Resources for Tribes

Adapting skills and services to meet the needs of Native American families is an essential aspect of child welfare practice. Tribal child welfare systems can face unique challenges and have unique strengths. Some Tribes maintain their own foster care systems and others partner with State child welfare agencies to recruit families for Native American children in foster care, which allows children to maintain the connections to their birth family and Tribe. The following resources help both States and Tribes understand the dynamics of Tribal child welfare by offering links on how to develop an effective tribal child welfare system, listing where Native American families and Tribes can go for support, and providing guides that help explain family’s rights within the Indian Child Welfare Act and how this Federal policy may impact your work.

Developing an effective tribal child welfare system

Recruiting Families for Native American Children: Strengthening Partnerships for Success (PDF - 107 KB)
National Resource Center for Diligent Recruitment at AdoptUSKids (2015)
Provides ideas and suggestions for specific strategies State and county child welfare systems can use to recruit families for Native American children in foster care.

ICWA Guide for Tribal Governments and Leaders
Capacity Building Center for Tribes
Explains Tribal leaders' role in understanding and implementing the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) in child welfare practice.

Tribal Foster Care and Adoption Findings
National Child Welfare Resource Center for Tribes
Outlines key findings from programs across the Tribal child welfare continuum, including information about foster home recruitment, licensing, and child placement.

Child Welfare Practice
Capacity Building Center for Tribes
Provides resources to help build the capacity of Tribal communities and professionals to address child welfare issues.

Indian Child Welfare Act
U.S. Department of the Interior, Indian Affairs
Presents the most recent Federal guidance and resources pertaining to the implementation of the Indian Child Welfare Act.

Families for Native American Children
Explains how the laws pertaining to the fostering and adoption of Native American children influence the foster care and adoption process.

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Finding support and resources

Capacity Building Center for Tribes
Child Welfare Capacity Building Collaborative
Provides resources designed to increase the capacity of child welfare professionals and Tribal communities to provide safe and stable homes for children in care.

National Indian Child Welfare Association
Addresses child abuse and neglect in Tribal communities, including training, research, public policy, and grassroots development. The National Indian Child Welfare Association works collaboratively with Tribal and urban Native American child welfare programs in order to implement culturally competent, community-based programs.

Resources for Grandparents: Targeted Resources for Tribal Child Welfare (PDF - 75 KB)
Tribal Information Exchange (2017)
Provides resources and other important information for grandparents and other kinship caregivers.

NAYA Family Center: Foster Care Support
Assists youth and families involved with State and Tribal foster care systems through the provision of culturally-appropriate information and resources.

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Guides and additional information

The Indian Child Welfare Act for Kin Caregivers and Foster Parents (PDF - 245 KB)
Judicial Council of California (2017)
Explains the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), the rights of children and families covered under ICWA, and how foster or kinship caregivers can work with those families.

Your Rights Under the Indian Child Welfare Act (PDF - 669 KB)
Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid and Legal Services State Support (2014)
Discusses a Native American family’s rights throughout the child welfare process, as outlined by the Indian Child Welfare Act.

Healthy Native Youth
Provides culturally relevant curriculum and resources for the sexual education of Native American and Alaska Native adolescents.

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