Waqaa! Orutsararmiut Native Council (ONC) Social Services continually works in partnership with local agencies to encourage healthy families. Our main goal is to ensure the health and wellbeing of ONC’s Tribal members. Through challenges we face, our commitment to this work remains the same. Social Services would like to thank our community for your continued support. If you have any questions about our programs, please contact Social Services Director, Sophie Jenkins at 543-2608.
Here is the following staff and programs in which they serve:
Gertrude Peter is our ICWA Advocate and has the most case load. We currently have 57 tribally enrolled children in custody with the State Office of Children’s Services.
The Indian Child Welfare Act is a federal law that seeks to keep American Indian/Alaskan Native children with their respected tribes and families. ICWA is an integral policy framework on which tribal child welfare programs rely. It provides a structure and requirements for how public and private child welfare agencies and state courts view and conduct their work to serve tribal children and families. It also acknowledges and promotes the role that tribal governments play in supporting tribal families, both on and off tribal lands. However, as is the case with many laws, proper implementation of ICWA requires vigilance, resources and advocacy.
We hope to continue bettering our partnership with the State Office of Children’s Services. In the last two months they have not notified ONC ICWA of new investigations on tribal members which they are required to do so. Every tribal member has a right to have an ICWA Advocate present during an initial investigation. For more information, please contact Sophie Jenkins, S.S. Director at 543-2608.
Rural Child Welfare:
Emma Smith is ONC’s Rural Child Welfare Worker. We partner with the State of Alaska, Department of Health and Social Services, Office of Children Services to help monitor their In-Home cases without custody. They each carry a caseload of five cases located in Bethel and the Kuskokwim delta.
Tribal Child Welfare/Tribal Court:
Molly Hunt Jr. is the Tribal Child Welfare Worker/Tribal Court Clerk. She is currently on maternity leave; therefore S.S Director Olinka Breaux has been conducting all ONC Tribal Court affairs. ONC was also the first tribe to receive a BIA Tribal Courts grant for $75,000. This grant will help ONC grow our Tribal Courts Program. We currently have cases which include Child In Need of Aid cases within our own child welfare program and we also take jurisdiction of cases from the State Office of Children’s Services. Tribal members may also request guardianship, file protective orders that the State Courts honor, along with the Bethel Police Department, and in the near future we plan on taking jurisdiction of misdemeanor criminal cases from the State Courts.
Susan Charles is ONC’s Chief Justice and was one of the key staff who helped build ONC’s Tribal Court Program in 1995. We currently have three Tribal Court judges: Susan Murphy, Gloria Simeon and associate Tribal Court Judge Margaret Guinn. ONC tribal members may apply to become Tribal Court Judges, if you have any questions, please contact ONC.
The next session of ONC’s Healthy Families will begin Monday February 21, 2017. It will be held at Tundra Women’s Coalition from 5:30PM-7:00PM. Childcare is provided.
The next session of Healthy Relationships will begin Thursday March 2, 2017 at the ONC Multi-purpose building.
Oscar Chaney and Everett Charlie are our Subsistence staff. They hunt and fish for ONC’s Senior Center Elders and also distribute game to ONC tribal members and families in which we are serving.