In 2012 the Osage Nation Child Support Services was an award-winning model for tribes in Indian Country, with a six-member staff, including an investigator.
Today, there are three employees left: Cindy Tillman, Dana Daylight and Dana Cass. With recent reorganizations of departments by the Standing Bear administration, budget cuts and debt, the ON Child Support office is feeling the pinch.
Rumors of the Nation closing the doors of the child support office circulated among employees Aug. 27.
“I can tell you this, the reorganization of that department was done to ensure those services stay within the Nation instead of going back to the state,” said Casey Johnson, director of operations.
In 2012, ON Child Support Services handled 400 cases.
Johnson confirmed a Child Support Services employee was laid off Aug. 26 and another employee’s salary was reduced, but whom he couldn’t say. Through a process of elimination, long-time Case Specialist Delana Taylor, non-Osage, was laid off.
Tillman is the director and also holds an at-large member seat on the Pawhuska City Council, Cass is a Finance Specialist and Daylight (Osage) is a Case Initiation/Paternity specialist.
According to the child support website, the office works in partnership with the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement and other tribal and state agencies. The office provides services such as paternity establishment, establishment of a child support order, location of all parties associated, and enforcement of child support orders, modification of an existing child support order and a tribal intervention program.
Tillman was out of the office when Osage News tried to reach her for comment.
For more information on the Child Support Services office, call (918) 287-5458 or visit their website at https://www.osagenation-nsn.gov/what-we-do/child-support-services.