Tribal Child Welfare

The American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) population disproportionately experiences child maltreatment and neglect. For example, data from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) indicate an estimated child maltreatment rate of 14.2 per 1,000 children for AI/AN children—the highest rate by race and ethnicity.

Because child maltreatment and neglect in AI/AN populations arise from, and are inextricably tied to, the long-term undermining of Tribal social structures, practices, and forms of knowledge by external forces, JBS’s efforts start from the view that the most appropriate solutions to child welfare issues in Indian Country lie in the hands of Tribal communities themselves: Providing Tribal communities with resources to assist their efforts to reclaim traditional and cultural knowledge is the keystone of culturally responsive prevention and intervention efforts.

JBS’s employees’ experience in Tribal child welfare spans more than three decades. In addition, our roster of Tribally oriented projects builds upon JBS’s core strengths, including a deep bench of expertise in child welfare, logistics, service provision—even an epistemologist, to help navigate the differences between Western social science epistemologies and Indigenous Ways of Knowing.

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Meet our experts

  • aernst's picture
    A.J. Ernst
    Senior Technical Expert
  • sulrich's picture
    Sonja Ulrich
  • jwalker's picture
    Joe Walker
    Indigenous Projects Program Lead

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