The Oregon public education system is struggling and has one of the highest dropout rates in the country. The welfare of Oregon students is being compromised due to a lack of mental health and social supports in the K-12 school system. The office of Oregon State Representative Joe Gallegos recognizes the extreme need for professionals trained in mental health support, trauma informed care, and family systems intervention. This Senior Capstone analyzes the legislative process and barriers Gallegos’ office addressed in the formation of a policy that aims to reintroduce social workers into the Oregon public school system. The goal of this bill is to decrease dropout rates and absenteeism within the school system while increasing student welfare and success, bringing the state closer to the 40-40-20 goal. By collaborating with schools, families, and organizations Gallegos’ office has used a grassroots approach to the creation of this bill to ensure successful passage and implementation.
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