Episode 33: Tribal Courts and Child Welfare: Revising Your Children's Code

Date: January 2019

Transcript:   child_welfare_podcast_tcip2_transcript.pdf   [PDF, 136 KB]

A Children’s Code authorizes a court to provide protection for children and potentially intervene for the general welfare of a child whose health, welfare, and safety are at risk. Children’s Codes provide definitions of abuse and neglect and contain laws pertaining to abuse and neglect reports and investigations.

If a Children’s Code is not thorough or clear, courts and their partners in child welfare and law enforcement may have difficulty in effectively protecting children and working with families toward reunification. Reviewing and revising a Children’s Code is challenging, especially for Tribal courts expanding their jurisdiction to handle child welfare cases for the children and families they serve. The challenges can include the following:

  • Deciding between revising and editing the current code or writing an entirely new code
  • Seeking help and guidance
  • Ensuring the code remains clear and comprehendible for partner agencies and families

'Revising Your Children’s Code' features the challenges faced and methods used by two different Tribal courts in reviewing and updating their court’s Children’s Code. This episode is part of a series featuring the work of Tribal Court Improvement Program grantees. The episode showcases the experiences of the Sitka Tribe of Alaska and Taos Pueblo of New Mexico, told by chief Tribal court judges.

This episode features the following guests:

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