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Home > State > Executive > Commission on Children and Families > Agency History

Commission on Children and Families: Agency History

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Written 1996


The Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee is associated with the State Office for Services to Children and Families (SCF) which established in 1995 and succeeded the Children's Services Division. The Children's Services Division was created in 1971 as part of the newly established Department of Human Resources, thereby consolidating functions formerly handled by the Public Welfare, mental health, and Corrections departments. Major duties of SCF include regulating foster care and adoptions; administering the interstate Compact on Juveniles; licensing day care centers and private child care and placement agencies; providing youth employment and mental health programs for children; and assuring compliance with federal social security laws relating to children's benefits.


The earliest state sponsored attempts to target services toward children as a distinct group involved the creation of institutions devoted to their care and rehabilitation. The first such institution was the State Training School (MacLaren School for Boys) in 1889, followed in 1907 by the Fairview Home and the State Industrial School for Girls (Hillcrest School) in 1913.


The first state administrative body which targeted an aspect of child welfare was the Board of Inspectors of Child Labor. Following the national progressive era "child saving" movement, Oregon established the Child Welfare Committee in 1913 which was given supervisory and regulatory powers over state-aided private relief institutions such as orphanages, homes for wayward girls, and foundling homes.


In 1911 the Board of Health was assigned as part of its responsibility the administration of select child welfare services. Among these duties was the supervision of orphanages and foundling institutions, the creation of a Bureau of Child Hygiene within the agency in 1922, and by 1960 initiatives such as well-baby and preschool conferences and hearing tests for children.