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Child Abuse and Neglect Publications 


TLPI is pleased to offer the following publications addressing law and policy issues closely related to child abuse and neglect in Indian country. Please visit  ourJuvenile Justice Publications page for related publications. Also,  be sure to check out our Capacity  Building Center for Tribes project for more information on Indian child welfare issues.  

For resources on tribal child welfare issues, see our Center for Tribes publication series.

Guide for Drafting or Revising Tribal Laws on Crimes against Children is designed to provide a process for enacting a culturally-appropriate criminal code that addresses the victimization of tribal children. Content covered in this publication includes the effects of violence on children, protections for child victims during the criminal process, summaries of existing tribal criminal code provisions, and considerations for approaching tribal code development. This Guide is an update to a previous publication on this topic released in 2008.

This publication has not yet been updated to reflect the changes VAWA 2022 made to the scope of tribal jurisdiction including recognition of inherent tribal criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians who are charged with committing nine “covered crimes” – both the three initial covered crimes in VAWA 2013 (domestic violence, dating violence, and protection order violations) and six additional covered crimes (sexual violence, stalking, sex trafficking, child violence, obstruction of justice, and assaults against tribal justice personnel). For more information concerning VAWA 2022 please visit the VAWA 2022 webpage on the Tribal Court Clearinghouse

The Co-Occurrence of Child Maltreatment and Domestic Violence in Indian Country looks at the issues specific to Indian country relative to the co‐occurrence of domestic violence and child maltreatment, highlights those practices that seem to be moving toward Native‐specific promising practices, and recommends further action be taken in Indian country. (2011)

Tips for Non-Native Medical Providers Working in Alaska Native Communities provides information to assist non-Native medical personnel in responding appropriately to Native children and families when there are allegations or disclosures of child abuse and child sexual abuse. (2008)

Best Practice Approach for Tribal Advocates Working with Native Children Who Have Suffered Abuse suggests an approach to evaluating the needs of the children who enter the child protection system, and a context for the evaluation that is culturally consistent with most tribal child rearing philosophies. (2006)

The Pathway to Hope: Healing Child Sexual Abuse  presents the voices of over 40 Native people, many of whom are survivors of child sexual abuse, this Community Facilitator's Guidebook provide as step by step process for tribal communities to end silence about child sexual abuse, support child victims and promote healing. (2007) Click here to access the companion video.

Childhood Trauma on Brain Development was compiled to assist victim advocates who work with children and their caretakers to understand how trauma affects child development when abuse has occurred – especially when it occurs early in the child’s life. This article should also be helpful to tribes and tribal agencies seeking to develop programs and services that will promote healing and wellness for tribal children. (2005)

Basic Guidelines for Forensic Interviewers provides an overview of the primary considerations for the interview process when allegations of child sexual abuse arise in Indian Country and Alaska Native communities. Forensic interviews are an important part of the investigative process, but require specialized training. This document outlines three areas of particular concern: training for interviewers, cultural competence, and core components of the child interview.

This Protocol Development Guide is intended to help tribes and collaborating agencies develop the type of protocol that will serve the needs of the community and the children. The guide is specifically designed to provide direction and information to local Child Protection Teams (CPT) or Multi-Disciplinary Teams (MDT) toward development of protocols to address their system's response to child abuse and child sexual abuse. (2003) This publication was developed in partnership with the Southwest Center for Law and Policy.

In Alaska Native communities, nearly everyone is impacted in some way by child sexual abuse in the past or currently. Resource Guide for Working with Alaska Native Children  was designed to provide useful and practical information, ideas and tips to help with some of the difficult parts of this crime to support a healing process. (2005)

Co-Authored Publications: 

The Banning Conversion Therapy on Minors code development guide was created for tribal and state legislators and governments interested in banning harmful conversion therapy practices on minors. It provides the latest research and policy on conversion therapy, with chapters that address each major legal code section, including examples and recommendations. The resource was developed by the American Bar Association's Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and is endorsed by the National Native American Bar Association.(2019)

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

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. 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.

The Attorney General’s Advisory Committee Report details the fifty-six policy recommendations of the Attorney General’s Task Force on American Indian and Alaska Native Children Exposed to Violence. The report provides their vision of the development of effective, culturally appropriate programs to protect AI/AN children. TLPI served as the technical assistance provider. (2014)

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