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Cultural Considerations in Working With American Indians/Alaska Natives: State and Local Examples
Find State and local examples of culturally relevant and promising practices for child welfare work with American Indians and Alaska Natives.
Atlantic Coast Child Welfare Implementation Center
Serves as a training and technical assistance center to States and Tribes in Federal Regions 3 and 4, providing long-term consultation and support to facilitate sustainable systems change and supporting specific child welfare implementation projects.
Mountains and Plains Child Welfare Implementation Center
Provides services to Tribal and State child welfare agencies to assist with systems change in Federal Regions 6 and 8.
Western and Pacific Child Welfare Implementation Center
Supports formal partnerships with selected projects that are intended to achieve sustainable, systemic change that improves the safety, permanency, and well-being for children, youth, and families involved in child welfare in Federal Regions 9 and 10.
Alaska Child Welfare Disproportionality Reduction Project Western and Pacific Child Welfare Implementation Center Implementation Project Plan (PDF - 265 KB)
Western and Pacific Child Welfare Implementation Center (2009)
Describes a 4-year project designed to reduce the overrepresentation of Native American children in the child welfare system in Alaska. The project will promote the use of a family-centered, State-Tribal bilateral, collaborative approach in which the State Office of Children's Services will rely more heavily on Tribes to prevent out-of-home placement whenever possible and to promote community-based services when placements are necessary.
California's Tribal Customary Adoption Law: Culturally Connected Permanency Planning for American Indian Children
Cluff & Currie
Fostering families today, 10 (6), 2010
Explains the California Tribal Customary Adoption (TCA) statute. The process of TCA provides that the Tribe will create the framework for the adoption and the State court will adopt the Tribe's framework, allowing the adoption to be completed without terminating the birth parents' parental rights.
Combined Statewide Plan (Tribal/State Collaboration Group and Casey's Disproportionality) (PDF - 184 KB)
State of Alaska, Office of Children's Services (2007)
Provides sample strategies, timelines, and completed actions of Alaska's Office of Children's Services (OCS) as it worked with Tribes to address the disproportionate number of Tribal children in the child welfare system. Goals include improving effective cross-cultural communication, strengthening cultural identity and self-esteem, improving ICWA compliance, recognizing families and communities as the primary resources for the well-being of the child and family, and more.
Culturally Restorative Child Welfare Practice: A Special Emphasis on Cultural Attachment Theory
First Peoples Child & Family Review, 4(2), 2009
Examines the Weechi-it-te-win Family Services' implementation of a restorative child welfare model that supports Anishinaabe children's cultural identity and cultural attachment. The study found that the agency had developed a solid culturally competent social work practice and that its model of governance is based on collaboration with elders, Tribal leaders, and grassroots community members.
Fulfilling the Hope of ICWA: The Role of Community Context
Quash-Mah, Stockard, Johnson-Shelton, & Crowley
Children and Youth Services Review, 32(6), 2010
Discusses the findings from a study of four California counties where long-term foster care, especially when provided within an American Indian cultural environment, may be a culturally appropriate alternative form of permanency for American Indian children. Implications for policy and practice related to the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) are also discussed.
Implementation Toolkit for the American Indian Enhancement Project
California American Indian Enhancement Project
Provides resources to help county child welfare administrators achieve compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).
Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Works to build the relationship between the Wabanaki Tribes and Maine child welfare by listening to the stories of the Wabanaki people and providing suggestions for how to reach reconciliation or understanding. The website presents information on the Commission’s history and background, media materials, links to resources, and more.
Red Cliff Relationship Enhancement Project: Final Report
Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa
Examines a 10-week curriculum consisting of 12 activities from the Untangling Relationships module of the Moral Reconation Therapy and from the Red Cliff Wellness Curriculum. Evaluation measures indicate statistically significant increases in marriage satisfaction, couple communication, and conflict resolution among American Indian couples.
Tribal STAR: Addressing the Needs of Rural Native American Foster Youth: San Diego State University School of Social Work
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children's Bureau
View Abstract and Document
Introduces two training programs for frontline staff and supervisory staff to improve the outcomes of rural Native American foster youth. Topics covered in the trainings include the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), unique challenges associated with working with rural populations, the importance of operating from a position of cultural competency, and the importance of collaboration.