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State OCS searches files for reports of abuse in Bethel case

The state Office of Children's Services is reviewing its records of the Tony foster home and looking for any abuse reports from children placed there, said the agency's director, Christy Lawton.

The agency has let Bethel police know the foster-care licensing file, which had been archived in Juneau, is available. Workers are still working to locate separate files for individual children, she said.

Lawton didn't know whether her agency will attempt to find and contact the foster children, who likely would be adults now. But if any who were in the Tony foster home need counseling, they can contact OCS, she said.

She said child protection work has improved since the Tonys last were foster parents some 15 years ago. Sex-abuse investigations now are done by multi-disciplinary teams, for instance. She doubted the review would reveal the need for systemic change, and the workers involved back then are likely no longer with the agency.

-- Lisa Demer, Anchorage Daily News