Fostering Connections Resource Center

Montana's coordination of child welfare services for American Indian/Native American children

Montana has twelve Indian Tribes on seven federal reservations: Fort Peck (Assiniboine and Sioux), Blackfeet, Rocky Boy (Chippewa and Cree), Fort Belknap (Assiniboine and Gros Ventre), Crow, Northern Cheyenne, Flathead (Salish, Pend d'Oreille, and Kootenai). Montana also has one landless tribe, the Little Shell Band of Chippewa Indians, which has received provisional federal recognition. ALL tribal/state relations are held on a government-to-government basis. Montana has Title IV- E contracts with six of the seven federally recognized Tribal groups and has a Title IV-E agreement with the seventh (Fort Peck). The tribal leadership from each reservation took a very active role in the negotiations of these contracts/agreements which address tribal sovereignty issues as well as specific federal requirements. State Program and Fiscal Bureau staff provide technical assistance and consultation to the Tribes in the areas of foster care, guardianship, adoption, Title IV-E eligibility, Tribal contracts, the Montana Foster Care Independence Program, Child Protection Services and the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children. Monitoring of the contracts is limited to assuring compliance with federal statute. Policy, program, practice, fiscal, and personnel requirements are under the authority of the Tribes for those Tribes which contract with the State. Montana has an Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) program specialist who is directly responsible for assisting field staff in their compliance with the provisions of ICWA and serves as a liaison between state and tribal programs. CFSD continuously works diligently to sustain and develop collaborative and meaningful partnerships with Tribal governments in the State. Montana is often cited as a national leader in this regard.  Read more.


The Fostering Connections Resource Center gratefully acknowledges the National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators for providing these summaries of state approaches. Please visit NAPCWA for the complete implementation summary.

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