Improving ICWA Compliance: Technology and Community Driven Design 28th Annual NICWA Conference Portland, OR April 12, 2010 Indian Dispute Resolution Services, Inc. 2010
Introductions Heather Zenone, Indian Child Welfare Director, IDRS Inc., (formerly Indian Dispute Resolution Services). Kevin Hughes, Principle H7 Interactive and Ayazuta.com
Roadmap Current Data and Research Goal:Not One Indian Child Without Strong Tribal Protection Change: Putting Indian Children First How: “scripting” Tribal Notice Procedures Why ICWA Tribal Notice? Intro to Community-based design Ayazuta: Automated Tribal Notice YOU Can Improve ICWA Compliance
Research Background IDRS 3-year research on the health services available to transition-age Indian foster youth in California Quantitative assessment using state data Qualitative interviews with Service Providers and Indian TAY.
FACTS Representation of Indian children in CA foster care has increased since 1998; even as Black and White representation have declined.
FACTS Native children are in CA foster care at 2.8 times their representation in CA population. Disparity more than double since 1998 (1.029)
FACTS More than 60% of Indian children in CA foster care are in placements that do NOT meet ICWA’s placement preferences.
Service Provider Feedback Data: The state data under-reports Indian child data. “active efforts”: Positive Indian identity is core of mental health for Indian kids. ICWA requirement of culturally appropriate services key to mental health needs of Indian foster kids. Few services specifically for Indian foster youth. Existing services are not well-coordinated.
Why State Data is inaccurate Inadequate Training Identification Notice Inadequate inquiry and information to establish the child's tribal membership or eligibility No tracking of youth between dependency and delinquency systems.
Service Provider View of “active efforts” Indian Youth Protective Factors: University of Portland (2009) http://www.rtc.pdx.edu/pgProj_6practice.shtml
Conclusion The conditions do not currently exist in California for compliance with the ICWA. Conditions include: Training Communication Data (state and tribal) Coordination of services
Youth Perspective Placement: Indian youth protest about being placed in non-Indian homes. Perceive being treated poorly because they are Indian. Family: lack of contact with siblings and cousins Education: More likely to know about Chafee funding if they participate in ILP but learn about funding too late. Longest relationships with friends, then ICWA SW (tribal/FFA), ILP SW. CASA.
Implications of Youth Data Indian foster youth who feel isolated poor identity enhanced risk for poor health outcomes. Feelings of isolation in Indian TAY may be related to limited connections to family, tribe, and Indian community. Compliance with ICWA is important as a process by which the state may establish, foster, and increase tribal and community connections and therefore enhance protective health factors for Indian TAY in CA.
Poor ICWA compliance contributes to: Ignorance about the size , scope, costs of disproportionate representation of Indian children and the impact on Indian communities. Isolation of Indian foster children from family, tribe, and Indian communities Poor Indian child health Poor Community health.
GOAL Not One Indian Child Without Strong Tribal Protection Standard: Zero tolerance.
The Change Put Indian Children At The Center The state way of fostering children is not an Indian way of caring for vulnerable children. This is one reason why we fought for ICWA in the first place. Children and elders are often traditionally the center of the community, the circle, the grounds, or of the house.
How? By changing specific behavior that takes attention away from our children. Scripting Tribal Notice “scripting” is step-by-step of what to do What?
Why scripting works: Reduces ambiguity, builds predictability for tribes and states Streamlines processes = faster = more time to identify and meet the needs of Indian children.
Why Tribal Notice? Notice is currently at the center of the process 8 hours/notice/hearing Assembling SW’s court reports Appeals based on inadequate or failure to Notice Impact Beginning of State/Tribal communication By automating what is now at the center, SW’s, courts, and Tribes are freed to focus on the best interests of Indian children.
How Do We Know? IDRS Research Two major barriers to providing for the health needs of Indian TAY: Service Providers: lack of coordination between state, tribes, and service providers Indian TAY: isolation = not child-centered
What IS working? Service Providers: Where counties and tribes communicate well (proximity, stability) the system works better than where communication was limited or adversarial Quantitative data and Indian TAY pointed us to successful Tribal SWs (FFA, TTANF) who put children at the center (Auntie model) AND youth and families have more success.
How Can We Help Tribal SW’s? “more hours in the day” or “more money for more staff” = save time. Save time by automating paperwork processes Clone Tribal SW’s AND we can give Tribal SW’s something they often don’t have: easy access to data to report needs and success to funders.
Community-Based Design OR “Cloning Tribal SW’s” OR “Solving the ‘We’re NOT CA’ Problem” No state is like CA. Not even CA. Every state has “bright spots” (communication, statistics, outcomes) Every state has barriers and needs.
Community-based Design IS: Training TOGETHER: cross-cultural communication skills AND substantive ICWA. Repeating the primary analysis TOGETHER in your context Barriers/Needs? What’s working and why? Help needed and why it works? How to replicate?
So Far: Ayazuta.com Demo
I Can Help Improve ICWA Compliance: Become a facebook fan of California Indian Child Welfare Association OR read/comment on our blog: http://calicwa.wordpress.com Join our listserve: Heatherz@indiandispute.com Ayazuta Newsletter/Twitter: firstname.lastname@example.org Use the Tribal Contacts database: http://ayazuta.com Tell Social Services department, state, BIA Regional Officer about the Tribal Contacts database Link to the Tribal Contacts database, Ayazuta, and the California Indian Child Welfare Assoc. Web demo of Ayazuta Letter of Support Contact us with a) compliance efforts and b) compliance success
Indian Foster Youth Academy In California 5-day training in negotiation, presentation, policy advocacy. Design own policy agenda Travel to 2 advocacy sites to present policy ideas When: July 11-17, 2010 Where: Sacramento, CA More information: Heatherz@indiandispute.com
Thank You! National Indian Child Welfare Association National Institutes of Health California Wellness Foundation The California Endowment UCSF Medical School, Pediatrics Dpt. Indian TAY and ICWA Professionals
Contact Us! Heather Zenone, Indian Child Welfare Director 916-482-5800 email@example.com Kevin Hughes, H7 Interactive, Ayazuta.com Kevin@h7i.com