InDHSS: Employee Newsletter


August 2010


""Director's Column

Greetings from OCS.

I’m thrilled to be publishing OCS’ first-ever external newsletter. In an effort to increase communication and transparency with you — our families, foster parents, Tribal workers, stakeholders, and interested citizens — we will be issuing this newsletter on a quarterly basis. We will attempt to focus the newsletter on topics we believe may be of most interest, areas that are often misunderstood, or on issues that are of local or national news interest that we may wish to weigh in on.

I have had the pleasure of leading OCS as its Director since August 2010. I was permanently appointed into the role by Governor Parnell in April 2011. I have worked for OCS for the last 13 years and truly love this agency and the families we serve. We have some of the brightest and most dedicated staff in the country working hard every day to meet the needs of our families. There are no easy positions at OCS. This is an agency that is challenging to work in because of the high degree of stress, complex families, and because the stakes are so high. We are making decisions about families that will have lasting impacts on them and there is no exact road map for making those decisions. It is not a black and white profession, and every family is unique in their challenges and strengths.

We are an agency that often gives the perception that we can do the work alone, that we don’t need outside help, and that we have large walls built up around us in attempt to be secretive. I’m here to say that that is not the OCS of today, nor is it the OCS of tomorrow while I’m at the helm. We want to partner with you to serve our families in most collaborative and effective manner necessary. We can’t do this work without you, and how we do our work should not be a mystery. My staff are clear about my expectations and are working to improve local efforts to ensure the practice on the ground matches those expectations. We do have confidentiality policies in place to protect our families’ privacy, but there are many ways to safeguard their privacy and promote collaboration at the same time. There is also much of what and how we do our work that is all open for sharing to the general public and is available via our website as well.

During my time as Director, I will continue to strive to increase the transparency, increase the communication lines from OCS and others, and ensure we serve our families to the best degree possible. I appreciate your support and input in achieving these goals. Feel free to contact me with ideas for future publications and on any other topics of interest or concern. Thank you for your interest in OCS and I hope you will find this quarterly newsletter helpful and informative.

Christy Lawton

Meet our OCS Senior Leadership Team

Please enable images for a better experience.