About the

Center for Tribes

The Capacity Building Center for Tribes (Center for Tribes) collaborates with American Indian and Alaska Native nations to help strengthen tribal child and family systems and services in order to nurture the safety, permanency, and well-being of children, youth, and families.

The Center for Tribes is part of the Child Welfare Capacity Building Collaborative, an initiative launched by the Children’s Bureau in 2014. Centers in the Collaborative share common principles and a service delivery approach that promotes cross-system learning and partnership.

Who We Are

The Center for Tribes is a partnership of six organizations that collectively have more than 100 years of experience working with tribal and state partners designing, delivering, and evaluating capacity-building services in Indian Country.

Center for Tribes staff members work collaboratively across our agencies:

      • Butler Institute for Families, University of Denver
      • Tribal Law and Policy Institute
      • Catherine Cutler Institute, University of Southern Maine
      • National Native Children’s Trauma Center, University of Montana
      • University of Oklahoma
      • Westat

Our Services

Center for Tribes services are available at no cost to tribal child welfare programs and include coaching, peer networking, distance learning, consultation, dissemination, product development, and capacity-building assistance. These integrated services are designed to work together to build knowledge, peer networks, and tribal child welfare program capacity.

Universal Services are designed to spread useful information and practical resources to tribal child welfare program professionals across the country. Products developed by the Center – web content, electronic publications, podcasts, webinars, and more – support busy child welfare leaders who need useful, timely information about promising practices. 

Targeted Services are designed to engage specific groups of child welfare leaders. These services build knowledge and skills and foster communication and supportive relationships among child welfare agencies. Virtual communities of practice, online learning courses, training academies, and facilitated peer networking activities promote learning and connections between peers who face similar issues and challenges.

Tailored Services provide individual technical assistance and support with Tribal child welfare programs to enhance their capacity through organizational change and system improvement. Training, coaching, consultation, and other services help agencies to assess their needs, develop or enhance their capacities to improve performance and services, and achieve positive outcomes for children and families.

Focused Assistance is available for Tribal Title IV-E programs, including direct Title IV-E or those funded through Tribal-State agreements.

Core Principles

The Center for Tribes is committed to honoring and respecting the inherent sovereign authority and self-determination of American Indian and Alaska Native tribal nations to govern, control, design, and improve their governmental institutions to support their children, families, and communities.

The Center for Tribes core principles include being:

      • Culturally-responsive
      • Collaborative
      • Respectful
      • Honoring tribal sovereignty
      • Outcome-focused
CBCT logo

The Children's Bureau, within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, funds the Capacity Building Center for Tribes. The contents of this website and the resources herein do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Children's Bureau. 

Children's Bureau logo