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Child Welfare Series from the Capacity Building Center for Tribes


As part of TLPI's Capacity Building Center for Tribes project--a partnership of four organizations that collectively have more than 90 years of experience working with tribal and state partners designing, delivering and evaluating Capacity Building services in Indian Country--the following publication series features resources on tribal child welfare issues.


Be sure to visit the Center for Tribe's Tribal Child Welfare Information Exchange for the latest news and resources, including a tribal ICWA managers peer-to-peer network.

Working with Two-Spirit and Native LGBTQ Youth 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. (2018)

This resource list focuses on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). 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. Center for Tribes compiled those here along with other websites and tools that may be helpful in your work to support tribal children, youth, and families. (2018)

Navigating Rough Waters: Lessons Learned & Challenges to Avoid When Planning a Tribal Child Welfare Data System is part of the Journey Through the River of Data Series. 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. (2018)

How to Prepare for a Family Assessment is a two-page resource that offers brief guidance for caseworkers and front-line staff preparing for a family assessment. 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. (2018)

Planning for Your Program’s Child Welfare Data System is a two-page resource from the Journey Through the River of Data series that 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. (2018)

Improving the Welfare of Native Children by Using & Managing Data is part of the Journey Through the River of Data series. 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. (2018)

Resources for Healthy Generations highlights programs and publications that are intended to help families develop a sense of what is healthy for now and for future generations. The resources build on each community’s strengths of today and the past. (2017)

Resources for Grandparents overviews targeted resources from the field related to support for Native grandparents. Compiled by the Center for Tribes. (2017)

Pathways to Tribal Title IV-E: Tribal Title IV-E Options

Pathways to IV-E Guide provides information on Title IV-E of the Social Security Act's funding requirements. This information is designed assist Native Nations deciding on whether to apply directly for Title IV-E funds or pursue a Tribal-State Agreement. (2017)

Developing tribal capacity to understand and conduct research and evaluation in tribal communities is an exercise in sovereignty. Research and Evaluation in Native Communities can help your community get started. (2017)

Stages of Change is a one-page handout on the five stages of change that can guide communities through making systems changes. There is an accompanying interactive graphic as well. (2017)

Engaging and Supporting Native Fathers overviews targeted resources for tribal child welfare agencies focused on engaging and supporting fathers. Compiled by the Center for Tribes. (2016)

Customary Adoption Resource List provides resources specific to customary adoption. 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. (2016)

Title IV-E Resource List provides an overview of resources related to the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (Public Law 110/351) which now allows for direct Title IV-E funding to eligible tribes for foster care, adoptions assistance, guardianship placements, and independent living services. Compiled by the Center for Tribes. (2016)

Intergenerational/Historical Trauma Resource List

Intergenerational/Historical Trauma Resource List  overviews resources and links with information on what intergenerational/historical trauma is, how it is experienced by Native communities, and how traditional cultural practices may be able to help Native people and communities heal. Compiled by the Center for Tribes. (2016)

Sex Trafficking Resource List provides linked, targeted resources related to sex trafficking in Native communities. (2015)

Co-Authored Publications: 

The ICWA Judicial Benchbook was created for a national audience and  is consistent with the statute, regulations, and best practices, commonly promoted by the National Council of  Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCFCJ). The ICWA Judicial Benchbook covers all stages of the court process, from the preliminary protective hearing until juvenile and family court involvement has ended, which leads to the child safely being returned home or placed in a new, secure and legally permanent home.The ICWA Judicial Benchbook is endorsed and supported by the National American Indian Court Judges Association, the National Indian Child Welfare Association, the Tribal Law and Policy Institute, and the Indian Child Welfare Act Appellate Project at Michigan State University. (2017)


While not formally co-authored by TLPI, the benchbook was reviewed by TLPI and has its complete endorsement and support.

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