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.
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.