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manage the NRC4Tribes resources and services, while Butler provides evaluation support.

A report from the field of Child Welfare . . .

First National Resource Center 4Tribes
The Butler Institute was invited to join with three Native American serving organizations to create our nation’s first ever National Resource Center for Tribes (NRC4Tribes). Funded by the federal government to support tribal child welfare programs, the NRC4Tribes offers training and expert technical assistance to all federally www.nrc4tribes.org recognized tribes. Tribes can request assistance to improve child welfare services, to build better relationships with courts, and to build partnerships with states and community providers. Tribes can also get help developing data tracking and monitoring systems. This new Resource Center provides an unprecedented level of support to tribes as they guard the safety, permanency, and well-being of American Indian and Alaskan Native children. Our national partners – the Tribal Law and Policy Center in Los Angeles, California, the Indian Family Resource Center in Montana, and the Native American Training Institute in North Dakota

Stronger Tribal Child Welfare Programs = Better Outcomes for American Indian/Alaskan Native Children

Study Stats: 375 participants 200 tribes

As a first step, the NRC4Tribes team conducted a comprehensive needs assessment of tribal child welfare. The assessment, with 375 participants and 200 tribes across Indian Country, represents the largest and most complete study of tribal child welfare ever undertaken. The assessment was designed and data gathered with Indian the help of Indian consulTribal Law Child & & Policy tants that used a culturally Family Institute Resource based methodology. Our Center evaluation team continues to analyze the data NRC4Tribes and will share the results Native with the participating Butler American Institute tribes, the project funder Training for Families (Department of Health Institute and Human Services, Children’s Bureau), and the NRC4Tribes Members community at large in the spring of 2011.

Tribal Nations Reclaim Their Destiny Through Implementation Center Project
From powerless to empowered, America’s tribal nations reclaim their destinies for those who represent the future—their children. After the corrosive legacy of boarding schools and the systematic placement of Native children in non-Native families, many tribes, including the 11,000 member Osage Nation of northern Oklahoma, are exercising their tribal sovereignty and self-determination by making sure that their tribally-operated child welfare programs are fully their own in terms of values, cultural practices, and traditions. The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) of 1978 strengthened tribal control over tribal children who became entangled in state or county child protection and adoption cases. However, ICWA did not provide resources to build the capacity of their child welfare programs, so Native children continued to be over represented in state and county child welfare systems nationwide. Today, the Osage Nation is working towards ensuring safety, permanency, and


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well-being for all of the tribe’s children and families through a Children’s Bureau Mountain and Plains Child Welfare Implementation Center grant. The project supports the implementation of an Osage Nation specific practice model that incorporates the tribe’s world view, values, and traditions, and also develops a comprehensive automated data system to The Mountains and support increased practice effectivePlains Child Welfare Implementation Center ness.
Children’s Bureau
A Member of the TTA Network

A service of the


The Butler Institute is the tribe’s evaluation partner, offering ongoing feedback to the Osage child welfare

program to support the development and implementation of the practice model. Osage Nation child welfare staff members recently completed Business Process Mapping to identify each activity, decision, and intervention in the tribal child welfare process. Completion of the process prompted Lee Collins, Osage Nation Social Services Director, to praise the enICWA = deavor for fosterGood Intentions ing among staff but Insufficient Results a sense of shared purpose and vision — and a passion for the Osage Nation’s efforts to exercise sovereignty and self-determination.

North Dakota Tribes Aim for Excellence
Two communities in North Dakota’s Indian Country continue progress toward attaining excellence in services for their children and families through a series of federally-funded projects. Established by treaty in 1851, the Fort Berthould Reservation in mid-west North Dakota is the home of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nations, who join together as the Three Affiliated Tribes. Further north, just seven miles from the Canadian border, members of the Pembina Band of Chippewa call the Interventions: 68,000 acre Turtle Mountain Organizational Reservation home. These two Assessment, nations partnered with the Learning Circles Butler Institute, the University Design Teams of Texas, Arlington (UTA), and the Native American Training Institute for two Children’s Bureau projects to continue their efforts to improve their child welfare programs. The Western Workforce Project and the Garden Project focus on their agency’s workforce to build first-rate tribal child welfare organizations. In the first phase of the Western Workforce Project, teams from each nation assisted with the administration of an on-site Organizational Health Assessment designed to identify agency strengths and concerns. Data from their assessments informed multi-layered intervention plans developed by the partners. As part of the intervention, Learning Circles encourage front line workers to build solutions to practice issues that they identify. In another component of the intervention plan, stipends for Bachelor and Masters of Social Work degrees are offered to social services employees to help professionalize the child welfare staff at each agency. To date, fifteen students received stipends and six completed their degrees. In the Garden Project, working with UTA as the lead and Butler as the evaluator, these tribal sites completed intense Business Prowww.nativeinstitute.org cess Mapping to understand and clarify how About this Issue . . . each site carried out their work to develop Executive Director new practice models Cathryn Potter, Ph.D. and build information Editors systems. The Western Sandra Spears, LCSW Workforce Project and Charmaine Brittain, Ph.D. Garden Project assist these tribal nations in Contributors supporting continuous Robin Leake, Ph.D. examination of their Nancy Lucero, Ph. D agencies and practices Joe Walker, MM, NATI as they strive for excelLayout & Design lence in their child welMelissa Thompson fare programs for the people of their tribal For more information, please nations.
email Butler.Institute@du.edu.


2148 S. High St. | Denver, CO 80208 | (303) 871.4548 | www.thebutlerinstitute.org