In September 2001, the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (ACF, HHS) awarded a contract to James Bell Associates, Inc. (JBA) of Arlington, Virginia to study the implementation of the Promoting Safe and Stable Families (PSSF) program by American Indian Tribes.” JBA undertook the study in collaboration with Three Feathers Associates of Norman, Oklahoma and Dr. Eddie Brown, Director of the Kathryn M. Buder Center for American Indian Studies at Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, along with his colleague, Dr. Gordon Limb. The project also benefited from the input of a technical work group of nationally recognized experts, policymakers and researchers within the field of Indian child welfare (a listing of members is attached).
The purpose of the study was to examine the ways in which American Indian tribes used funds they received under title IV-B, subpart 2 of the Social Security Act to provide services that strengthen families' abilities to care for their children. Within this context, the study examined a full range of implementation issues—planning; accomplishments and changes; organization and infrastructure; related child welfare and human services and practices; and resource uses and allocations—over time and across various stakeholders.
Information for the study came from two sources. First, from information abstracted from the FY95 and FY00 Child and Family Services Plans tribes submitted along with budgetary information, and second, from visits to 12 sites for more in-depth analysis of implementation.
Two special issue papers were produced highlighting findings obtained from the case study sites. This issue paper highlights collaborative arrangements to provide services. The other issue paper highlights resources and strategies used by tribes to fund child welfare services. These papers supplement the individual case studies and reports produced under this project.