EUGENE, Ore. - Oregon Department of Human Services officials met at the LCC campus Wednesday.

This is the third in a series of meetings DHS is holding across the state. The meetings are intended to gather input from the public going into the 2017 budgeting session.

Directors from five different DHS programs gave small presentations. Those programs were:

  • Aging and People with Disabilities
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Child Welfare
  • Self Sufficiency
  • Vocational Rehabilitation

Each director shared recent successes, as well as future goals for each program. After the presentations, each program split into groups.

One of those groups was led by Jason Walling, the deputy director of child welfare for DHS. He took questions and input from community members.

We dont feel part of the team, said one foster parent at the meeting. We dont feel heard.

Walling says that a big issue in the foster system is not having the time to really support our foster families the way that they need to be supported, and should be supported.

One plan for the Child Welfare program is to create a 24/7 hotline for foster parents to help during an emergency and connect them with resources at any time. According to DHS, there were an average of 7,500 children in foster care on any given day in 2015.

DHS has three more town hall meetings scheduled in Medford, Bend and Pendleton.