Tribal child welfare workers are responsible for understanding and applying emerging evidence-based child welfare practice in their work while also providing tailored services to the American Indian and Alaska Native families and children in their jurisdiction. Tribal professionals must meet standards and requirements set forth by Federal, State, Tribal, and local governments while working to improve child welfare practice; support and engage families; and achieve safety, permanency, and well-being.
This page connects Tribal child welfare workers to resources that can support them in providing services to Tribal children and families.
Effective Leadership for Tribal Child Welfare (PDF - 6,717 KB)
National Indian Child Welfare Association (2015)
Explains the role of Tribal governance and leadership in protecting and promoting the well-being of American Indian and Alaska Native children.
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.
National Native Children's Trauma Center
University of Montana
Provides national expertise on childhood trauma among American Indian and Alaska Native children.
Our Children, Our Sovereignty, Our Culture, Our Choice: ICWA Guide for Tribal Governments and Leaders (PDF - 2,473 KB)
Capacity Building Center for Tribes (2020)
Discusses the role of Tribal leaders in ensuring compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act.
Quick Reference Sheet for Tribes (PDF - 118 KB)
U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs (2016)
Provides information about the implementation of the Indian Child Welfare Act for Tribal child welfare professionals.
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.
Supporting Two Spirit/Native LGBTQ+ Youth [Webinar]
Capacity Building Center for Tribes (2018)
Provides part one of a two-part webinar series offering information on Native lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) and Two-Spirit identities and how professionals can create welcoming and supportive environments for youth in care.
Trauma-Informed Practice With American Indian/Alaska Native Populations (PDF – 330 KB)
National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (2020)
Describes how to develop trauma-informed lens for working with American Indian/Native Alaska individuals, families, and communities using the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Concept of Trauma.
Tribal Courts and Child Welfare Podcast Series
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children's Bureau (2019)
Presents a series of podcasts on Tribal courts strengthening partnerships with Tribal social services departments and child welfare agencies. The series includes six podcasts:
- Episode 31: Tribal Courts and Child Welfare: Adapting to Child Welfare Cases
- Episode 34: Tribal Courts and Child Welfare: Partnering With Tribal Social Services
- Episode 33: Tribal Courts and Child Welfare: Revising Your Children's Code
- Episode 37: Tribal Courts and Child Welfare: Building Relationships With State Counterparts
- Episode 38: Tribal Courts and Child Welfare: Overcoming Challenges to Working With States
- Episode 39: Tribal Courts and Child Welfare: Being Family Centered
Tribal STAR - Successful Transitions for Adult Readiness
San Diego State University School of Social Work, Academy of Professional Excellence (2019)
Provides training and technical assistance to the San Diego School of Social Work that focuses on building collaborations to improve outcomes for Native American children.
Tribal TANF-Child Welfare Coordination: Collaboration Assessment Tool
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (2020)
Offers a tool to help Tribal child welfare professionals monitor collaboration efforts and measure and track progress on collaboration and coordination. The tool can identify areas of strength and areas in need of improvement while examining relationships and communication, information sharing, staff training.
Walking in Two Worlds: Understanding the Two Spirit Native LGBTQ Community [Webinar]
Capacity Building Center for Tribes (2018)
Discusses the historical roles and identities of Two-Spirit/Native lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) people, how historical/intergenerational trauma has impacted this community, and the efforts to bring back balance, beauty, and acceptance.