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Engaging Community Stakeholders and Building Community Partnerships: State-Tribal Partnerships


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Title: Engaging Community Stakeholders and Building Community Partnerships: State-Tribal Partnerships

Engaging Community Stakeholders and Building
Community PartnershipsState-Tribal Partnerships

  • Understanding the principles of Tribal
    Sovereignty, historical factors, and the Indian
    Child Welfare Act are key elements to developing
    positive state-tribal partnerships.
  • This presentation will describe cultural
    distinctions that are the underpinnings of the
    statutes and protocols that guide the need for
    tribal engagement in child welfare.

  • The Context of the Relationship Between the
    Federal Government and Indian Tribes

(No Transcript)
Key Acronyms in Indian CountryNative American
Statistics - USA e Basic Numbers4.1 million
people reported as American Indian/Alaska Native
(AI/AN) 2000 US. Census 1.4 million children
under the age of 18 562 Federally Recognized
Tribes Native American children are placed in
out-of-home care at a rate that is 3.6 times
higher than the general population
Native American Statistics (State)
  • Federally recognized tribes
  • Total AI/AN population
  • Total AI/AN population lt19

Historys Impact on Child Welfare in American
Indian Communities
Key Laws Affecting Indian Tribes
  • y Laws related to Indian Tribes
  • 1819 Civilization Fund Act
  • 1830 Removal Act
  • 1887 Dawes Allotment Act
  • 1924 Indian Citizenship Act
  • 1934 Indian Reorganization Act
  • 1953 Public Law 280 (limits of state
  • 1975 Indian Self-Determination Act
  • 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act
  • Court Rulings

Federal Policies of the 1800s
  • American history and federal policy have impacted
    Indian tribes since first contact.

Civilization Fund Act-1819
  • The act intended to civilize and Christianize
    Indians through federal and private means.

Removal Act, 1830
  • Enacted to move Indians away from traditional
    homelands to Indian Territory west of the

Indian Boarding Schools1860s Present
  • Native children were removed from home and sent
    to military style boarding schools

Dawes Allotment Act, 1887
  • Indian land divided up in effort to turn Indians
    into nuclear families and farmers
  • Introduction of blood quantum concept of tribal

Indian Citizenship Act, 1924
  • American Indians granted United States
  • And while all Native Americans were now citizens,
    not all states were prepared to allow them to
    vote. Western states, in particular, engaged in
    all sorts of legal ruses to deny Indians the
    ballot. It was not until almost the middle of the
    20th century that the last three states, Maine,
    Arizona and New Mexico, finally granted the right
    to vote to Indians in their states.

  • In 1953, Congress perceived inadequate law
    enforcement in Indian country and enacted Public
    Law 83-280 ("P.L. 280") to address the problem.

Public Law 83-280, 1953
  • Public Law 280 is a federal statute enacted by
    Congress in 1953. It enabled states to assume
    criminal, as well as civil, jurisdiction in
    matters involving Indians as litigants on
    reservation land. Previous to the enactment of
    Public Law 280, these matters were dealt with in
    either tribal and/or federal court. Essentially,
    Public Law 280 was an attempt by the federal
    government to reduce its role in Indian affairs.

Public Law 280, cont.
  • Without tribal agreement, six states which were
    obligated to assume jurisdiction from the outset
    of the law Alaska, California, Minnesota,
    Nebraska, Oregon, and Wisconsin. States that have
    assumed at least some jurisdiction since the
    enactment of Public Law 280 include Nevada,
    South Dakota, Washington, Florida, Idaho,
    Montana, North Dakota, Arizona, Iowa, and Utah.
    After 1968, tribal agreement was required before
    state assumption of jurisdiction.

Federal Policies, 1950-60s
  • Federal and private agency policies and practices
    impact Native American children and families--
  • Indian Adoption Project (Bureau of Indian Affairs
    and the Child Welfare League of America)-1958
  • Relocation Program - 1950s
  • 1960s tribes began questioning placement rate of
    their children into non-Indian homes

Empowerment in the 1970s
  • 1970s Association on American Indian Affairs,
    New York, conducted surveys to find out extent of
    Indian child welfare issues.
  • Studies found 25-35 of all Indian children had
    been removed from families and placed in
    non-Indian care
  • Findings created and expressed national tribal
    concern, then action and advocacy
  • In 1978 Congress passed Indian Child Welfare Act

Public Law 93-638Indian Self-Determination Act,
  • The Indian Self-Determination and Education
    Assistance Act (PL93-638) gave official US
    sanction to promote Indian self-governance by the
    tribes. It did so by allowing the tribes to
    contract with federal agencies such as the Bureau
    of Indian Affairs (BIA) and Indian Health
    Services (IHS) to operate these formerly
    federally operated delivery systems through 638

  • In April 1994, President Bill Clinton reinforced
    the longstanding federal policy supporting
    self-determination for Indian Nations and
    directed federal agencies to deal with Indian
    Nations on a government-to-government basis when
    tribal governmental or treaty rights are at
    issue. Each President since Lyndon Johnson has
    formally recognized the sovereign status of
    Indian Nations.

  • The five main principles of President Clintons
    policy required agencies to
  • (a) Operate within a government-to-government
    relationship with tribes
  • (b) Consult, to the greatest extent practicable,
    with tribes prior to taking actions that affect
  • (c) Assess the impact of all federal plans,
    projects, programs, and activities on tribal
    trust resources, and assure those tribes rights
    and concerns are considered during the
    development of plans, projects, programs and
  • (d) Take appropriate steps to remove procedural
    impediments to working directly and effectively
    with tribes on activities affecting the property
    or rights of tribes
  • (e) Work cooperatively with other agencies to
    accomplish the goals of this memorandum

Tribal Sovereignty
Indian Self Determination Act
Tribal Sovereignty
Indian Reorganization
World View
  • Tribal governments are acknowledged in the U.S.
    Constitution and hundreds of treaties, federal
    laws, and court cases as distinct political
    entities with the inherent power to govern

  • The essence of tribal sovereignty is tribes
    ability to make and enforce their own laws and
    programs to promote the heath, safety, and
    welfare of tribal citizens within tribal

Jurisdictional Issues
  • Indian tribes, as sovereigns that pre-exist the
    federal Union, retain inherent sovereign powers
    over their members and territory, including the
    power to exercise criminal jurisdiction over

  • Tribes also have exclusive jurisdiction over such
    proceedings when they involve an Indian child who
    is a ward of the tribal court, regardless of
    where the child resides. Custody proceedings
    covered by the act include foster care placement,
    the termination of parental rights, and
    pre-adoptive and adoptive placement.

  • The federal government also has key
  • to tribes. The federal trust responsibility, one
    of the most
  • important doctrines in federal Indian law, is the
  • governments obligation to protect tribal
  • lands, assets, resources, and treaty rights and
    to carry out
  • the directions of federal statutes and court
    cases. The
  • federal relationship with tribal governments also
  • the role of state governments on tribal lands.

Common Components in Tribal Governments (note
there are over 560 federally recognized distinct
  • The historic oppression of Native Peoples has
    resulted in an historic mistrust of state and
    federal governmental agencies.

Context for Tribal Engagement in Child Welfare
  • American Indian cultural values are distinct from
    those that frame mainstream child welfare systems
  • Mainstream child welfare systems have not always
    acknowledged these differences.
  • Historical events have had a profound effect on
    tribal-state relationships

Federal child welfare legislation is not
always viewed in a positive way by Native
Americans.It was feared that laws, such as the
Multi-ethnic Placement Act and Adoption and Safe
Families Act could cause confusion with ICWA
complianceThe Adoption and Safe Families Act
was initially viewed as just another method to
find permanency for Native American children in
adoption placements -- such as the 1950s Indian
Adoption Project.
Indian Child Welfare Act -1978
  • The stated purpose of ICWA is to protect the
    best interests of Indian children and to promote
    the stability and security of Indian tribes and
  • The act seeks to protect Indian children, tribes
    and culture by limiting states powers and by
    encouraging respect for tribal authority
    regarding the placement of Indian youth.
  • The Indian Child Welfare Act played an important
    role in tribal empowerment in child welfare

  • The Indian Child Welfare Act has provided the
    impetus to improve tribal-state relationships and
    develop better understandings of cultural

Cultural Competence
  • Cultural competence is basic to eliminating
    disproportionate outcomes in child welfare.
  • Definition of Organizational Cultural Competence
  • A set of congruent practice skills, attitudes,
    policies, and structures, which come together in
    a system, agency or among professionals and
    enable that system, agency or those professionals
    to work effectively in the context of cultural
    differences. (Cross 2004)
  • States and Tribes working together can achieve
    cultural competence goals on behalf of the

Within most Native cultures, children are at the
center of the community. They are encircled by
extended family. Each member of their family has
a traditionally prescribed responsibility to the
children, both male and female.
Older Brothers, Cousins
Older Sisters, Cousins
Younger Brothers, Cousins
Younger Sisters, Cousins
Friends/peers who Walk the same path of learning
World View
  • The circle represents all relationships in the
    spirit world and on the earth.
  • All beings encircle and protect the young.
  • Good health is represented by a balance of
    spiritual, mental, emotional and physical
    well-being. When one element is unwell, every
    element is affected.
  • The balance is necessary for individual, family
    and community health and wellness.

Current Tribal Child Welfare Issues
  • Indian Child Welfare Act Compliance
  • Recruitment and Retention of Native American
    Foster Families
  • Adoption and Customary Adoption

Disproportionality in Child Welfare
  • 35 of all American Indian children live in
    poverty 10 of white children live in poverty.
  • Indian children are victims of maltreatment at
    the same rate as other children, but maltreatment
    is substantiated twice as often as white
  • Indian children experience placement three (3)
    times as often as white children. (CWLA 2003)
  • In some states, Indian children represent 35-60
    of the children in out-of-home placements.

Building State Tribal Partnershipsin the
CFSR Process begins with acknowledging the
historyand finding common ground.
The Best Interests of Indian Children are Served
  • Creating State/Tribal Partnerships
  • Government to government communication
  • Ensuring a seat at the policy table
  • Consulting tribes at all levels
  • Developing culturally competent systems of care
  • Legislatively
  • Organizationally
  • Professionally
  • Adhering to the Indian Child Welfare Act
  • In the courts
  • Administratively
  • In direct service practice

Benefits of Collaborating With Tribes
  • Clarifies the roles and responsibilities for the
    provision of care to tribal children to better
    serve Native American children and families
  • Provides opportunities to improve outcomes for
    Native American children served by the child
    welfare agency
  • Enhances mutual understanding of the role of
    governmental agencies in formulating or
    implementing policies that have tribal
    implications Statewide Assessment

States can engage tribal representatives in the
Statewide Assessment process through the
following activities
  • Providing formal notification of the CFSR to
    the tribal chairpersons/executive directors and
    social services directors
  • Request that they designate appropriate persons
    to be involved throughout this collaborative
  • Using the CFSR process to formalize and enhance
    consultation and collaboration with tribes and
  • Consultation early in the process and engaging
    tribal representatives in meaningful roles,
    discussions of key issues, and decision-making.

  • Developing materials about the CFSRs to share
    with tribal representatives the documents should
    help them understand the benefits of the CFSR to
    their efforts to support children and families
  • Including tribal representatives on the Statewide
    Assessment Team and associated work groups
  • Inviting tribal representatives to participate in
    surveys and focus groups
  • Holding key Statewide Assessment meetings or
    focus groups on tribal lands, in Indian Country,
    and/or on reservations, and at times convenient
    for tribal members
  • Asking tribal representatives to identify any
    tribal data that they would like to share related
    to children served by the State child welfare
    agency and to help analyze State agency data

  • Identifying child welfare issues related to
    Native American children served by the State
    agency, and exploring strategies for resolving
    those with tribal representatives,
  • Identifying areas in which States and tribes
    could work together better to improve their child
    welfare systems
  • Initiating cross-training opportunities for State
    and tribal child welfare agency staff
  • Involving tribal representatives in drafting
    sections of the Statewide Assessment
  • Soliciting tribal representatives comments on
    Statewide Assessment drafts

States can engage tribal representatives in the
onsite review through the following activities
  • Notifying key tribal representatives about the
    timeline for planning and conducting the onsite
  • Inviting tribal representatives to designate
    staff to participate as case record reviewers
    during the onsite review
  • Conducting stakeholder interviews with tribal
    representatives (and providing to them in advance
    of the interview a copy of the questions that
    they will be asked)
  • Inviting tribal representatives to attend exit
    meetings or debriefings

States can engage tribal representatives in the
PIP process through the following activities
  • Providing a copy of the Final Report to tribal
  • Including tribal representatives on the PIP Team
    and associated work groups.
  • Establishing Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs)
    or Agreement (MOAs).

  • Asking for assistance in identifying areas
    needing improvement.
  • Engaging tribal representatives in analyzing
    State and local data to identify tribal issues
    and concerns and promising practices.
  • Ensuring that the States ongoing QA efforts
    address issues concerning Native American
    children and include tribal representatives in
    measuring program improvement activities.
  • Inviting tribal representatives to review and
    comment on PIP drafts.

  • Teaming tribal representatives with State child
    welfare agency staff to implement and monitor PIP
  • Including tribal representatives on PIP
    evaluation teams.
  • Identifying TA needs for both tribes and State
    child welfare agencies.

  • Initiating cross-training opportunities for State
    and tribal child welfare agency staff about
    practice issues related to agency/tribe
    jurisdiction over child welfare cases.
  • Holding PIP meetings in tribal communities.
  • Acknowledging both the uniqueness of tribal child
    welfare circumstances and perspectives and the
    shared goal of improving outcomes for children
    and families.

Action Planning
  • Next Steps
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