Tribal Child Welfare

Collaborating with Tribes to build child welfare capacity

In 2008, Tribes were authorized to operate their own Title IV-E (IV-E) funded foster care, adoption, and kinship guardian assistance services through the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act. Tribes may access these funds in one of two ways: by entering into an agreement with the state (or states) in which they reside, allowing them to operate IV-E foster care services and receive IV-E reimbursements; or by applying for IV-E funds directly from the federal government and administering their own title IV-E foster care and adoption assistance program.

JBS International, Inc., supports Tribes via direct contract by helping them develop the capacity required for IV-E development: programs, policies, procedures, tools, forms—anything required for creating and sustaining a IV-E system. As we do in all our work with Tribes, we begin with a conversation that establishes a mutually beneficial working relationship. In this case, we invite the Tribe to teach us about the work they are already doing and what they hope to add or do differently in the future. We then work with them Tribal staff, using business process modeling to develop a map their business process model that maps their child welfare agency processes practices from start to finish. These practice maps are then used to inform policy development, culminating in a model that is state of the art and fits the agency’s work style. With the map in hand, we then work collaborate with the Tribe to turn the model into effective policies and practice.

Of central importance is our ability to draw on our deep experience with IV-E legislation and programs, so that we can help bridge the gaps between existing Tribal policies and programs and federal IV-E standards. We help Tribes with clarifying program structure and operations, workforce development and support, community engagement, and data and technology tools in addition to guiding them through the intricacies of IV-E, including reimbursement and payment, record creation and retention, allowable training costs, accounting matters (including repayment of improper or erroneous payments), and confidentiality.  Of course, we do this work with an eye toward what matters most fundamentally: ensuring the safety and well-being of children and families.

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