I agree with The Oregonian editorial (2/15/18), "Audit outlines child welfare problems." I've researched federal DHS audits of this agency since 2001, and found that not much has changed. Improvement plans are ordered, directors get replaced, and the same broken system continues. Oversight comes from the federal level in the form of threatened funding cuts. The problem with that, and I assume why it never happens, is the agency would end up doing less, not more, to care for the welfare of children.
As the author of "No Broken Bones," I've talked with Human Services classes at Lane Community College about how the agency failed our family. The students had stories of their own, and each time I left with the feeling that these students had the passion and motivation to make changes.
Changing power-hungry bureaucrats at the top of the ladder, ordering funding cuts, and, as you say, "divisive deflection", from state leadership won't help.
We can only hope that new energy comes soon. Elections can help.