Episode 68: "Reimagining Child Welfare - Oregon's Vision for Transformation"

Date: January 2021

Length: 37:16

This podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and SoundCloud. Subscribe to receive new episodes as they are released.

Transcript:   cwig_podcast_transcript_episode_68.pdf   [PDF, 177 KB]

“It really is intended to be an intentional reminder and a touchstone as we’re making decisions, as we’re using this as our guide that we’ve got to actually not just fall back on what we know, because what we know is absolutely embedded in the systemic racism that exists in child welfare and across our other systems.”
—Rebecca Jones Gaston, child welfare director, Oregon Department of Human Services

Changing or shifting how child welfare systems operate has been a topic of discussion, research, and even legislation. The goals of these efforts are to reduce the trauma experienced by children and families involved with child welfare, apply a greater prevention lens to casework practice, and eliminate the inequities and disproportionality child welfare systems currently demonstrate.

This episode features one jurisdiction moving from discussion to action. Oregon’s Child Welfare Division has released its Vision for Transformation, which documents a strategic roadmap to success, including specific guiding principles, strategies, and measurable outcomes. Listeners will hear from Rebecca Jones Gaston, the director of Oregon’s Child Welfare Division, on why the vision was developed, how it will be implemented, and the internal and external changes required to transform the State’s child welfare system into one that supports the individual needs of families and best serves Oregon's children and youth.

Topics discussed include the following:

  • The need to document within the Vision for Transformation that Oregon “recognize[s] that white supremacy and systemic racism are deeply embedded in the history, fabric, and institutions of our country, including child welfare systems.
  • ”How child welfare’s relationship with Tribal partners must evolve to align to the State’s vision for transformation
  • The guiding principles of transformation:
    • Supporting families and promoting prevention
    • Enhancing staff and infrastructure
    • Enhancing the structure of the system by using data with continuous quality improvement