tj) Schmidt
HSLDA Staff Attorney


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