Heather Zenone (Cherokee), 2nd generation California foster youth current Indian Child Welfare Director at IDRS Inc., working to help Native youth get a better start on adulthood than she received 20 years ago.
Funding: National Institutes of Health, California Endowment, California WellnessResearch Design Partner: UCSF Medical School, Pediatrics Dpt.Human Subjects Training & Approval: UCSF Medical School
For every thousand kids in a demographic group in the state population, this is the number of them who are in CA foster care. One reason for the increase is that more Indian children may be being identified as Indian than have been in the past. Nevertheless, the disparity is growing while other populations are shrinking.
Disparity (DM) = % of demographic in Foster care divided by # kids of that demographicin state population.
ICWA Compliant: 36% are placed with relatives; 2.6% are placed in non-relative Indian homes.Non-Compliant: 7.9% are in group homes; 7.3% are in some other placement; 25.6% of are placed in non-relative, non-Indian homes; in 20.6% of cases the ethnicity of the adults in the out of home placement is not known.
Two Focus groups of ICWA service providers from each geographic region.Service Provider: any tribal, county, non-profit entity that serves Indian kids.Regions: Humboldt, SFBay, San Diego N=30
Based on Focus Group information.
Barbara J. Friesen, Ph.D., Co-Principal InvestigatorTerry Cross, M.S.W., L.C.S.W., A.C.S.W., Co-Principal Investigator
Transition-age Indian foster youth and former foster youth from each geographic region were either interviewed separately or in group settings. We are not done collecting or analyzing this data.
“poor health outcomes”: suicide, addiction, homelessness, violence, criminality/victim, unplanned pregnancy etc.
Anything short of zero tolerance and we’ll have to explain which Indian kids it’s OK to leave unprotected and unconnected.
Improving ICWA Tribal Notice won’t solve all the problems of Indian foster children, but a small change can make a significant impact.In “differential response” counties, Notice may not be the first County/Tribal communication; often service providers (TTANF, FFA’s, Tribal SW’s) are the first cont act, but accurate Tribal Contact and “active efforts” service information is required.
Re: “cloning”take advantage of their expertise by digitally copying the way they do their work and building that into the system.
Nicwa 2010 Improving Icwa Compliance
Improving ICWA Compliance: Technology and Community Driven Design<br />28th Annual NICWA Conference<br />Portland, OR<br />April 12, 2010<br />Indian Dispute Resolution Services, Inc. 2010<br />
Roadmap<br />Current Data and Research<br />Goal:Not One Indian Child Without Strong Tribal Protection<br />Change: Putting Indian Children First<br />How: “scripting” Tribal Notice Procedures<br />Why ICWA Tribal Notice?<br />Intro to Community-based design<br />Ayazuta: Automated Tribal Notice<br />YOU Can Improve ICWA Compliance<br />
Research Background<br />IDRS 3-year research on the health services available to transition-age Indian foster youth in California<br />Quantitative assessment using state data<br />Qualitative interviews with Service Providers and Indian TAY.<br />
FACTS<br />Representation of Indian children in CA foster care has increased since 1998; even as Black and White representation have declined.<br />
FACTS<br />Native children are in CA foster care at 2.8 times their representation in CA population. Disparity more than double since 1998 (1.029)<br />
FACTS<br />More than 60% of Indian children in CA foster care are in placements that do NOT meet ICWA’s placement preferences.<br />
Service Provider Feedback<br />Data: The state data under-reports Indian child data.<br />“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.<br />Few services specifically for Indian foster youth. Existing services are not well-coordinated.<br />
Why State Data is inaccurate<br />Inadequate Training<br />Identification<br />Notice<br />Inadequate inquiry and information to establish the child's tribal membership or eligibility<br />No tracking of youth between dependency and delinquency systems.<br />
Service Provider View of “active efforts”<br />Indian Youth Protective Factors:<br />University of Portland (2009) http://www.rtc.pdx.edu/pgProj_6practice.shtml<br />
Conclusion<br />The conditions do not currently exist in California for compliance with the ICWA.<br />Conditions include:<br />Training<br />Communication<br />Data (state and tribal)<br />Coordination of services<br />
Youth Perspective<br />Placement: Indian youth protest about being placed in non-Indian homes. Perceive being treated poorly because they are Indian.<br />Family: lack of contact with siblings and cousins<br />Education: More likely to know about Chafee funding if they participate in ILP but learn about funding too late.<br />Longest relationships with friends, then ICWA SW (tribal/FFA), ILP SW. CASA.<br />
Implications of Youth Data<br />Indian foster youth who feel isolated poor identity enhanced risk for poor health outcomes.<br />Feelings of isolation in Indian TAY may be related to limited connections to family, tribe, and Indian community.<br />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.<br />
Poor ICWA compliance contributes to:<br />Ignorance about the size , scope, costs of disproportionate representation of Indian children and the impact on Indian communities.<br />Isolation of Indian foster children from family, tribe, and Indian communities<br />Poor Indian child health Poor Community health.<br />
GOAL<br />Not One Indian Child <br />Without Strong Tribal Protection<br />Standard: Zero tolerance.<br />
The Change <br />Put Indian Children At The Center<br />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.<br />Children and elders are often traditionally the center of the community, the circle, the grounds, or of the house.<br />
How?<br />By changing specific behavior that takes attention away from our children.<br />Scripting Tribal Notice<br /> “scripting” is step-by-step of what to do<br />What?<br />
Why scripting works:<br />Reduces ambiguity, builds predictability for tribes and states<br />Streamlines processes = faster = more time to identify and meet the needs of Indian children.<br />
Why Tribal Notice?<br />Notice is currently at the center of the process<br />8 hours/notice/hearing<br />Assembling SW’s court reports<br />Appeals based on inadequate or failure to Notice<br />Impact<br />Beginning of State/Tribal communication<br />By automating what is now at the center, SW’s, courts, and Tribes are freed to focus on the best interests of Indian children.<br />
How Do We Know?<br />IDRS Research<br />Two major barriers to providing for the health needs of Indian TAY:<br />Service Providers: lack of coordination between state, tribes, and service providers<br />Indian TAY: isolation = not child-centered<br />
What IS working?<br />Service Providers: Where counties and tribes communicate well (proximity, stability) the system works better than where communication was limited or adversarial<br />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.<br />
How Can We Help Tribal SW’s?<br />“more hours in the day” or “more money for more staff” = save time.<br />Save time by automating paperwork processes<br />Clone Tribal SW’s<br />AND we can give Tribal SW’s something they often don’t have: easy access to data to report needs and success to funders.<br />
Community-Based Design<br />OR “Cloning Tribal SW’s”<br /> OR “Solving the ‘We’re NOT CA’ Problem”<br />No state is like CA. Not even CA.<br />Every state has “bright spots” (communication, statistics, outcomes)<br />Every state has barriers and needs.<br />
Community-based Design IS: <br />Training TOGETHER: cross-cultural communication skills AND substantive ICWA.<br />Repeating the primary analysis TOGETHER in your context<br />Barriers/Needs?<br />What’s working and why?<br />Help needed and why it works?<br />How to replicate?<br />
I Can Help Improve ICWA Compliance:<br />Become a facebook fan of California Indian Child Welfare Association OR read/comment on our blog: http://calicwa.wordpress.com<br />Join our listserve: Heatherz@indiandispute.com<br />Ayazuta Newsletter/Twitter: email@example.com<br />Use the Tribal Contacts database: http://ayazuta.com<br />Tell Social Services department, state, BIA Regional Officer about the Tribal Contacts database<br />Link to the Tribal Contacts database, Ayazuta, and the California Indian Child Welfare Assoc. <br />Web demo of Ayazuta<br />Letter of Support<br />Contact us with a) compliance efforts and b) compliance success<br />
Indian Foster Youth Academy <br />In California<br />5-day training in negotiation, presentation, policy advocacy. Design own policy agenda<br />Travel to 2 advocacy sites to present policy ideas<br />When: July 11-17, 2010<br />Where: Sacramento, CA<br />More information: Heatherz@indiandispute.com<br />
Thank You! <br />National Indian Child Welfare Association<br />National Institutes of Health<br />California Wellness Foundation<br />The California Endowment<br />UCSF Medical School, Pediatrics Dpt.<br />Indian TAY and ICWA Professionals<br />