Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska

Alaska Supreme Court Orders State to Enforce Tribal Child Support Orders as Essential

In a major decision on child support, the Alaska Supreme Court stopped a Parnell administration effort against tribal rights that lingered during Gov. Bill Walker’s reign.

The court ruled unanimously Friday in a case going back to the beginning of the decade that tribes have authority over child support. The court directed the state to enforce tribal support orders like it does those issued by other states, even if one of the parents isn’t a tribal member.

Read the full article at the Alaska Dispatch News website.  Read related articles at the Juneau Empire website, the Native News website and the Indianz.com website.

Historic Agreement Gives Tribe Foster Care Control: Jurisdiction Over Child Welfare to Transfer from State to Tlingit and Haida Central Council

When children are taken out of their homes due to neglect or abuse, they’re under the responsibility and jurisdiction of the State Office of Children’s Services.

Now, through an agreement signed Wednesday night at the Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall between the State of Alaska and Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, the Central Council will be able to take over child welfare cases of tribal children.

Read the full article at the Juneau Empire website and at the Alaska Business monthly website.

Alaska Child Welfare Disproportionality Reduction Project

A collaboration between the National Indian Child Welfare Assocation the Western and Pacific Implementation Center (WPIC), and the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska and other tribes, this project addresses the systemic issues that exist in tribal child welfare between the State of Alaska and Alaska Native Tribes.  The four year initiative is designed to significantly reduce the disproportionate out-of-home placement of Alaska Native children by the state child welfare system.

Western and Pacific Child Welfare Implementation Center logo

According to the WPIC website, the project provides training, technical assistance and consultation to support the following initiatives:

  • Enhance Tribal capacity to provide in home services through on-site technical assistance. This included dialogue, problem solving, brainstorming, and product development with the AK tribal child welfare programs in the five regions of Alaska. The development of the Tribal In-Home Services Planning Template in each region, helped identify gaps and barriers in services to Alaska Native families and children. In addition, the template also assessed strategies for enhancing supports to ensure children and youth can remain safely in their homes.
  • Integrate Tribal values and principles into the Alaska Safety Assessment model.
  • Develop and implement of protocols for monitoring referrals to Tribal in-home services by the Alaska Office of Children’s Services (OCS).
  • Enhance tribal capacity to license resource families by creating and implementing Tribal licensing standards and procedures.
  • Conducting peer-to-peer training activities on cultural best practice for foster care licensing.
  • Increase Tribal child welfare capacity to work effectively with the courts by implementing trainings on court proceedings, presenting a case, acting as a witness, and writing court reports. An ongoing coaching approach was developed to continue to monitor and enhance court skills of Tribal child welfare staff.
  • Enhance the capacity for effective Tribal-State relations by building communication and problem solving skills through courageous conversations and ensuring there is ongoing dialogue and capacity for problem solving in ongoing working relationships.

Learn more at http://wpicenter.org/projects-alaska.php.