AD Main Menu

Report: Alaska Office of Children's Services grievance process flawed

Craig MedredAlaska Dispatch

The Associated Press reports that the Alaska Ombudsman’s office has found that the process for filing complaints with the state Office of Children’s Services (OCS) is cumbersome and ineffective -- and should be rewritten.  The report, released Monday, determines that the problems are systematic and emerge from “convoluted” regulations.

The 91-page investigative report includes quotes from employees stating that training on the grievance process was insufficient or absent. “I don’t know that I ever got any training from anyone on any of it, so if I was wrong, I was doing it wrong for a long time,” one employee is quoted as saying.

The report recommends that OCS scrap its current grievance process and adopt a new one.

OCS Director Christy Lawton told the AP on Monday that she agrees that the current process is not as “user friendly” as it should be, and said that the ombudsman’s investigation provides a “good road map” for the OCS.

The Office of the Ombudsman accepts citizen complaints about state agencies and personnel, according to its website. The ombudsman conducts interviews, examines confidential state documents and issues subpoenas, among other investigative methods.

Read the full AP story here.