Office of Children’s Services or Offending Children Secretly?

by Charlene Lupie

I know the title doesn’t seem catchy enough, but it means a lot to me knowing what was said to my niece. The story behind it? The short version, an OCS case worker told my niece that she was going to be adopted just to become an orphan.

I feel like the devil is behind this, and we all know the devil comes in all shapes and forms and tells you lies to get your hopes up, just to have them crushed. Smirk-a-lot? Not for long.

Case workers tell ALL parents to do what is required to be “reunified” with their kids, but we all know their words don’t match what they do.

OCS workers deliberately prompt kids with the same question in different forms and then make up lies after “interpreting” what was said. A lady I met and became friends with opened my eyes to this, BEFORE I heard from a family member what was said to my niece.

People who work closely with kids and parents and get paid by the State of Alaska shouldn’t be doing things like this. Do you know how much it hurts the kids and how outraged parents get after finding out what was said? Do they think saying it to kids when NO ONE is around will be hidden forever? Kids understand what’s said, no matter the age. Parents and grandparent see the hurt on their kids/grandkids faces and ask.

Just because we’re native, doesn’t mean we don’t understand anything. We understand better than those with degrees and higher education, and actually have compassion for those we love and care about, knowing what it’s like to be in situations like that, we make sure NO ONE feels the same hurt we felt.

So why crush, hurt, destroy and try to make kids miserable just because you’re bigger than they are and think no one will find out?

On another note, why tell clients that you’ll meet with them, and then lie and say things like, “Oh, I thought they were here, I just found out today that they’re over there” and not try to even MEET with the clients?

It’s YOUR job to be reaching out to clients you know who have limited access to phones and update them on what’s happening, what’s GOING to happen and what NEEDS to be DONE. Don’t act like you don’t know where clients are and then lie at conferences about the whereabouts your client is. You’re already making the agency you work for look bad. Not that anyone cares. And OCS workers wonder why no one likes them?

I want to apologize for this, but at the same time I don’t, knowing I’m not the only one they’ve been lying to. Someone had to say it, and here I am. I’m an outraged parent and aunt who got tired of the deceitful words and actions OCS does to EVERYONE they work with and I’m not sorry.

For years we all had to deal with OCS and their ability to take kids away after investigating cases and then making up stories and putting words our kids didn’t say into reports they write.

While I’m writing this, I start to wonder how they treated my 6-year-old daughter and what was said to her, for her not to cooperate with them anymore. Anyone else notice that behavior in their kids?

And as for OCS workers who act like the spawns of the enemy of our souls, anything that is said in the dark comes to the light, eventually.

Before you even saying things like, “You’ll just be an orphan,” make sure you have another job lined up. After the first warning, workers like this should be let go.

If anyone has ever been in a situation like this or similar, contact your ICWA worker and tell them what was said. And if your local ICWA worker isn’t providing assistance, contact the AVCP ICWA Department at (907) 543-8690 and make a complaint. Case workers like the one my family and I dealt with shouldn’t continue working due to the comment that was made. But like every state worker, eyes and ears become blind and deaf to negativity like that. And if it happened on THAT occasion, it must have happened in the last as well.

Speak up about situations like this and don’t be afraid to voice out YOUR experience. I did, and it wasn’t only for me.

Charlene Lupie is a resident at the Tundra Center in Bethel, AK.

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