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City Club of Eugene: Charting a Course for Foster Care in Oregon

Yellow image of generic man, woman, and children figures.
Sandy Millar
While the number of children in foster care has been declining, nearly 5,000 youth remain in foster care across Oregon.

Program Date: Sept. 15, 2023

Air Date: Sept. 18, 2023

From the City Club of Eugene:

While the number of children in foster care has been declining, nearly 5,000 youth remain in foster care across the State. Hundreds of these children continue to be placed in hotels, despite a 2018 settlement that was designed to halt that practice.

As Michael Dunne, host of KLCC’s Oregon on the Record podcast put it this summer:

“The foster care system in our state can be described as a good news/bad news story. The good news is that the number of kids who have no better alternative than to live with foster parents is down significantly from its high of just a few years ago. The bad news is that there still are thousands of children in our state that need to be removed from families for a host of heartbreaking reasons.”

There are no simple, consensus solutions to the challenges facing children in foster care or our state’s system. However, there is one significant point of agreement among Oregonians: foster care should be a priority. A recent survey from the Oregon Values and Beliefs Center found that while the majority of Oregonians don’t have any personal experience with the foster care system, 93% agree it is important.


Kendra Jones has been the Executive Director for CASA of Lane County since January 2022.

Just prior to joining CASA, she served as Aviva Health’s Grant Writer, securing nearly $20 million to ensure that vulnerable residents in Douglas County have access to quality, affordable healthcare.

Previously, Ms. Jones served as the Director of Strategic Initiatives at Shangri-La, a multi-faceted nonprofit based in the Mid-Willamette Valley.

Kendra is a Diversity Scholar for her work with the Hmong refugee community. Among other roles, she served on the board of the Nonprofit Association of Oregon for two years, where she played an active role on the Public Policy Committee.

Valeri Love is a judge on the Lane County Circuit Court. She was appointed to the bench by Governor John Kitzhaber in August 2011 and elected by the voters in 2012. Judge Love now serves as the county’s Juvenile Court Judge.

She began her legal career in 1995 as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Darryl L. Larson. During her service as a Lane County Deputy District Attorney, she handled domestic violence and financial fraud cases.

Judge Love is also involved with civic organizations and activities that include the Lane County Bar Association, Oregon Asian Pacific American Bar Association, and Oregon Women lawyers.

A 2016 recipient of the Lane County Bar Association’s Distinguished Service Award, Judge Love received her undergraduate degree from Linfield College, a Master of Management degree at Willamette University and her J.D. from Willamette University College of Law.

Chuck Nyby is a Program Manager for the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) Child Welfare Division, where he manages service delivery within the Child Protective Services (CPS) and Permanency programs, including several specialized teams.

Nyby has worked within ODHS Child Welfare for the past 21 years as a Child Protective Service (CPS) and Permanency caseworker, a CPS and Permanency Supervisor, a Safety Consultant out of Central Office and now a Program Manager.

He has provided statewide training and coaching on the Oregon Safety Model, and he has testified before the Senate Finance Committee on Title IV-E reform. In 2015, Chuck and his team received the Team Impact Award for collaborative efforts to protect victims of Human Trafficking.

He is an enrolled member of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians out of Great Falls, MT. Nyby has lived in Oregon for 25 years, including the last 21 in Lane County. Chuck is a married father of 5 children and his family provides treatment foster care through Oregon Community Programs for teens who are committed to Oregon Youth Authority.

About the City Club of Eugene:

The mission of the City Club of Eugene is to build community vision through open inquiry. The Club explores a wide range of significant local, state, and national issues and helps to formulate new approaches and solutions to problems. Membership is open to all, and Club members have a direct influence on public policy by discussing issues of concern with elected officials and other policy makers. The City Club’s mailing address is PO Box 12084, Eugene, OR 97440, and its website is cityclubofeugene.org.

Video and Broadcast

This program will be live streamed, and the videotape will be made available on the City Club of Eugene’s Facebook page and You Tube Channel, in addition to our website. It will be broadcast on Monday, Sept. 18, at 7:00 pm, on KLCC 89.7 FM.

Contact: For more information, visit CityClubOfEugene.org.

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