Audit: Oregon welfare programs, foster care mismanaged

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A state audit found that Oregon’s welfare agencies have racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars in questionable costs from data errors and a lack of oversight.

The Secretary of State’s office said on Thursday that the state has not been properly tracking its payments to welfare recipients under the federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program, leading to overpayment in some cases. The audit, which covered fiscal year 2018, also found data inaccuracies in determining who is eligible for assistance, a recurring problem since 2010.

Within Oregon’s foster care system, the report uncovered multiple cases in which the state didn’t complete criminal background checks or properly vet prospective foster homes. Those oversights likely led to over $800,000 in questionable costs.

The Department of Human Services, which manages both programs, agreed with the findings and said it plans to take corrective action.