DHS to review why children removed from foster home

DHS to review why children removed from foster home
Foster parents Willie Norman and Brenda Lincoln were hoping to adopt a brother and sister who had been living with them for two and a half years, but DHS pulled the children from their home in October.

PORTLAND, Ore. – In the wake of a KATU On Your Side Investigation, the Oregon Department of Human Services has begun an internal investigation into why it removed two children from the foster home they had lived in for two and a half years.

The move outraged the judge in the case and the DHS had high-level people at the latest court hearing Tuesday over the children's future. They were trying to figure out how the situation got handled in what appears to be such a poor way.

State child welfare workers pulled the children from Brenda Lincoln's and Willie Norman's home where they had lived for two and a half years in Northeast Portland.

The move outraged the children’s biological family and Multnomah County Judge Susan Svetkey because therapists said it was the worst thing that could happen to the kids.

DHS didn't explain its actions in court but now admits to KATU the agency made mistakes.

"I'm here (at the court hearing) to represent the office of the director," said DHS spokesman Gene Evans. "We've got an interest in this case; we've been watching the stories and wanted to have a more direct view of exactly what was happening so I can report back to Salem. We’re interested; we're going to conduct a review of the case – how this has been handled from Salem. We want to take a look at this from top to bottom."

Because of confidentiality laws, DHS won't talk specifics about what went wrong. On Friday the kids will be moved to yet another foster home in Eugene. It's their second move since being pulled from their Portland foster home in October.

Lawyers for DHS, the children and their mother are still fighting in court over a long-term plan for the children's future.

If you have a story for our On Your Side Investigators, email them at investigators@katu.com.