Child Welfare and Family Services
Native Specific Resources
The National Indian Child Welfare Association has developed a page with Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources. The page has links to guidance from a number of sources about topics such as Helping Keep Caregivers and Children Healthy and Ensuring Safety and Continuity of Care.
Capacity Building Center for Tribes hosts the Tribal Information Exchange. In their Announcements section, you can find COVID-19 specific federal updates including Information Memorandums, guidance and resources that were sent out by the Indian Health Service after a March 23, 2020 phone call, and webinar announcements.
Turtle Talk has created a page titled COVID-19 Court Documents, Child Welfare Specific that has links to documents broken out by jurisdiction. In addition, they are posting links to guidance from the Children’s Bureau.
[Please note that the NAICJA website is being modified so all of these NAICJA sections will need to be updated]
National American Indian Court Judges Association (NAICJA) has published Pandemic Resources for Tribal Courts including NAICJA statement on COVID-19, tribal court orders from various tribal courts and resource information on NAICJA webinars including webinars addressing child welfare and family services issues.
The Administration for Native Americans created a page of COVID-19 resources from the Administration for Children and Families (ACF). ACF supports critical programs that are important for tribes and Native American communities as they respond to (COVID-19). Examples of ACF programs include: Head Start and Early Head Start, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), child welfare, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), and Social and Economic Development Strategies (SEDS). This page has information about grant flexibilities related to COVID-19, program information from the various federal agencies, and general information about COVID-19.
The Tribal Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program provides grants to tribal organizations to develop, implement, and evaluate home visiting programs in American Indian and Alaska Native communities. They created a page that links you to the Office of Child Care COVID-19 Resources. They also dedicated their April 2020 newsletter to the issue.
The Children’s Bureau has created a COVID-19 Resources page that gives information on how child welfare agencies can keep staff and families safe and provides links to Information Memorandums and other guidance. Guidance the Children’s Bureau has issued includes an April 07, 2020 updates to Formula Grant Opportunities, Flexible Convening of Court Hearings, Guidance on Caseworker Visits via Videoconferencing, and Housing Support When Universities and Colleges Close. The Information Memorandums are often sent out by email before they are posted to this page. If you are trying to find them online, you may need to be patient. The page also links you to a COVID-19 search of the Child Welfare Information Gateway under the heading Additional Resources.
Tribes that receive Title IV-b funding are required to create a disaster plan. The Child Welfare Information Gateway has created the page Disaster Planning for Child Welfare Agencies which is devoted to assisting jurisdictions in creating or revising their plans. The page gives tips on how to develop a disaster plan, provides resources, and gives state and local examples.
ICWA practitioners and tribes operating direct Title IV-E programs, might want to note that, on March 27, 2020, Jerry Milner, Association Commissioner of the Children’s Bureau, issued a letter to Child Welfare Legal and Judicial Leaders about statutorily required judicial hearings. The letter notes that the Children’s Bureau cannot waive statutorily required judicial proceedings and encourages courts to use flexible means of convening those hearings.
The Chronicle of Social Change published an April 6, 2020 article addressing COVID-19 issues entitled Family is a Compelling Reason by Jerry Milner, Children’s Bureau Associate Commissioner, and David Kelly, who is Special Assistant to Associate Commissioner Milner, about the importance of protecting parent-child relationships and to “continue to work as diligently as we possibly can to achieve reunification for families who are not yet together.”
Adopt Skids educates families about foster care and adoption and gives child welfare professionals information and support to help them improve their services. Their March 2020 blog, Foster Care and Adoption in the Age of COVID-19 discusses the difficulty of being a resource parent during this time of uncertainty and provides links to helpful information for those parents.
National Child Welfare Workforce Initiative (NCWWI) works to develop and support a child welfare workforce that meets the needs of the most vulnerable children and families. Their main page has links to information on disaster preparedness and webinars about supervising staff who are working remotely and facilitating video conferences and webinars. Their March newsletter, We Are in this Together provides information and resources that can help both individuals and child welfare organizations navigate challenges.
The National Council on Crime and Delinquency has published two resources relevant to child welfare:
The Child Mind Institute has published two resources, one to assist parents and one to assist those working with teenagers and young adults.
Child Trends is a research organization that focuses on providing resources that can improve the lives of children and youth. Their piece, Resources for Supporting Children’s Emotional Well-being during the COVID-19 Pandemic notes that, while children are thought to be less at risk for COVID-19, they are often more vulnerable to the emotional impact of the pandemic and offers information for supporting and protecting them.
The Youth Law Center has launched a resource series titled “COVID19: The New Normal” that was create to support parents, birth resource foster and kin, youth and staff, connected to the child welfare system. They also have a COVID-19 resource page.