Nov. 16, 2018
For Biola University alumnus Alain Datcher (’11), serving in politics is supported and motivated by his faith. Without it, he does not know how he could do his job well as he works to support helping Oregon’s DHS implement a statewide Child Abuse Hotline Center.
Datcher currently works as the Business Project Manager for the state of Oregon’s Department of Human Services (DHS). His job gives him the opportunity to develop new infrastructure to receive and respond to reports of child abuse in Oregon 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The ultimate goal of his job is to help protect and care for vulnerable children.
“One of the most important things I can do is help improve the lives of the least of these,” said Datcher. “I’m really blessed to have that opportunity here where I can truly impact the lives of countless amounts of kids here in Oregon, and also for vulnerable families."
The new hotline centralizes the current child abuse hotlines throughout the state under Oregon’s DHS. The hotline currently only has 25 people on staff, which means they can only cover five of 15 districts throughout the state. Once the hotline is centralized in April 2019, it will be staffed with 160 people to absorb the other 10 districts and function year-round.
The central hotline was commissioned by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown as part of her initiative to revamp the state’s current child welfare system after 11,077 children in the state were abused in 2017, according to Brown’s Children’s Agenda. Datcher is key in implementing of this agenda, as he develops strategies and puts together a team to realize the state’s vision.
Datcher considers his time at Biola a vital period that prepared him for a career where he could impact the lives of vulnerable children and families through politics.
“Definitely, Biola taught me how to do it with quality and in a detailed way,” said Datcher. “I don’t see myself being able to do this work well if I had not gotten schooling and the experiences I had.”
When asked about the challenges of being a Christian in politics, Datcher said the mix is not a difficult one. He quoted James 1:27, which talks about how pure religion means visiting orphans and caring for widows.
“I wanted to find the best way to impact vulnerable populations, and I found that politics was not only one of the ways that believers didn’t engage in, I actually found it as one of the most effective and enlightening ways to change lives,” said Datcher. “I just wanted to change lives and I figured politics would be the best way to do it.”
According to Datcher, everyone has something that they are passionate about. He found his purpose and fulfilment in helping other people. That passion is what led him to a career of public service.
“At first, I thought I wanted to be in television,” said Datcher. “But I realized that ultimately I found purpose in helping people and that purpose then led to something that I’m really passionate about. I think your passions can always influence your purposes."
Datcher encourages students at Biola to determine what they are passionate about and pursue it. He said that people often have a wide sphere of concerns but small sphere of influence. The trick is finding out where those spheres intersect. According to Datcher, that is where the most rewarding opportunities come from.
“There’s no substitute for doing good. There’s just none,” said Datcher.
Written by Caleb Aguilera, iBiola Reporter. Contact Jenna for more information at (562) 777-4061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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