2017 ORS 417.815¹
Duties of office
  • confidentiality
  • protection for person filing complaint

(1) The Office of Children’s Advocate shall be accessible to the public through the state toll-free telephone line maintained pursuant to ORS 417.805 (Toll-free child abuse hotline) and through other electronic and written forms of communication. The office shall:

(a) Disseminate information and educate the public about the detection and prevention of child abuse and about the prosecution of persons accused of child abuse;

(b) Cooperate with other units within the Department of Human Services and law enforcement officials in performing duties under ORS 418.747 (County teams for investigation) and 418.748 (Statewide team on child abuse and suicide) and 419B.005 (Definitions) to 419B.050 (Authority of health care provider to disclose information) when the investigation involves alleged child abuse;

(c) Provide technical assistance in the development and implementation of state and local programs that relate to child abuse;

(d) In cooperation with the department, objectively review the department’s systems for handling child abuse cases; and

(e) Analyze data collected by the office to discern general patterns and trends, chronic problems and other systemic difficulties in the detection, reporting, investigation, prosecution and resolution of cases of child abuse.

(2) In addition to the duties required under subsection (1) of this section, the office shall:

(a) Review any complaint regarding the department’s involvement in a specific child abuse case, unless the office determines there is an adequate remedy for the complaint;

(b) Make any appropriate referrals of the complaint or complainant at the time the office receives the complaint or during the office’s review process;

(c) Inform the complainant of the referral of the complaint or any other action taken by the office on the complaint;

(d) Inform the department of the office’s intention to review the department’s action, unless the office determines that advance notice will unduly hinder the review; and

(e) Conduct a review of the department’s action when appropriate, and inform the department of the results of the review, including any recommendation the Children’s Advocate believes would resolve any case or any systemic issues identified in the review.

(3) If the office has knowledge of confidential information relating to a child involved or allegedly involved in child abuse, the office shall keep the information confidential from public disclosure. However, the office is subject to legal mandates in ORS 418.747 (County teams for investigation) and 418.748 (Statewide team on child abuse and suicide) and 419B.005 (Definitions) to 419B.050 (Authority of health care provider to disclose information).

(4) A person who files a complaint under this section or ORS 417.805 (Toll-free child abuse hotline) or participates in any investigation under this section may not be, because of that action:

(a) Subject to any penalties, sanctions or restrictions imposed by the department;

(b) Subject to any penalties, sanctions or restrictions connected with the person’s employment; or

(c) Denied any right, privilege or benefit.

(5) If deemed necessary by the Children’s Advocate for the purposes of carrying out the duties of the office, the office may conduct criminal records checks pursuant to ORS 181A.200 (Authority of Department of Human Services, Oregon Health Authority and Employment Department to require fingerprints) on a person through the Law Enforcement Data System maintained by the Department of State Police. [1993 c.678 §§9,10; 1995 c.79 §211; 2003 c.591 §5; 2005 c.730 §22]

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 417—Interstate Compacts on Juveniles and Children; Children and Family Services, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors417.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
2 OregonLaws.org contains the con­tents of Volume 21 of the ORS, inserted along­side the per­tin­ent statutes. See the preface to the ORS An­no­ta­tions for more information.
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.