In 1978, Congress enacted the Indian Child Welfare Act. This legislation aimed to preserve cultural and familial ties among Indian children and families and to encourage respect for tribal authority in decisions concerning the placement of Indian children in alternate care. The federal authority granted to tribal courts in child welfare cases also enabled the creation of tribal child welfare systems. Once established, such tribal systems operate seperately from the state or county-based systems that formerly acted as the sole child welfare service providers to tribal communities.
Casey Family Programs offers technical assistance and resources for tribal child welfare systems and other services as they continue to develop. Casey has provided technical assistance and other resources to American Indian and Alaska Native tribes and urban organizations in Alaska, California, Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Washington state.
Casey's Indian Child Welfare Program Office is located in Denver, Colorado.
Assisting tribal child welfare agencies
Since the 1970s, Casey Family Programs has worked with tribal communities and urban organizations to improve services for American Indian and Alaska Native children and families. Casey provides technical assistance and training in:
- Child welfare services, with an emphasis on
cultural relevance and community ownership
- Resource development to help create sustainable
funding for tribal child welfare systems
- Infrastructure tools and systems, such as human
resources, administration, and fiscal management
Improving services for native children in state and county-run child welfare agencies
Casey also works with state and county-based child welfare systems to reduce the disproportionate number of native children receiving foster care services in urban settings. Casey Family Programs is currently piloting the Urban Indian Child Welfare Program in the San Francisco Bay Area of California.