WILSON CALLS FOR PUBLIC TESTIMONY REGARDING THE OFFICE OF CHILDREN’S SERVICES
Wednesday, January 11, 2017, North Pole, Alaska – Representative Tammie Wilson today announced statewide public testimony opportunities for Alaskans not satisfied with the current state of the Office of Children’s Services.
On September 7, 2016, Rep. Wilson requested that a Grand Jury conduct an investigation into how the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) and the Office of Children Services (OCS) are complying with statutory duties.
“The Attorney General’s Office hijacked my request and to this date there has been no action taken even after Director Christy Lawton admitted to the Fairbanks Daily News Miner on September 9, 2016, that she expects to fail the upcoming 2017 federal review audit because the benchmarks are very high,” Wilson, R-North Pole, said.
Between 2012 and 2015 the number of children taken from their homes in Alaska soared by 65-percent, with most of that increase between 2014 and 2015 (http://nccpr.org/reports/2006to2015.pdf). “Why should anyone expect anything different when the head of the Alaska child welfare agency confuses child removal with child safety, and about breaking federal law requiring ‘reasonable efforts’ to keep families together,” Wilson said. (http://youthtoday.org/2016/11/alaska-unreasonable -assault-on-reasonable-efforts/)
“I have received hundreds of calls from those touched by OCS in some way and wanting to tell their story,” Wilson said. “It is obvious by the lack of action from the Attorney General’s office that they do not want to listen to any of the facts that have been submitted.”
Public testimony will be conducted across Alaska on the following dates and times:
Saturday, January 21, 2017 Mat-Su LIO, 12-4 p.m.
Thursday, January 26, 2017 Juneau Capitol room 120, 507 p.m.
Saturday, January 28, 2017 Kenai LIO, 12-4 p.m.
Saturday, February 4, 2017 Anchorage LIO, 12-4 p.m.
Saturday, February 11, 2017 Bethel LIO, 12-4 p.m.
Saturday, February 18, 2017 Fairbanks North Star Borough Building, 12-4 p.m. (in person only)
Saturday, February 25, 2017 Kodiak LIO, 12-4 p.m.
To participate via phone call 1-844-586-9085 and ask to be connected to the meeting.
Rep. Wilson recommends bringing written testimony so that it can be easily shared with all legislators.
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For more information, contact Rep. Wilson’s office at 907-465-4797.