You Have Rights
On June 26, 2013 a law went into effect creating the Oregon Foster Children’s Bill of Rights and a Foster Child Ombudsman (a person children and youth can call directly). For more information about the Bill of Rights, please contact Darin Mancuso at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are in foster care and have concerns about where you are living or the services you are receiving please call the Ombudsman at 1-855-840-6036. If you are a supportive adult and you are concerned about the care, placement or services a foster youth is receiving please call the Ombudsman at 1-855-840-6036.
Created by OFYC
Oregon Foster Children’s Sibling Bill of Rights| Developed and advocated by OFYC members and passed into law in 2017, the Sibling Bills of Rights grants youth in foster care the right to be supported in preserving and strengthening relationships with their siblings. Click here to view a list of rights and click here to view tips and ideas for strengthening sibling connections.
Savings Account| OFYC members advocated and passed a bill into law in 2015 that ensures that foster youth 12 years old or older receive direct assistance from DHS in establishing their own savings accounts.
The Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standard| Videos in English and Spanish were created by OFYC to help foster parents understand the new Reasonable and Prudent Parent (RPP) standard and why normalcy is important for children and youth in foster care. The Federal RPP standard establishes that substitute caregivers and child care institutions must provide children opportunities for participation in extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, and social activities, and apply the RPP standard when making decisions regarding a child’s or young adult’s participation in such activities.
Tuition Waiver| Developed and advocated by OFYC members and passed into law in 2011, the tuition waiver establishes that tuition and fees at state universities and community colleges are waived for youth who spent time in Oregon’s foster care system.
Oregon Foster Children’s Bill of Rights| Developed and advocated by OFYC members and passed into law in 2013, the Foster Children’s Bill of Rights grants distinct legal rights to children and youth in foster care. Click here to view the poster, and click here to view the poster for small children. For questions about transitioning into adulthood, click here for more information in English and click here for more information in Spanish.
Foster Care Ombudsman| The Foster Care Ombudsman is an independent resource who investigates complaints, concerns, or violation of rights for children in custody of Oregon DHS Foster Care. This position was established as part of the Foster Children’s Bill of Rights. If you are a current or former foster youth, or if you have concerns about a child or youth in foster care, the staff at the Ombudsman Office will listen to your concerns, document complaints, remain neutral and impartial, and provide information on how to help.
Driving Privileges| Developed and advocated by OFYC members and passed into law in 2009, this bill establishes that DHS is required to provide assistance to foster youth in obtaining a driver’s license. For more information about the services available to youth in care in obtaining a driver’s license, click here. Click here for a poster titled The Road to Getting Your License. For the paperwork needed to obtain a permit and driver’s license, click here. Click here for more information about driver’s education course payments.
Oregon Community Resources
211info| A central hub with the mission of empowering Oregon and Southwest Washington communities by helping people identify, navigate, and connect with the local resources they need. Click here for additional resources specifically for foster families.
Independent Living Program
The Independent Living Program (ILP)| Helps youth who are, or were, in foster care to become self-sufficient adults. It gives an opportunity to learn valuable skills necessary to make a successful transition from state or tribal custody to living on your own in the community. Click here for additional resources for teens. For questions about housing, click here. For questions about financial aid for higher education, click here.
Foster Club|This mission of Foster Club is to lead the efforts of young people in and from foster care to become connected, educated, inspired, and represented so they can realize their personal potential and contribute to a better life for their peers.
Foster Care Alumni of America| The mission of Foster Care Alumni of America is to connect the alumni community and to transform policy and practice, ensuring opportunity for people in and from foster care.
Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) |Interns have the chance to work closely with all departments during their time with CCAI, while gaining valuable experience working on Capitol Hill. There will be opportunities to work on program management, events planning, fundraising/development and grant-writing, donor outreach and fulfillment, administration, and policy and research.
The National Foster Youth Institute |For the past 6 years, the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth has hosted a Shadow Day where foster youth and alumni ages 18-30 are invited to Washington, D.C. to be paired with their Members of Congress for a day on Capitol Hill. The youth spend almost a week in Washington, D.C. each May to gain a better understanding of the role of Congress and learning how they can make their voices heard on issues they care about.
Oregon Department of Human Services— Provides information about training and certification, manuals, guides, policies, and additional resources for foster parents and relative caregivers. Click here for additional resources.
Oregon Child Welfare Data Website| Find information about the children and families served by Oregon DHS Child Welfare.
Children First for Oregon| Explore the Oregon County Data Book and the KIDS COUNT National Data Book for data analysis about child well-being, including indicators on health, safety, education, and economic security.
Oregon State Legislature| Find your Representative and Senator, watch live streams of hearings, and learn more about past and current legislation.