Policies in Tribal Communities

Trauma-informed foster parent training

The National Training and Development Curriculum for Foster and Adoptive Parents program is a a five-year federal grant project focused on developing a state-of-the-art training program to prepare foster and adoptive parents to care for children exposed to trauma. Intended outcomes include improved placement stability, improved permanency rates and enhanced child and family well-being. Seven states a tribal community have been selected to partner as pilot sites, including: Colorado, Missouri, Oklahoma, Illinois, Georgia, Florida, Kansas and Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community. 

See the project's website for more details.

Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe Definition of Extended Family

Recruitment and retention of relative foster families are key elements of the Port Gamble S’Klallam foster care program. The term “extended family” is defined broadly in policy to include family ties that are based on bloodlines, marriage, friendship and caring. All women in the community become “auntie” or “grandma” when they reach a certain age, regardless of blood relationship. In fact, any member of the tribe who is reliable, responsible, loving and willing to care for a child may be considered extended family. In order to encourage kin to serve as foster parents, the tribe developed a simplified licensure process that provides families with specific, easily understood information accompanied by support services.

See playbook for more information.

Fond Du Lac Tribe Child Care Guidance

A tribal ordinance provides guidance on daily activities that promote optimal physical, social, mental and emotional health and development of children in care, including activities that enhance children’s appreciation of their cultural heritage. For example, the ordinance requires that infants have ample opportunities for freedom of movement every day in order to promote large-muscle development. For toddlers, the ordinance requires that each child be provided with limits consistent with age and understanding in order to protect the child’s and others’ safety. Similar requirements exist for preschool, school-age and adolescent children. The ordinance also includes a daily food guide, including food groups, average serving sizes and recommended number of servings for children in each age group.

See playbook for more information.

Preserving Connections

American Indian and Alaska Native children thrive with families that reflect their culture, especially if they need to be placed in out-of-home care. To preserve these connections, the federal Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) lays out preferred placements for out-of-home care when a child who meets the ICWA’s definition of an “Indian child” is not able to be safe at home.

See brief by Casey Family Programs for more information.