SALEM, Ore. (KOIN) — Republican Rep. Knute Buehler called on Gov. Kate Brown Monday morning to make spending on kids in foster care a top priority this legislative session.
A recent report from the Oregon’s Secretary of State’s office concluded that ongoing problems caring for foster kids are still not fixed.
The report chronicles failures in the state foster care program and how it’s failed many of the 8,000 kids in it. According to the report, kids are being deprived of food and beaten by foster care parents, and in some cases, even murdered.
“This crisis is a complete betrayal of the public trust to care for some of the most vulnerable kids in this state,” Rep. Buehler said. “The situation is heartbreaking to me and should not be tolerated in the Oregon we love.”
To the end, Buehler — a candidate for governor — called on Brown to prioritize foster kids by pushing for $50 million to help kids, foster parents and ease case worker loads — and to also stabilize the foster care program.
“The first step is Gov. Brown leading in committing this capital to put in foster care reform at the very top of the 35-day agenda,” Buehler said.
He also said there is bipartisan support for helping the foster care system. He thinks it’s something that can be done in the legislative session that starts this week.