Tribal Highlights

Here you will find highlights on implementation of the Tribal Provisions of the Fostering Connections Act, as well as selected resources available on

Lead Partner: Tribal Network. The National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of Indian children and their families. NICWA accomplishes this goal by offering training and technical assistance related to Indian child welfare services; making available information regarding the needs and problems of Indian children; helping to improve community-based services; and working to promote improved public policies for Indian children. For additional information about this report or other NICWA projects, please contact:

Implementation Progress

  • On April 1, 2012 Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe became the first Native American community in the nation to operate its own Title IV-E foster care, kinship guardianship assistance, and adoption assistance program.  Learn more here.
  • Eleven tribes have received Tribal Development Federal Grant awards designed to support them in developing a Title IV-E plan that will provide them with direct access to Title IV-E funding for the Indian children and youth they serve. Tribes are using these grants to help them develop data collections systems, methods to allocate costs, and agency and tribal court procedures that meet the requirements of Title IV-E.
  • In FY2009, six tribes received Title IV-E plan development grants: Tohono O'odham Nation, Sells, AZ; Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes, Pablo, MT; Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Baraga, MI; Sac and Fox Nation, Stroud, OK; Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California, Gardnerville, NV; and Navajo Nation, Window Rock, AZ.
  • In FY 2010, four additional tribes received these grants: The Chickasaw Nation, Ada, OK; Yurok Tribe, Del Norte, CA; Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, Fort Hall, ID; and Lummi Nation, Bellingham, WA. In 2011, an additional tribe, the South Puget Interagency Planning Agency, Shelton, WA, received a Title IV-E plan development grant.
  • In addition in 2011, tribes have been awarded federal grants to support their work on other Fostering Connections requirements. The Siouxland Human Investment Partnership, Sioux City, IA was awarded a grant to develop education systems collaborations to increase educational stability for children and youth in foster care. The Ute Indian Tribe, Fort Duchesne, UT was awarded a Family Connections Grant to use Family Group Decision Making to build protective factors for children and families.
  • See Implementation News for more state-specific examples of education implementation.

Selected Tribal Resources

  • Federal Guidance
    The Children's Bureau provides a very helpful document intended to serve as a reference for stakeholders interested in locating Children's Bureau (CB) policy, guidance and other implementation activities related to the Fostering Connections
  • Considerations for Indian Tribes, Indian Tribal Organizations or Tribal Consortia Seeking to Operate a Tribal Title IV-E Program
    The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008, Public Law 110-351, provides federally-recognized Indian Tribes, Indian Tribal Organizations and Consortia (Indian Tribes) with the option to submit a plan to the Administration for Children and Families to operate a title IV-E program directly. This document is designed as a technical assistance tool for Indian Tribes to use in considering how to plan for the resources, policies and procedures they will or may need to implement a direct title IV-E program.
  • Title IV-E: Helping Tribes Meet the Legal Requirements
    Many tribes have tribal codes, regulations and policies but many of these were developed outside the requirements of Title IV-E as tribes did not directly operate Title IV-E programs. When seeking to operate Title IV-E programs, tribes will need to assess their current codes, regulations and policies and make changes as needed. This report by Jack F. Trope provides tribes with detailed information about the Title IV-E issues that tribes must address through codes, regulations or policies and offers strategies that tribes can use to make needed revisions.
  • Key Considerations and Best Practices for Tribal Title IV-E Data Collection and Reporting
    This report by Dr. Priscilla Day and Erin Geary provides an overview of the critical issues related to American Indian child welfare and data collection. It describes the data reporting requirements under Title IV-E. Drawing on the experiences of successful tribal agencies that have collected and reported data in an effective, culturally relevant way, it describes challenges, lessons learned and best practice related to child welfare data collection. It further provides an assessment tool for tribes to use to assess their readiness to implement Title IV-E services.
  • Child Welfare Policy Manual: Tribes, Tribal Organizations, and Title IV-E Agreements
    The Children's Bureau Child Welfare Policy Manual: Tribes, Tribal Organizations, and Title IV-E Agreements contains a list of 6 questions about the roles and responsibilities of Tribes and States when Title IV-E agreements are in place.
  • ACF Agency-Wide Tribal Consultation Policy
    The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and representatives from 42 North American tribes signed the ACF tribal consultation policy on August 18, 2011 that sets official protocol on how the agency engages tribes in consultation on legislation, regulations and policies that affect the services delivered to federally recognized tribes.
  • RC4Tribes Technical Assistance Needs Assessment: Guidance for the Children's Bureau T/TA Network
    The National Child Welfare Resource Center for Tribes (NRC4Tribes) - in collaboration with the Children's Bureau - released its Findings from the NRC4Tribes Technical Assistance Needs Assessment: Guidance for the Children's Bureau T/TA Network in August 2011. This TA needs assessment employed a mixed-method design that included an online needs assessment and more than 140 in-person and on-site interviews with tribal stakeholders in order to assess the needs and strengths of diverse tribal child welfare systems across the country.
  • The Tribal Resource Directory of ACF Programs
    The Tribal Resource Directory of ACF Programs (August 2010) provide useful information on programs funded by ACF for American Indian Tribes and provide profiles of ACF programs for which American Indian Tribes, Alaska Native Villages and/or Native American organizations are eligible to apply directly or where, by law; they receive services through the States.
  • ACF Tribal Consultation Program
    The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) recently published a policy statement establishing the process for consultation with federally recognized Indian Tribes
  • Tribal Court Improvement Program Consultation
    The Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act (Public Law 112-34), which was signed into law on September 30, 2011, created a new Tribal Court Improvement Program (Tribal CIP). In keeping with the Administration for Children and Families' Tribal Consultation Policy, they are seeking input to help ensure successful implementation of the program. To seek consultation with tribes on the implementation of the Tribal CIP, ACF will hold two conference calls in January to seek input on key questions regarding the administration, scope and duration of grant awards, as well as any other considerations for implementing the new program that participants may raise. The calls will be held on Wednesday, January 11 and Thursday, January 12, 2012, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. EST. Below, please find links to the Tribal CIP Letter and Questions for Tribal Consultation on the Tribal CIP.
    • Tribal CIP Letter
    • Questions for Tribal Consultation on the Tribal CIP
  • "That's My People" - Tribal Youth Video
    The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has posted an 8-minute video highlighting the 2011 National Intertribal Youth Summit (NIYS) held last July in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The "2011 National Tribal Youth Summit" video covers activities from the week-long event, attended by more than 160 youth representing nearly 50 tribes. In addition, a public service announcement (PSA) video "That's My People" is available on the DOJ Web site. In the PSA, developed at the NIYS, tribal youth talk about issues that they have identified as important to address with their tribal leaders.

For a full list of Tribal Resources, see here