Strengthening Families

Child welfare professionals help families to reflect, learn, and build skills for the life they want for themselves, their children, and their community. To do this challenging work effectively, it is important for professionals to also build their self-awareness, knowledge, skills, and to practice self-care.

The products in this section focus on this type of worker preparation as well as understanding the needs of those in your community, and a variety of tools that are available to child welfare professionals.

Engaging Families

Working with Families

This e-learning acknowledges family strengths and resilience while discussing how families are impacted by poverty, disparity, and trauma.

Preparing for a Family Assessment

This two-page resource offers brief guidance for those in the field and helpful reminders to keep in mind before working with families.

Selecting An Assessment Tool

This resource provides tips and ideas to consider when selecting an assessment tool specific to the needs of families in Indian Country.

Considerations in Conducting a Family Assessment

 This resource provides an overview of principles for successfully engaging families in the assessment process, tips for preparing for an assessment, practice considerations in conducting an assessment, and guidance for selecting an assessment tool – all from a strengths-based approach.


Resource Lists

Culture is Prevention Resource cover

Culture is Prevention: We Are All Connected

The Center for Tribes highlights what tribal communities have long known and practiced – that culture is prevention and that Native youth are strengthened when cultural connections are nurtured.

The 15+ resources highlighted within this document expand on the concept of culture as prevention, provide examples from tribal communities, and offer suggestions from the field for how caseworkers can be mindful of incorporating the culture of the children and families they serve into practice.

Levels of Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect:
Strategies and Resources for Tribal Communities

Prevention services can range from Active Efforts to Customary Adoption. Weaving cultural stories and practices into any decision-making child welfare practice is prevention. This document describes the three main types of prevention and provides resources aligned with each so tribal child welfare programs can better identify where the services they are already providing fit along the continuum.

Prevention Resources cover
Safety and Risk Assessment Resource List

Safety and Risk Assessment Tools in Tribal Child Welfare

Tribal programs often consider adapting existing safety and risk tools or creating new tools to meet their specific needs as widely used tools may give little consideration to cultural differences in child-rearing, offering an incomplete picture of strengths and challenges. For programs interested in exploring that process, these resources can help.

Chafee Program Fact Sheet Cover

The John H. Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to ADULTHOOD

 Learn more about the John H. Chafee Foster Care Program; the funds are highly flexible and can be used to meet the immediate needs of young people currently or formerly in foster care to achieve self-sufficiency, including supplemental support for housing, food, and education and vocation support.

supporting native youth into adulthood cover

Supporting Native Youth into Adulthood

 This resource list contains targeted resources to help child welfare professionals support the health, well-being, and cultural connectivity of Native youth while they journey into adulthood.

Engaging Native Fathers Resource Guide Cover

Engaging and Supporting Native Fathers

 This one-page resource list identifies targeted resources for Tribal Child Welfare Agencies focused on engaging and supporting fathers. 

Customary Adoption Resource List cover

Customary Adoption

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.

Engaging and Supporting Native Grandfamilies Resource Guide cover

Engaging and Supporting Native Grandfamilies

This resource list compiles targeted resources from the field related to supports for Native grandfamilies.

Two-Spirit and Native LGBTQIA+ Community

Walking in Two Worlds: Understanding the Two-Spirit/Native LGBTQ Community

Listen to this webinar where the historical roles and identities of Two-Spirit/Native LGBTQ people were discussed, how historical/intergenerational trauma has impacted this community, and the efforts to bring back balance, beauty, and acceptance. 

Two Spirit Resource Guide Cover

Working with Two-Spirit and Native LGBTQ Youth

This 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.

Supporting Two-Spirit and Native LGBTQ Youth

 This webinar offered education on Native LGBTQ and Two-Spirit identities and explored answers to the questions: How can tribal communities welcome their Two-Spirit relatives back into their circles? What can child welfare agencies do to create a safe and welcoming environment? How can those who work with youth protect and support the Two-Spirit/Native LGBTQ individuals in their care?

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