ICWA Family Resources Manual & Directory


SECTION 1.  INTRODUCTION

The Best Outcomes for Indian Children in out of Home Care Project:  Indian Child Welfare Resources Manual and Directory includes Wisconsin tribal resources categorized alphabetically by region, tribe and county.  Regions consist of the Northeastern, Southern and Western areas of the state.  Tribal resources include locations, website addresses, brief history, services and contact information relevant to American Indian children and families involved in the child welfare system.  The manual is designed to help child protection workers with client service planning by engaging clients in a spirit of collaboration with their tribes in culturally appropriate services such as parenting training, family communication building, behavior management, marital counseling, life skills training, self-management of moods and behavior, school interventions, safety planning, relapse prevention, concrete and advocacy services, and other services as needed.  Engaging children and families through identification, connection, and involvement with tribal resources as part of case planning and activities demonstrates active efforts towards child safety, reunification, permanency and well-being of American Indian children in the child welfare system. 

There are website links for tribes bordering Wisconsin in the states of Michigan and Minnesota.  The tribal information is limited for the tribes outside of the state of Wisconsin.

1A.   Objective of Tribal Resources Manual

1B.   Usage and Circulation of the Manual

1C.   Revisions of the Manual

1D.   Definitions of Important Terms Related to this Manual

1E.   Intended People for this Manual

1F.    Alphabetical Listing of Regions, Counties, Tribes and Tribal Resources

 

1A.  OBJECTIVE OF BEST OUTCOMES FOR INDIAN CHILDREN IN OUT OF HOME CARE PROJECT:  INDIAN CHILD WELFARE RESOURCES MANUAL

The objective behind the development of this resource manual is to provide child protective service workers with a comprehensive and centralized location for identifying tribal resources and engaging American Indian children and families in services provided by those resources.  It is hoped that this manual will facilitate workers in their active efforts to: 

  1. Refer, arrange and help families engage in identified services;
  2. Manage and proactively engage in diligent casework activity;
  3. Creatively meet the needs of children and families along with meeting the minimum requirements set by policy;
  4. Demonstrate their commitment to the requirements and spirit of the Indian Child Welfare Act and the Wisconsin Indian Child Welfare Act;
  5. Utilize methods and provide services that are culturally appropriate 

("Active Efforts", 2010, p. 3) 

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1B.  USAGE AND CIRCULATION OF THE MANUAL

This manual is meant for use by county child protection workers and other professionals to help identify appropriate tribal resources and engage American Indian children and families in those resources who are involved in the child welfare system.  At a minimum, all Wisconsin county child welfare and protection agencies will be provided with access to this resource manual. 

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1C.  REVISIONS OF MANUAL

This is the first tribal resources manual of its kind to be developed for use by county child protection workers and other professionals, and revisions to the manual will be at the discretion of Judicare Inc. and/or other projects/programs engaged in the sustainability of the Best Outcomes for Indian Children Project following its projected end date.

Highlights of the manual include categorization of Wisconsin tribes and tribal resources by region, tribe and county location, along with a brief history of each tribe, brief topical overview of resources and tribal resource contact information.  Additional state and federal American Indian child welfare resources are provided for use by child protection workers and other professionals along with American Indian children and families involved in the child welfare system.  Tribal websites, the United States Census Bureau, and Federal and State government websites served as primary sources for this manual.

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1D.  DEFINITIONS OF IMPORTANT TERMS RELATED TO THIS MANUAL

Active Efforts:  An ongoing, vigorous, and concerted level of case work made in a manner that takes into account the prevailing social and cultural values, conditions, and way of life of the Indian child’s tribe, that utilizes the available resources of the Indian child’s tribe, tribal, and other Indian child welfare agencies, extended family members, other individual Indian caregivers, and other culturally appropriate service providers.  (http://dcf.wisconsin.gov/wisacwis/knowledge_web/)

Indian Child Welfare Act:  The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) is a federal law passed in 1978 that guides states in their process for placement of an Indian child that is in their custody. This act was passed in response to the alarmingly high rate of Indian children being removed from their homes unnecessarily. It requires that states seek placement for the child with that child’s family, tribe, and other American Indian homes before looking elsewhere. It generally does not apply to divorce proceedings, intrafamily disputes, juvenile delinquency cases, or cases under tribal court jurisdiction. (http://www.nicwa.org

Qualified Expert Witness:  Under ICWA, an “expert witness” is someone who can provide the court with knowledge of the social and cultural aspects of Indian life to diminish the risk of any cultural bias. The testimony of a qualified expert witness is required in the case of an Indian child in order to make a foster care placement or termination of parental rights. A qualified expert witness can be identified with help from the tribe of the child, the BIA, or Indian organizations and is meant to be a person with more knowledge than the average social worker or anthropologist.  (http://www.nicwa.org)

Wisconsin Indian Child Welfare Act:  WICWA is the Wisconsin version of ICWA as codified into Wisconsin statutes. 2009 Wisconsin Act 94, which was the codification, was signed by Gov. Jim Doyle on December 7, 2009 and become effective on December 22, 2009 and became effective on December 22, 2009. The Wisconsin law essentially mirrors the ICWA and implements the minimum standards referenced in ICWA.

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1E.  INTENDED PEOPLE FOR THIS MANUAL

This manual is for intended for use by county child protection and welfare workers and other professionals working with American Indian children and families involved in the child welfare system. 

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1F.  ALPHABETICAL LISTING OF REGIONS, COUNTIES, TRIBES, AND TRIBAL RESOURCES

This manual is categorized alphabetically by regions, counties, Tribes and Tribal resources beginning with the northeastern region and followed by the southern, and finally, the western regions.  Each region is comprised of Tribes and tribal resources in alphabetical order. 

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