Since 2006, The Administration for Children and Families/Office of Family Assistance has funded three rounds of discretionary demonstration grants to improve coordination of Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and child welfare services provided to tribal families at risk of child abuse or neglect. These discretionary grants were made possible through the Healthy Marriage/Responsible Fatherhood program established by Congress and provide opportunities for Indian tribes and tribal consortia that administer Tribal TANF to develop more effective and efficient strategies to meet the unique needs of at risk populations. These grants were awarded to Tribal TANF grantees through a competitive process, with review of applications by independent review panels using criteria in the funding opportunity announcements. The statutory purpose of the Tribal TANF – Child Welfare Coordination (TTCW) grants is to demonstrate models of effective coordination by tribal governments or tribal consortia of Tribal TANF and child welfare services provided to tribal families at risk of child abuse or neglect. Consistent with the authorizing legislation, these grants must be used for one or more of the following:
- To improve case management for families eligible for assistance from a Tribal TANF program;
- For supportive services and assistance to tribal children in out-of-home placements and the tribal families caring for such children, including families who adopt such children;
- For prevention services and assistance to tribal families at risk of child abuse and neglect.
On October 1, 2015, 8 tribes were funded for the third round of Tribal TANF – Child Welfare Coordination grants. The grants have a 5-year project period (September 30, 2015 – September 29, 2020) and each grantee receives $225,000 per year. Total annual funding for these grants is $1.8 million.
Unity Project, Pascua Yaqui Tribe, Tucson, AZ
The Pascua Yaqui Tribe TANF Child Welfare Coordination Unity Project supports families of Pascua Yaqui children ages 0-17 at risk of child abuse and neglect by expanding, coordinating, and better integrating PYT Child Welfare and TANF Services to better promote family preservation, prevent child abuse or neglect, reduce out of home placement, and promote reunification. Despite previous and ongoing efforts to address the repeated fracture of TANF families by Child Protective Services (CPS), and despite available resources such as a Family Preservation Division, indicators clearly demonstrate that too many children and youth live in out of home placements. The current project provides for cross training among divisions in the social service units that serve these families, joint screening of families, integrated service planning and joint staffing of cases.
Preserving Native Families Partnership Initiative, Central Council Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, Juneau, AK
Central Council Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska’s project offers strengths-based case management, prevention and early intervention services for TANF eligible families at risk of child abuse and neglect in the community of Juneau, Alaska’s Capital City. The project implements a culturally-specific Structured Decision Making (SDM) assessment that augments the Strengths and Needs Assessment. The child welfare and TANF partners are also developing, revising, and piloting a Child Strengths and Needs assessment to identify families at highest risk for child welfare involvement.
Chippewa Cree TANF and Child Welfare Coordination Initiative, Chippewa Cree Tribe, Box Elder, MT
Chippewa Cree Tribe’s project focuses on improving case management for TANF eligible families and enhancing prevention services and assistance to tribal families at risk of child abuse and neglect, especially American Indian children and families on Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation. The project supports and promotes inter- and intra-departmental collaboration using a system-of-care approach providing wraparound services to at-risk families to develop comprehensive family assessments, coordinate service plans, and coordinate use of data collected across agencies, thereby improving services and maximizing revenue sources.
Families First Project, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, Pablo, MT
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes’ project implements Community Strong, a family strengths-based wraparound service delivery model. The project provides intake/assessment/case-management, advocacy and support services and referrals to tribal and community resources for TANF eligible families. The project provides child abuse prevention training for staff and activities including facilitating family group decision-making meetings with tribal families. The project serves TANF recipient families who are currently involved with child protective services, tribal children in out-of-home placements and the foster or relative families caring for them, and TANF eligible families at risk of child abuse and neglect.
Luqu Kenu Enhancement (Dena’ina for Everyone is Family), Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC), Inc., Anchorage, AK
Cook Inlet is continuing to implement Luqu Kenu Enhancement. The project increases interoperability between CITC’s Tribal TANF program and Child & Family Services Department by: 1) cross-training CITC staff, 2) creating an integrated case management system for tribal families at risk of child abuse or neglect, 3) implementing an alumni peer support service, and 4) extending service provision into the Mat-Su Borough. The project’s goal is to screen approximately 900 Tribal TANF applicants for risk of child abuse or neglect, provide integrated case management to 200 Tribal TANF recipients at risk of child abuse or neglect, and institute interdepartmental collaboration through staff training and new service patterns.