Oregon Nonprofit was Paid 100 Times More Than Foster Parents to Care for Vulnerable Children

The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) paid the nonprofit, Dynamic Life, more than 100 times what foster parents receive for looking after the state’s most vulnerable children. The ODHS admits making mistakes in an internal report after paying millions of dollars to the unlicensed Keizer-based nonprofit.


State Paid Millions of Dollars to House Children in Hotels

Under pressure from lawmaker Senator Sara Blouin, D-Corvallis, an internal ODHS report reveals that the state signed numerous contracts worth millions of dollars with Dynamic Life who housed children in hotels and other short-term rentals.

It has also come to light that Dynamic Life staff members repeatedly used physical force to restrain children without having proper certification or training to do so, and that several of them did not undergo sufficient background checks.

The ODHS canceled the contract last December, and an internal investigation began.


Contracts With Dynamic Life Ballooned from $500,000 to $12 million

Contracts with Dynamic Life began at $500,000, but this quickly ballooned to $12 million because of communication gaps when contracts with the nonprofit were signed, the investigation found. The state says it will now centralize the contract process instead of allowing local ODHS offices to sign agreements.

The state will now request its human services auditing team to investigate the child welfare contract processing system to establish how the ODHS can oversee contractors.

The Oregon Department of Justice will review the issues raised about the state’s contracts with Dynamic Life and open a personnel investigation.


Senator Says ODHS Fails to be Accountable

Senator Blouin says the internal report illustrates how an agency (the ODHS) places blame elsewhere as it fails to be accountable for its role affecting the lives of children.

Sen. Blouin, chairman of the Senate Committee of Human Services, says the ODHS fails to address a serious child welfare issue by placing the blame on “back-office paperwork”. She says the state’s child welfare department is inclined to place blame on the complex behavioral and social needs of the children, and not on its failure for decades to overcome placement problems.

Canceling the contract with Dynamic Life will not solve the problems, says Sen. Blouin.



In late 2022, the ODHS signed a contract in which Dynamic Life, a nonprofit religious organization, received $2,916 a day for every child placed in its care.

Pressure started mounting when children’s advocates and several attorneys started asking questions about the standard of care children received from Dynamic Life.

After promising to stop doing so in a 2018 legal settlement, the state has spent more than $25 million housing vulnerable children in hotels.

Marty Beyer, a child welfare and juvenile justice consultant, was appointed to investigate and make recommendations on how the state can end the temporary placement of children.

Beyers is tasked with “whole childcare” that will necessitate change within the ODHS, school districts, and the juvenile justice system.

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