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After I report

Will the child be taken from the home?

A report to OCS may result in services provided to the family to work with them to avoid further state intervention in their lives. This is called a family services in-home case. Alternatively, the situation may require that the children are removed from the parents’ care and into state custody and placed with temporary caregivers to protect them from further harm. If this type of intervention is required, OCS may initiate a Child in Need of Aid case in state court. If the parents concur with a temporary out-of-home placement with a relative or family friend, then OCS can work without legal intervention as long as the child can return home within 60 days. OCS’s first priority is to work with families to help reunify children with parents once the situation is no longer harmful to the children. If that is not possible, OCS’s priority becomes finding a permanent home for the children. This may require termination of the parent's rights, and adoption of the children in the most extreme cases.

The Young Woman in this video was removed from her home after multiple incidents and reports indicating that she was unsafe. Her story highlights the importance of being vigilant and persistent in reporting perceived abuse. This adult former foster child was eventually adopted and had a happy outcome after numerous traumatic incidents in her life. She describes trauma that occurred after she was taken into care, such as separation from her siblings, but emphasizes that she was still better off than if she had been left in her original home. While the child protection system is far from perfect the State of Alaska, Office of Children’s Services and its partners such as Tribal organizations and youth advocacy groups are working hard to make the system better and to reduce unnecessary trauma to children who must be placed in out of home care. If you are interested in becoming a foster parent or would like learn more about how you could provide support to foster children in Alaska you can find information at Alaska Center for Resource Families.

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