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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Oregon DHS Workers Are Stressed Out, But Proud Of Their Work

Chris Lehman
Northwest News Network
File photo of the Barbara Roberts Human Services Building in Salem.

Working for Oregon's Department of Human Services is stressful. That's one of the findings of an agency-wide survey released Wednesday by the Oregon Secretary of State's office.

The agency runs programs that serve people with disabilities, senior citizens, low-income families, and children in foster care. Nearly two-thirds of the agency's 7,900 workers responded to a survey this year from auditors with the Oregon Secretary of State's office.

The result: Working at DHS can be stressful, especially in the child welfare division where nearly three-quarters of respondents said work-related stress is "too high." And nearly half of respondents across all divisions said they didn't have the tools and resources necessary to do their job.

Despite the challenges, more than 85 percent of the DHS employees who responded said they were proud to work at the agency.