2015 ORS 419B.090¹
Juvenile court
  • jurisdiction
  • policy

(1) The juvenile court is a court of record and exercises jurisdiction as a court of general and equitable jurisdiction and not as a court of limited or inferior jurisdiction. The juvenile court is called "The _________ Court of _________ County, Juvenile Department."

(2)(a) It is the policy of the State of Oregon to recognize that children are individuals who have legal rights. Among those rights are the right to:

(A) Permanency with a safe family;

(B) Freedom from physical, sexual or emotional abuse or exploitation; and

(C) Freedom from substantial neglect of basic needs.

(b) Parents and guardians have a duty to afford their children the rights listed in paragraph (a) of this subsection. Parents and guardians have a duty to remove any impediment to their ability to perform parental duties that afford these rights to their children. When a parent or guardian fails to fulfill these duties, the juvenile court may determine that it is in the best interests of the child to remove the child from the parent or guardian either temporarily or permanently.

(c) The provisions of this chapter shall be liberally construed to the end that a child coming within the jurisdiction of the court may receive such care, guidance, treatment and control as will lead to the child’s welfare and the protection of the community.

(3) It is the policy of the State of Oregon to safeguard and promote each child’s right to safety, stability and well-being and to safeguard and promote each child’s relationships with parents, siblings, grandparents, other relatives and adults with whom a child develops healthy emotional attachments.

(4) It is the policy of the State of Oregon to guard the liberty interest of parents protected by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and to protect the rights and interests of children, as provided in subsection (2) of this section. The provisions of this chapter shall be construed and applied in compliance with federal constitutional limitations on state action established by the United States Supreme Court with respect to interference with the rights of parents to direct the upbringing of their children, including, but not limited to, the right to:

(a) Guide the secular and religious education of their children;

(b) Make health care decisions for their children; and

(c) Discipline their children.

(5) It is the policy of the State of Oregon, in those cases not described as extreme conduct under ORS 419B.502 (Termination upon finding of extreme conduct), to offer appropriate reunification services to parents and guardians to allow them the opportunity to adjust their circumstances, conduct or conditions to make it possible for the child to safely return home within a reasonable time. Although there is a strong preference that children live in their own homes with their own families, the state recognizes that it is not always possible or in the best interests of the child or the public for children who have been abused or neglected to be reunited with their parents or guardians. In those cases, the State of Oregon has the obligation to create or provide an alternative, safe and permanent home for the child.

(6) The State of Oregon recognizes the value of the Indian Child Welfare Act and hereby incorporates the policies of that Act. [1997 c.873 §2a; 1999 c.859 §22; 2001 c.686 §21; 2007 c.71 §112; 2007 c.806 §3; 2015 c.795 §1]

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 419B—Juvenile Code: Dependency, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors419B.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
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.