2017 ORS 418.259¹
Investigation of suspected abuse
  • findings
  • notifications
  • reports

(1) The investigation conducted by the Department of Human Services under ORS 418.258 (Report of suspected abuse) must result in one of the following findings:

(a) That the report is substantiated. A report is substantiated when there is reasonable cause to believe that the abuse of a child in care occurred.

(b) That the report is unsubstantiated. A report is unsubstantiated when there is no evidence that the abuse of a child in care occurred.

(c) That the report is inconclusive. A report is inconclusive when there is some indication that the abuse occurred but there is insufficient evidence to conclude that there is reasonable cause to believe that the abuse occurred.

(2) When a report is received under ORS 418.258 (Report of suspected abuse) alleging that a child in care may have been subjected to abuse, the department shall notify the case managers for the child, the attorney for the child, the child’s court appointed special advocate, the parents or guardians of the child, any attorney representing a parent or guardian of the child and any governmental agency that has a contract with the child-caring agency or developmental disabilities residential facility to provide care or services to the child that a report has been received.

(3) The department may interview the child in care who is the subject of suspected abuse and witnesses without the presence of employees of the child-caring agency, proctor foster home or developmental disabilities residential facility, the provider of services at a certified foster home or department personnel. The department shall inform the child in care that the child may have the child’s parent or guardian, if the child has not been committed to the custody of the department or the Oregon Youth Authority, or attorney present when participating in an interview conducted in the course of an abuse investigation.

(4) The department shall notify the following when a report of abuse is substantiated:

(a) The Director of Human Services.

(b) Personnel in the department responsible for the licensing, certificate or authorization of child-caring agencies.

(c) The department’s lead personnel in that part of the department that is responsible for child welfare generally.

(d) With respect to the child in care who is the subject of the abuse report and investigation, the case managers for the child, the attorney for the child, the child’s court appointed special advocate, the parents or guardians of the child, any attorney representing a parent or guardian of the child and any governmental agency that has a contract with the child-caring agency to provide care or services to the child.

(e) The parents or guardians of the child in care who is the subject of the abuse report and investigation if the child in care has not been committed to the custody of the department or the youth authority. Notification under this paragraph may not include any details or information other than that a report of abuse has been substantiated.

(f) Any governmental agency that has a contract with the child-caring agency to provide care or services to a child in care.

(g) The local citizen review board established by the Judicial Department under ORS 419A.090 (Local citizen review boards).

(5) The department shall report on a quarterly basis to the interim legislative committees on child welfare for the purposes of public review and oversight of the quality and safety of child-caring agencies, certified foster homes and developmental disabilities residential facilities that are licensed, certified or authorized by the department in this state and of proctor foster homes that are certified by the child-caring agencies. Information provided in reports under this subsection may not contain the name or any identifying information of a child in care but must contain all of the following:

(a) The name of any child-caring agency, proctor foster home or developmental disabilities residential facility, or, provided there are five or more certified foster homes in the county, the name of the county where a certified foster home is located, where the department conducted an investigation pursuant to ORS 418.258 (Report of suspected abuse) that resulted in a finding that the report of abuse was substantiated during that quarter;

(b) The approximate date that the abuse occurred;

(c) The nature of the abuse and a brief narrative description of the abuse that occurred;

(d) Whether physical injury, sexual abuse or death resulted from the abuse; and

(e) Corrective actions taken or ordered by the department and the outcome of the corrective actions.

(6) In compiling records, reports and other information during an investigation under ORS 418.258 (Report of suspected abuse) (1) and in issuing findings, letters of concern or reprimands, the Director of Human Services or the director’s designee and the department may not refer to the employee, person or entity that is the subject of the investigation as an “alleged perpetrator” but must refer to the employee, person or entity as the “respondent.” [2016 c.106 §38; 2017 c.138 §4; 2017 c.448 §4; 2017 c.733 §3]

Note: See note under 418.257 (Definitions for ORS 418.257 to 418.259).

Chapter 418

Notes of Decisions

Where plaintiffs brought ac­tion under 42 U.S.C. 1983 alleging viola­tion of federal civil rights after defendant Children’s Services Division employees removed plaintiffs’ child from home following reports of abuse, CSD workers entitled to absolute immunity in investiga­tion, taking child into custody and keeping plaintiffs from visiting child. Tennyson v. Children’s Services Division, 308 Or 80, 775 P2d 1365 (1989)

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 418—Child Welfare Services, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors418.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2017, Chapter 418, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano418.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
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.