Oregon Department of Human Services, Child Welfare Programs
Authority and Responsibility
ORS 418.005 (Powers of department in connection with child welfare services) provides that, in order to establish, extend, and strengthen welfare services for the protection and care of dependent or neglected children, the Department may make all necessary rules and regulations for administering child welfare services. Among other duties outlined by ORS 409.010 (Department of Human Services), Child Welfare is responsible for the delivery and administration of programs and services relating to children and families, including child protective services and foster care. ORS 419B.020 (Duty of department or law enforcement agency receiving report) provides that, upon receipt of a report of child abuse, Child Welfare or a law enforcement agency is required to immediately cause an investigation to be made to determine the nature and cause of the abuse. In addition, ORS 418.640 (Supervision of foster homes) requires Child Welfare to adopt rules it deems necessary or advisable to protect the best interests of children in foster homes. Finally, ORS 181.537 authorizes Child Welfare to conduct criminal records checks on subject individuals, as defined by Child Welfare, if deemed necessary by Child Welfare.(2) Child Welfare has determined that, in order to protect children from abuse and to protect the best interests of children in foster homes, it is necessary for Child Welfare to permit local Child Welfare offices to perform criminal records checks on subject individuals when Child Welfare is conducting a child protective services assessment, has an open child welfare case, or determines that emergency foster home certification decisions must be made.