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Center for Tribes Resources

The Center for Tribes resources listed below are the Center produced products listed by most recently published. Please use the Advanced Search to search the list of all quality resources that have been reviewed by our center staff. You can search by keyword, topic to narrow down your results.

Title IV-B of the Social Security Act is a child welfare funding stream available to federally recognized tribes, tribal organizations, and tribal consortia. This funding can enhance tribal child welfare service capacity and ties well with tribal family engagement practices.

Designed around prevention and early intervention, the two subparts of Title IV-B aim to:

  1. keep families together by supporting preventive intervention, alternative placements, and reunification efforts; and
  2. address family support, family preservation, time-limited family reunification, and adoption.

This two-page tool offers information on how tribes can access and better understand this funding stream. Already receiving Title IV-B funds? This tool can help others in your agency become more informed on the reporting requirements.

This online learning module demonstrates how to apply a process mapping technique to tribal child welfare practice.
Why use process mapping?
Mapping your child welfare practice can help your program determine how to best serve the children, youth and families in your community.  It can also help your program:

  • get organized and document work;
  • identify needs, resources, and partners;
  • identify gaps in service; and
  • inform policy and procedure improvements.

The first webinar in a two-part series that discussed the historical roles and identities of Two-Spirit/Native LGBTQ people, how historical/intergenerational trauma has impacted this community, and the efforts to bring back balance, beauty, and acceptance. Presenter: Lenny Hayes

Ethleen Iron Cloud-Two Dogs and Richard Two Dogs share information about the Lakota Worldview, describing the four stages of life recognized in the Lakota community and the ceremonies that accompany each stage. These ceremonies are believed to contribute to a balanced life from childhood through returning to the spirit world.

This is the first video in a two-part series that demonstrates what the journey is like when smooth and free from interruption.

Interested in creating something similar for your own tribal community? Rick and Ethleen share more information about their process and their thoughts for other tribal communities in this companion handout.

Each assessment done by a caseworker or frontline staff can change the course of someone’s life. Understanding bias helps to ensure that they don’t get in the way of assessing family’s strengths and needs. The newest tools from the Center for Tribes Family Assessment Series are designed to help one understand and overcome their own bias:

Family Assessment: Understanding Bias (online learning)

How to Overcome Bias (companion handout)

What is genetic memory? How can we know things we never learned? Emerging science is pointing to a broader understanding of genetics and what many indigenous cultures have long understood about how things are passed from one generation to the next. The newest resource list from the Center for Tribes shares introductory information on genetic memory (also known as ancestral memory, genetic transmission, or even intuition), the soul wound (Duran, E.), and the interconnectedness between genetics and intergenerational/historical trauma, PTSD, and adverse childhood experiences.

Our newest resources feature innovative projects that demonstrate the capacity of communities to respond to issues that impact their children and families. Arctic Winds Healing Winds, a non-profit organization based in Alaska, uses a proven model for community healing that nurtures and develops leadership and data management skills.
Child welfare agencies can learn from these projects and gain ideas on how to engage and collaborate with community members to create lasting solutions to whatever challenge you face.

Select the image below to download more information about the project.

The Center for Tribes’ newest resource list shares information designed to raise awareness and encourage tribal child welfare professionals to think through how they can better support Two-Spirit and/or Native LGBTQ children and youth.

The Center for Tribes is pleased to share a new resource list focused on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines ACEs as… “stressful or traumatic events, including abuse and neglect. They may also include household dysfunction such as witnessing domestic violence or growing up with family members who have substance use disorders.” ACEs are known to have lifelong detrimental impacts on a person’s well-being. While many ACEs materials exist, few focus specifically on American Indian and Alaska Native children. We’ve compiled those here along with other websites and tools that may be helpful in your work to support tribal children, youth, and families.

For those working with families, every assessment can have a powerful impact on a person’s life. It is important to be self-aware, intentional about engaging with families, and to use the information collected to make informed decisions. This two-page resource offers brief guidance for those in the field and helpful reminders for each of these areas.

When programs journey through the river of data, knowing how to navigate rough waters and overcome challenges can make a tremendous difference. This one-page resource offers suggestions on how to stay on course when planning and implementing a data system.

This two-page resource offers concise guiding questions for programs to consider as they develop or enhance a data system. Data needs, program capacity, and readiness for change are highlighted.

Covering the basics of data, this brief resource includes information on how data can be used to address issues and help tribal child welfare programs thrive. Guiding questions are provided to help programs think through how they want to use and manage data.

The inter-connection of substance abuse, child welfare, and domestic violence are unhealthy inseparable partners. Working with substance abusing families in the child welfare arena is unfortunately most often intertwined with violence, both mentally and physically. This can be evident in neglectful behavior, verbal put downs, and the escalation to physical lashing out. Substance abuse is a powerful disease distorting reality and priorities. No parent chooses to have the disease of addiction or ever says they want to purposely hurt their children or their loved ones. Historical trauma combined with destructive patterns of behavior has created intergenerational grief and loss. Acknowledging that each community is unique, these resources are intended to build on each community's strengths of today and the past. These efforts are intended to help families develop a sense of what is healthy for now and for future generations.  

All Tribal Nations are unique and possess their own customs, traditions and the way they work on a day-to-day basis.  Our hope is that this guide provides you with information on the funding requirements to assist in determining if applying for direct Title IV-E funds or pursuing a Tribal-State Agreement might be an option for your Tribe.

Developing tribal capacity to understand and conduct research and evaluation in tribal communities is an exercise in sovereignty. These resources can provide information to get you started.

As you begin a journey through systems change, our new interactive graphic, Stages of Change, can help! Outlining the five stages of change, this new tool provides brief user-friendly information with links to additional resources. You can also view our one-page handout on the five different stages of change for easy reference.

As you begin a journey through systems change, our new interactive graphic, Stages of Change, can help! Outlining the five stages of change, this new tool provides brief user-friendly information with links to additional resources. This document is the one-page handout on the five different stages of change for easy reference.

Are you a Tribal caseworker who has had to present in court? Have you provided testimony as a qualified expert witness? Or maybe you're a Tribal Child Welfare director who needs to make presentations to your Tribal Council. When asked to present, it's important to be prepared! We're excited to announce our newest interactive product, A Guide to Presenting & Facilitating: Teachings of the Medicine Wheel, developed by Tribal child welfare advocates.

This guide is designed to assist Tribal child welfare professionals prepare for presenting by addressing all four areas of the medicine wheel: mind, emotion, body, and spirit. We hope you find this new resource helpful as you work to support your communities, families, and children.

Learn about how Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and child welfare are a natural fit. Developed for tribal leaders and social service agencies, this resources explains the benefits of GIS mapping and ways tribes can use this technology to keep children connected with their community and culture.

Our Children, Our Sovereignty, Our Culture, Our Choice

On a tablet or smartphone? Access the app version of the guide! Save the site to your home screen for easy offline access!
A PDF version is also available for easy printing.
ICWA Guide - Poster

A word from the authors: Our tribes are threatened by the removal of our youngest and most vulnerable members, our children. As leaders we want to make informed decisions to protect the future of our tribe, our culture, our children and families. Historically, we have seen state and federal programs compromise our dignity and culture by breaking up our families and tribes. Even today we hear of unwarranted removal of our Indian children and the attempts to keep them separated from their culture and tribal identity. The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), when complied with, can help prevent these unwarranted removals and ensure Indian children are kept safe while remaining with their families. The purpose of this Guide is to recommend actions that tribal leadership can take towards ensuring compliance with ICWA.

The recommendations that appear in this guide were made by Tribal Court judges, Tribal attorneys, Tribal educators who train on ICWA, Tribal legislators, a former Tribal Governor/Social Services Director, Counsel for the County (who was also a Tribal member), and Directors of Social Services for Tribal child welfare programs. It is important to note that these are recommendations, not mandates, made by individuals who work in various arenas in child welfare.


This video features the Arctic Winds Healing Winds non-profit organization based in Alaska. 

The project “Leadership for Results: Capacity Building” includes Alaska Native values/teachings and emphasizes that strong leadership—from all levels of society—is a key requirement in addressing issues that require substantial change. The project was piloted in 2015 with a group of Alaska Native leaders to help them strengthen their response to Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault in their villages. The program brought together fifteen key individuals from 3 villages as the first cohort with the overall goal to enhance and strengthen the leadership capacity around historical trauma (specifically domestic violence/sexual assault/child abuse) and to get measurable results while increasing the strength of community networks.

The Center for Tribes compiled targeted resources from the field related to resources and supports for native grandparents.

We've compiled targeted resources for Tribal Child Welfare Agencies focused on engaging and supporting fathers in this handy one-page document. 

The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (Public Law 110/351) now allows for direct Title IV-E funding to eligible tribes for foster care, adoption assistance, guardianship placements, and independent living services. Title IV-E of the Social Security Act provides funds for states and tribes to provide foster care, transitional independent living programs for children, guardianship assistance, and adoption assistance for children with special needs. View this resource guide to learn more!

Historical Trauma, as defined by Dr. Maria Yellowhorse-Braveheart, is “the collective emotional and psychological injury both over the life span and across generations, resulting from a cataclysmic history of genocide.” The resources and links in this guide provide more information on what historical/intergenerational trauma is, how it is experienced by Native communities, and how traditional cultural practices may be able to help Native people and communities heal.

In Indian Country, customary adoption is a traditional alternative to standard adoption practice and a more appropriate permanency placement for Native Children. Customary adoption allows children to be adopted without requiring termination of parental rights. This practice exercises tribal sovereignty and helps to maintain family connections.

The Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act, Public Law (P.L. 113-183) was signed into law on September 29, 2014. The law amends the Title IV-E foster care program to address trafficking, limits another planned permanency living arrangement (APPLA) as a plan for youth, and reauthorizes and amends Family Connections Grants and the Adoption Incentives Program. This resource list provides linked, targeted, resources related to Sex Trafficking in native communities.

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