Department of Human Services: Agency Subdivisions

Governor's Advocacy Office

Address: 500 Summer St. NE, E17, Salem 97301
Phone: 503-945-6904
Fax: 503-378-6532
Contact: Zachary Gehringer, Administrator

Duties and Responsibilities: The office helps affected parties work through questions, concerns, or complaints related to DHS services or departmental action. The office includes the DHS ombudsman program, the office of the Children’s Advocate, the Foster Care Ombudsman, civil rights and discrimination investigations and oversight the agency’s formal complaint process. This office is functionally independent of the programs under its review, and reports regularly to the DHS director and Office of the Governor on the status of the complaints. In order to resolve issues for complainants, the GAO works cooperatively with DHS field and other program staff, legislators, DHS leadership and other key stakeholders to successfully, equitably, and respectfully reach issue resolution.

Aging and People with Disabilities Division

Address: 500 Summer St. NE, E02, Salem 97301
Phone: 503-945-5600
Fax: 503-373-7823
Contact: Mike McCormick, Director

Duties and Responsibilities: The Aging and People with Disabilities (APD) programs assist older adults and people with disabilities to achieve well-being through opportunities for community living, employment, family support and long-term services that promote independence, choice and dignity. The programs’ goals are to ensure that: older adults and people with disabilities feel safe and are in control of their lives; Oregonians can easily access services and supports to meet their needs; services and supports are delivered through a lens of service equity and are person-centered; programs are innovative, preventive and high-quality; and that Oregonians have a system designed through broad collaboration and engagement of staff, consumers and stakeholders.

During the 2019–2021 biennium, APD expects to serve over 5,000 people aged 60 and older through Oregon Project Independence, more than 34,000 older adults and people with physical disabilities per month with long-term care services paid through Medicaid, about 227,000 older individuals with Older Americans Act services, and over 150,000 Oregonians with direct financial support services. Approximately 43,000 Oregonians live in APD-licensed long-term care facilities.

The Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) of Oregon is a collaborative public-private partnership that streamlines consumer access to the aging and disability service delivery system. The ADRC is free and provides information and assistance that empowers people to make informed decisions. Through trained options counselors, 
Oregonians develop action plans to address long-term service and support needs that align with their preferences, financial situations, values and needs. Employees from both APD local offices and Area Agencies on Aging throughout Oregon are responsible for providing direct client services and for determining eligibility of the aging and people with disabilities for medical programs provided through the Oregon Health Authority.
APD is preparing for the demographic growth expected in the older adult population and is serving an increasingly diverse population. APD strives to identify disparities in outcomes and identify strategies to serve individuals in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Program

Address: 500 Summer St. NE, E02, Salem 97301
Phone: 503-947-5104

Medicaid Long-Term Care Quality and Reimbursement Advisory Council

Address: 500 Summer St. NE, E02, Salem 97301
Phone: 503-930-7293
Statutory Authority: ORS 410.500

Governor’s Commission on Senior Services

Address: 500 Summer St. NE, E02, Salem 97301
Statutory Authority: ORS 410.320

Child Welfare Programs

Address: 500 Summer St. NE, E48, Salem 97301
Phone: 503-945-5600
Contact: Rebecca Jones-Gaston, Director

Duties and Responsibilities:The programs help improve family capacity to provide safe and permanent living environments for foster children of all ages. The programs’ goals are to achieve safe and equitable reductions in the number of children experiencing foster care. This is accomplished by protecting children from abuse and neglect and safely maintaining them in their homes whenever possible and appropriate; finding safe, permanent, stable homes for children when needed; ensuring children in foster care are well cared for, remain connected to family, siblings and support networks and receive appropriate services; providing culturally appropriate and equitable treatment for all children served; and practicing quality assurance and improvement for defining, measuring and improving outcomes for children and families.

Child protection workers respond to all reports of child abuse and neglect. If a child cannot be safe at home, a foster care placement is made. Child Welfare has a renewed focus around keeping children safe and reducing its foster care population by implementing a system that prevents out-of-home placements and increases a timely and safe return to families.

In federal fiscal year 2017, 11,645 children spent at least one day in foster care; 80,683 reports of abuse and neglect were received; 13,976 reports were referred for investigation; and 7,063 reports found abuse or neglect involving 11,077 victims. Of these, 45.1% of the victims were younger than six years old.

Child Welfare Advisory Committee

Address: 500 Summer St. NE, E62, Salem 97301
Phone: 503-945-5600 
Fax: 503-373-7032
Contact: Lacy Andresen
Statutory Authority: ORS 418.005

Family Services Review Commission

Address: 500 Summer St. NE, E48, Salem 97301
Phone: 503-947-6071
Fax: 503-373-7032
Contact: Dan Haun, Self-Sufficiency Programs Director
Statutory Authority: ORS 411.075

Independent Living Council

Address: 500 Summer St. NE, E87, Salem 97301
Phone: 503-945-6204
Fax: 503-945-8991
Contact: Shelly Emery
Statutory Authority: Exec. Order EO 94-12

Refugee Child Welfare Advisory

Address: 500 Summer St. NE, E48, Salem 97301
Phone: 503-945-6739
Fax: 503-373-7032
Contact: Angela Quintero
Statutory Authority: ORS 418.941

State of Oregon Rehabilitation Council

Address: 500 Summer St. NE, E87, Salem 97301
Phone: 503-945-6256; Toll-free: 1-877-277-0513
Fax: 503-945-8991
Contact: Rhonda Hunter
Statutory Authority: ORS 344.735

Developmental Disabilities Program

Address: 500 Summer St. NE, E09, Salem 97301
Phone: 503-945-5811; Toll-free:1-800-282-8096
Fax: 503-373-7274
Contact: Lilia Teninty, Director

Duties and Responsibilities: Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) Services programs provide leadership to support persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live as full participants in their communities. Oregon’s system is built on critical partnerships between local governments, non-profits, provider agencies, self-advocates, and families. Its vision is that people and families access quality supports that are simple to use and responsive to their strengths, needs and choices, while they live and thrive as valued members of their community.
Individuals eligible for services must have an intellectual disability (IQ of 75 or below) that originates prior to age 18 or a developmental disability that originates prior to age 22. These disabilities must significantly impact a person’s ability to function independently. Some persons with I/DD may also have significant medical or behavioral health needs. Most individuals with I/DD meet Medicaid financial eligibility requirements. 
Most I/DD program services are administered under the Medicaid State Plan Community First Choice Option. Case management and employment services are available through traditional, home and community-based service waivers.

Oregon Disabilities Commission

Address: 500 Summer St NE, E02, Salem 97301
Phone: 503-947-1189
Contact: Joseph Lowe
Statutory Authority: ORS 185.110–185.200

Duties and Responsibilities: The Oregon Disabilities Commission (ODC) is a governor-appointed commission within DHS. The commission is composed of 15 members broadly representative of major public and private agencies who are experienced in, or have demonstrated interest in, the needs of individuals with disabilities. Most of the members are individuals with disabilities. The ODC acts as a coordinating link between and among public and private organizations serving individuals with disabilities.
ODC works to secure economic, social, legal and political justice for individuals with disabilities through systems change. To carry this out, the commission identifies and hears the concerns of individuals with disabilities and uses the information to prioritize public policy issues which should be addressed; publicizes the needs and concerns of individuals with disabilities as they relate to the full achievement of economic, social, legal and political equity; and educates and advises the DHS, governor, Legislature and appropriate state agency administrators on how public policy can be improved to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities.

Self-Sufficiency Programs

Address: 500 Summer St. NE, E48, Salem 97301
Phone: 503-945-5600
Fax: 503-373-7032
Contact: Dan Haun, Director

Duties and Responsibilities: Self-Sufficiency Programs’ (SSP) mission is to provide a safety net, family stability and a connection to careers that guide individuals and families out of poverty. With the goal of reducing poverty in Oregon, SSP works to meet the needs of participants, identify their strengths and the barriers they face, and create a comprehensive plan that can lead them to self-sufficiency.

SSP emphasizes a two-generation approach that looks to serves the whole family so cycles of poverty can be broken. This approach not only considers the safety and healthy development of children, it also may prevent abuse or neglect that leads to out-of-home placement in the more expensive foster care program.

Oregonians apply for SSP benefits when they are in need and have no other alternatives. Participants access services through a network of local offices in every county.

SSP focuses on five foundational operating principles: family engagement, economic stability, collective impact, integrity and stewardship, and professional development. The services offered through SSP are Employment Related Day Care; Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program; Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and related programs such as the Job Opportunity and Basic Skills program and Family Support and Connections; Temporary Assistance for Domestic Violence Survivors; Refugee Program; and Youth Services Program.

Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Address: 500 Summer St. NE, E87, Salem 97301
Phone: 503-945-5880
Fax: 503-947-5025
Contact: Keith Ozols, Director
Statutory Authority: ORS 344.510–344.630

Duties and Responsibilities: The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Services works to assist Oregonians with disabilities to achieve and maintain employment and independence. VR provides a variety of services, such as helping youth with disabilities transition to jobs as they become adults, helping employers realize the benefit of employing people with disabilities and partnering with other state and local organizations that coordinate employment and workforce programs. Employment helps people with disabilities progress towards self-sufficiency, become involved in their communities and live more engaged and satisfying lives.
All working-age Oregonians who experience a disability and are legally entitled to work are potentially eligible for VR services. Individuals who experience a medical, cognitive or psychiatric diagnosis that results in a functional impediment to employment are typically eligible for services. Most eligible clients currently served by VR are people with significant disabilities. These individuals experience multiple functional impediments requiring several services provided over an extended period. VR has counselors with expertise in the areas of intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), deafness and hearing impairments, mental health, motivational intervention, spinal injury and traumatic brain injury.

VR services are provided by rehabilitation counselors and support staff who deliver direct client services through field offices and multiple, single-employee, stations in WorkSource Oregon Centers and other human services agencies across the state. As the demographics in Oregon are changing, VR is adapting to provide culturally specific services to Oregonians and help diversify the state’s workforce.

Other Group

Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities

Address: 2475 SE Ladd Ave., Portland 97214
Phone: 503-235-0369
Contact: Leslie Sutton, Executive Director
Statutory Authority: 42 USC 15001

Duties and Responsibilities: The council is made up of self-advocates, family members and representatives of community organizations that provide services and supports to people with developmental disabilities. Council members also include representatives of state agencies that receive federal funding on behalf of people with developmental disabilities. The governor appoints council members to serve up to two consecutive, four-year terms.

The purpose of the council is to ensure that people with developmental disabilities and family members are included in legislative and policy discussions about issues that impact their lives. Council members work together to determine goals and objectives in the five-year state plan, allocate funds to state plan activities and annually review the council’s progress. The council is supported by nine full-time staff who are charged with implementing the state plan. The council’s mission is to advance social and policy change so people with developmental disabilities, their families and communities may live, work, play and learn together.