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February 2018

Child Welfare Success from a Tribal Perspective-A Working Definition

In the past few months Tribal STAR has hosted discussions with the Capacity Building Center for Tribes and the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute on how to support succession planning for tribal leaders to address tribal child welfare. To achieve our goal a focused discussion was planned to create a working definition of child welfare success from a tribal perspective. The discussion included input from local tribal social service and tribal community leaders. Throughout the discussion was an awareness that each tribe has their own values and approach to leadership and social services that are based on their unique history and creation stories. Here is the current working definition:

Success within a tribal world view embraces the tribal beliefs that children are sacred gifts from the Creator, that every child and individual has a sacred role and gift to contribute to their family and community, that each individual has a responsibility to protect and preserve their cultural identity and tribe, and to maintain relationships with all beings in a good way. Every tribe has a unique set of values and teachings based on their creation stories and oral histories. These must be integrated into social service programs and leadership succession planning. Child welfare success is best achieved when the tribal leadership and community work together to assist families at risk with protection and resilience with a long-term goal of tribal and family well-being. This is achieved when youth and families have support to achieve and maintain a positive connection to their tribal identity and

  • Can evolve from feeling as victims to feeling empowered and voice their needs,
  • Can evolve from feeling punished/outcasts to productive contributing community members,
  • Can work through their issues with community, tribal and non-tribal networks of support,
  • Feel they have a rightful place and are accepted within the community,
  • Understand how they contribute to the tribe and community well-being,
  • Participate and contribute at local tribal gatherings,
  • Experience resilience from their tribal identity,
  • Value all children as sacred gifts from the Creator,
  • Value cultural preservation, and
  • Are surrounded with positive and mutually supportive relationships.

Achieving this working definition of child welfare success helped all participants better understand their roles and how best to support Native families in finding the support they need to maintain well-being. The organizers would like to thank all the participants who provided input to these discussions. For more information contact Tom Lidot, Tribal STAR Program Manager
iUsed with permission only.


School of Social Work and American Indian Studies hosted 7th Generation meeting at New Academy Training Room

On January 30, 2018 the 7th Generation Workgroup to address disproportionality met at the new Academy Training 6367 Alvarado Court Room 103. It was a productive meeting setting the groundwork for a disproportionality dashboard of child welfare measures, identifying a need for check-and-balance to ensure ICWA trainees apply the knowledge they learned in training, and a suggestion to review mission of Tribal STAR and the disproportionality work.  


New Training Rooms at the:

Academy for Professional Excellence
6367 Alvarado Court
Rooms 103 and 105 - both are on the first floor.
*Note: it is not in the same building as before.



Partner Highlight

YMCA Kinship Support Program



 Please join us in congratulating Shurene Premo, SDSU School of Social Work undergraduate student, for being awarded the NASW Native American Birdwoman Scholarship.
This tremendous honor is awarded to Native undergraduate students in their final year as well as masters level students who are committed to a career in social work. Shurene is also the proud recipient of the highly competitive Cobell Scholarship for the 2017-2018 school year.
Shurene is from the Great Basin Territory in Northern Nevada, representing the Tosa Wihi (White Knife) clan, and comes from the Shoshone Paiute Nation. She will be a senior next year majoring in Social Work at SDSU with a minor in American Indian Studies. Shurene is diligently pursuing her BASW and excelling in both her classes and personal commitment to helping others. She attends school full time, maintains a job on campus in the Student Abilities Success Center, and is working with an American Indian Studies professor to learn her Native language. She has also made the Dean’s list for Spring and Fall 2017.

Shurene is committed to attaining her degree in order to return to her people and work as a social worker. Shurene’s specific interest is in working in child and family services assisting families who have entered the child welfare system. She has spent the last four summers working directly with Tribal Family Services and County Child Welfare on ICWA cases as well as in direct service of families impacted by addiction in her Native American Community. When asked about receiving this award, she replied "I am grateful to NASW for supporting me on my college journey. I am a strong, resilient, determined Newe-Numa Wa'ippe, (Shoshone-Paiute Woman). I am doing this for myself, my culture and my people. This is the Seventh Generation and I am following what my father always told me, to stay on the Red Road to keep balanced spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically." We know Shurene will be an amazing contributor to the field of social work and celebrate her unyielding commitment to her education, personal growth and service in Indigenous communities.

Tamara Strohauer, MSW, ASW
SERVE: Indigenous Social Workers for Change Program Coordinator



Active Efforts Now Reflected in the Structured Decision Making Tool

Tribal STAR thanks our statewide champions for their continued advocacy. NCCD, National Council on Criminal Delinquency changed their structured decision making tool to include active efforts for ICWA!

Tribal STAR T4T Skill Building Institute Scheduled for March 13-14-15, 2018
The Tribal STAR T4T will focus on skill building for statewide ICWA trainers implementing the Core 3.0 ICWA: Working with Native American Families and Tribes. Participants will experience the training from seasoned trainers and learn cultural immersion techniques that distinguishes the Tribal STAR training model. The training will be from 8am – 5pm. Working lunch provided. Participants will need to complete the pre-requisite ICWA eLearning before March 13.  Preference is given to individuals who plan to train ICWA in 2018-2019, and county child welfare staff who serve as ICWA liaisons, coordinators, or specialists. Location TBD. For more information contact Sunni Dominguez

Up-to-date research applicable to those who work with Tribal foster youth
Newly published articles foundational for those who work with Tribal foster youth
Current Pow Wows, trainings and conferences

Tribal STAR trainings in a variety of areas relevant to Tribal foster youth and their communities

The bird who has eaten cannot fly with the bird that is hungry.

– Omaha


Children’s Bureau Express covers news, issues, and trends of interest to professionals and policymakers in the interrelated fields of child abuse and neglect, child welfare, and adoption.

Children’s Bureau
1250 Maryland Avenue,
SW, Eighth Floor
Washington, DC 20024

Comparing Impact Findings From Design-Based and Model-Based Methods: An Empirical Investigation.
Author(s): Kautz, Tim.;Schochet, Peter Z.;Tilley, Charles.
Published: 2017
Information: Researchers re-analyzed nine past randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in the education area emphasizing foster youth.

Introduction to the National Youth in Transition Database Video 
Author: Childwelfare Information Gateway
Published: 2018

Maniilaq Association
Author:Hill, Jackie.
Information: Maniilaq Association will address concerns about placement disparities by instituting a Tribal Title IV-E Program to improve recruitment and availability of local (especially Alaska Native) foster care and adoptive homes.

The Effects of Perceived Racial/Ethnic Discrimination on Substance Use Among Youths Living in the Cherokee Nation
Author:Garrett, B. A., Livingston, B. J., Livingston, M. D., Komro, K. A.
Information:Experiences of perceived racial discrimination high in intensity were associated with further increased risk of prescription drug misuse and other illicit drug use. 

Provider Resources

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Families for Native American children: Considerations when fostering or adopting

Children's Bureau
Lists and links to new comprehensive Child Welfare information.

How the Indian Child Welfare Act Preserves and Strengthens American Indian Families
Author: Mary Annette Pember 
Published: June 22, 2017
Information: Indian Child Welfare Act not created to unfairly target mixed race Native children

Intergenerational Trauma: Understanding Natives’ Inherited Pain
Get a Free Report that explores the impact of Indian boarding schools and more on today’s American Indians

National Center for Victims of Crime
Information:Advocates for Stronger Rights, Protections, and Services for Crime Victims

NYTD Fact Sheet for States
Author: Childwelfare Information Gateway
Published: 2017
Information: This webpage provides information about NYTD, the NYTD Reviews, the NYTD Reviewer program, and engaging youth in the NYTD Review process to assist states.

Tribal Nations and the United States: An Introduction
National Congress of American Indians
Information: Developed by NCAI, this guide seeks to provide a basic overview of the history and underlying principles of tribal governance. 

The Tribal Law and Policy Institute
Information: We seek to facilitate the sharing of resources so that Native nations and tribal justice systems have access to cost effective resources which can be adapted to meet the individual needs of their communities.

Hello Everyone:
The National Center for Victims of Crime are compiling information to include in a map of the tribal resources available to victims of crime. If you would like your organization or agency to be included in the map, you can submit your information by clicking the "
Submit your organization’s informationlink in the email below.  The Tribal Resource Tool is collaboration between the National Center for Victims of Crime and the National Congress of American Indians and the Tribal Law and Policy Institute. 
If you have any questions, feel free to contact 
Kaylana Gates at



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Human Trafficking: Action Needed to Identify the Number of Native American Victims Receiving Federally-Funded Services
Author: United States Government Accountability Office
Information:GAO was asked to examine Native American human trafficking. This report focuses on federal efforts to address human trafficking, including the extent to which (1) agencies collect and maintain data on investigations and prosecutions of human trafficking in Indian country or of Native Americans regardless of location and (2) federal grant programs are available to help address such trafficking, and how many Native American trafficking victims have received assistance through these programs.

Protecting the Public Health of Indian Tribes: the Indian Child Welfare Act
Author: Joaquin R. Gallegos, University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and Kathryn E. Fort, Michigan State University College of Law
Information:  This article provides a review of ICWA history and encourages us to advocate for full ICWA compliance and prompt new research that highlights the positive impact of the law on AI/AN health. 


Promising Practices


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Introducing TST-FC: A Trauma-Focused Curriculum for Caregivers
Published: JUNE 29, 2017
Information:Trauma Systems Therapy for Foster Care (TST-FC) is a powerful new training curriculum designed to enhance foster parents’ understanding of how trauma affects children’s behavior.

Strategies for Successfully Recruiting and Retaining Preferred- Placement Foster Homes for American Indian Children: Maintaining Culture and Compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act.
Author: Killos, L., Lucero, N., Kauffmann, M., Brammer, M., Freemont, S., Maher, E.
Information:This brief highlights strategies used by tribal and state teams working to increase the number of foster parents for American Indian children — strategies to increase foster placements that reflect children's culture and comply with the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).

San Diego County Indian Specialty Unit Video

Information: In San Diego County, an Indian Specialty Unit was created through a unique and deliberate relationship between Child Welfare Services and the San Diego Tribal Community. The goal of the Indian Specialty Unit was to ensure ICWA compliance and culturally appropriate services for Native American youth and families involved with the child welfare system. The history, successes and lessons learned are shared in this video so that others will be inspired to do what is "In the Best Interest" of the children.


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This Gen-I Native Opportunities Weekly (NOW) message shares information about the Bezos Scholars Program
Deadline: February 9, 2018
Information: The Bezos Scholars Program is a year-long leadership development program for public high school juniors and educators. 

Tribal Practices for Wellness In Indian Country
February 20, 2018
Information: This NOFO will build upon the Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country (DP14-1421PPHF14) program, which has demonstrated that a coordinated, holistic, and tribally-driven approach can strengthen the ability of tribes to improve the health of American Indians and Alaska Natives.

Native Youth Initiative for Leadership, Empowerment, and Development (I-LEAD)
Deadline: March 7, 2018
Information: Fiscal Year 2018 funds for the Native Youth Initiative for Leadership, Empowerment, and Development (I-LEAD).

Intervention Research to Improve Native American Health (R01 Clinical Trial Optional)
Deadline: May 14, 2020
Information: The purpose of this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is to encourage exploratory developmental research to improve Native American (NA) health.

Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE): Native American Career and Technical Education Program (NACTEP) CFDA Number 84.101A
Deadline: March 19, 2018

U.S. Department of Justice Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation
Deadline: May 20, 2018
Information:The US Department of Justice (DOJ) is pleased to announce that it is seeking applications for funding to improve public safety and victim services in tribal communities. 

Evaluation of Policies for the Primary Prevention of Multiple Forms of Violence
Deadline: May 21, 2018
Information: NCIPC is seeking research proposals focused on rigorously evaluating previously or currently implemented federal, state, local, tribal or organizational policies for impacts on multiple forms of violence, including child abuse and neglect, youth violence, intimate partner violence, sexual violence and/or suicide. 

Indian Housing Block Grant Program
Deadline: Rolling
Information: The Indian Housing Block Grant Program (IHBG) is a formula grant that provides a range of affordable housing activities on Indian reservations and Indian areas. The block grant approach to housing for Native Americans was enabled by the Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act of 1996 (NAHASDA).  Eligible IHBG recipients are Federally recognized Indian tribes or their tribally designated housing entity (TDHE), and a limited number of state recognized tribes who were funded under the Indian Housing Program authorized by the United States Housing Act of 1937 (USHA).

Indian Community Development Block Grant
Deadline: Rolling
Information: The ICDBG Program provides eligible grantees with direct grants for use in developing viable Indian and Alaska Native Communities, including decent housing, a suitable living environment, and economic opportunities, primarily for low and moderate income persons.

Karma for Cara Foundation
Deadline: Open
Applications for Youth Microgrants
Information:Grants will be awarded to kids 18 and under for service projects in their communities.

Public Welfare Foundation Accepting LOIs for Social Justice Programs 
Deadline: Ongoing
Information: Grants will be awarded in support of efforts to advance justice and opportunity for people in need through criminal justice, juvenile justice, and workers’ rights programs.

Start a Snowball
Applications for Youth Philanthropy Projects
Deadline: Rolling
Information:Grants will be awarded in support of philanthropic projects led by youth between the ages of 5 and 18.

Aiden’s Red Envelope Foundation Supports Families of Children With Special Needs
Deadline: Rolling
Information:Grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded to Southern California families that have children with disabilities for special equipment, therapy, summer camps, or treatments.

Craft Emergency Relief Fund Accepting Applications From Craftspeople in Need
Deadline: Open
Information:Grants and loans of up to $8,000 will be awarded to professional craftspeople experiencing career-threatening illness, accident, fire, theft, or natural disaster. Calendar

Native American Scholarship Resources:
American Indian Graduate Center
College Scholarships.Org
The Gates Millennium Scholars Program

Cherokee Nation donates $47K to area CASA groups
Tahlequah Daily Press - December 21, 2017
The Cherokee Nation donated a total of $47,000 to two area court-appointed special advocate organizations.... 



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This Calendar contains local events and conferences both local and national that will be of interest to those who work in or with the Tribal community.

January 28-February 2, 2018
Annual San Diego International Conference on Child and Family Maltreatment
Chadwick Center for Children and Families at Rady Children's Hospital
San Diego, CA

February 3, 2018
7th Annual BAAITS Powwow
Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason Center
San Francisco, CA 

February 10, 2018 - February 11, 2018
2018 Wildhorse Pow Wow
22nd Annual Wildhorse Pow Wow
Leuzinger High School
Lawndale, CA

Feb 12, 2018
2018 State of Indian Nations
555 Pennsylvania Ave,
Washington, DC 20001

February 17, 2018
2018 Yuba-Sutter Winter Pow Wow
Allyn Scott Youth Civic Center
Marysville, California 

February 28-March 2, 2018
2018 Violence Intervention and Prevention (VIP) Summit
Gundersen National Child Protection Training Center
Orlando, FL

March 20 - 22, 2018
Tribal Interior Budget Council
Washington, DC

Mar 23, 2018 - Mar 24, 2018
Native Trade Conference
Casino del Sol Resort & University of Arizona
James E. Rogers College of Law

Mar 27, 2018 - Mar 29, 2018
Tribal Self-Governance Second Quarterly Meeting
Embassy Suites, DC-Convention Center, Washington, DC



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Approximately 8000 Tribal and non-Tribal professionals, leaders, public Human Service agency staff, regional training academy staff and university students have received training throughout the project. The training package provides up-to-date, research-based information in a variety of areas, including: the youth development philosophy, methods for collaboration, effective ways to work with rural populations, effective ways to work with Tribal rural foster youth and their communities, the Indian Child Welfare Act, and the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Act.

For more information regarding trainings in your area please contact technical assistance.
To register for one of the trainings below please contact:
Tom Lidot, Program Manager
Academy for Professional Excellence SDSU School of Social Work
Phone: (619) 594-3158 Fax: (619) 594-1118



ICWA: Working with Native American Families and Tribes is intended to provide social workers with foundational knowledge of the Indian Child Welfare Act and best practices.

All ICWA Trainings –
Registration 8:00 – 8:30 a.m.
Training 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Continental Breakfast and working lunch included
*Note the pre-requisite to attend these trainings is a 60-90 minute eLearning on ICWA Introduction. For registration please contact: 
Sunni Dominguez – call 619-594-6107.

Next training: 

February 6, 2018—San Diego
6505 Alvarado Road, San Diego

February 14, 2018—Riverside
22690 Cactus Avenue, Moreno Valley

February 15, 2018—San Bernardino
3600 Lime Street, Suite 416, Riverside

March 1, 2018—Riverside
22690 Cactus Avenue, Moreno Valley

April 5, 2018—Riverside
22690 Cactus Avenue, Moreno Valley

May 16, 2018—San Diego
6505 Alvarado Road, San Diego

May 24, 2018—San Bernardino
3600 Lime Street, Suite 416, Riverside



The Summit provides an overview of Native American culture, history, and distrust of government systems and services. The training include first-hand accounts of Tribal youth experiences receiving CWS services. Participants engage in collaborative brainstorming to support goals and objectives.The training allows organizations to focus on specific challenges and identify solutions.

Next training: January 24, 2017—Riverside
22690 Cactus Avenue, Moreno Valley

The Other Side of ICWA

The Other Side of ICWA is intended to address “the spirit of the law” and those concerns missing in traditional training that are essential for successful implementation of ICWA.

Next training: TBA



The Gathering provides an overview of Native American culture, history, and distrust of government systems and services. The training reviews the unique issues that affect adolescent development of Tribal youth. Participants engage in collaborative brainstorming. The Gathering provides first hand accounts of  Tribal youth who have experienced receiving CWS services and basic communication techniques that support more trusting relations with Tribal youth and families.The training allows organizations to focus on specific challenges and identify solutions.

Next training: TBA



The Collaborative is an adapted half-day training designed to introduce Tribal and non- tribal child welfare workers to the challenges of serving Tribal foster youth. It covers a brief historical overview and concludes with recommendations that support increased communication and collaboration among providers that strive to achieve positive outcomes for Tribal youth.

Next training: TBA



Training for Trainers focus on skill building to lead cross-cultural discussions that result in positive outcomes. The training also helps participants learn how to conduct Tribal STAR training in their area. Topics covered in the training include cross-cultural communication, cultivating and maintaining trust-based relationships, and understanding how history affects today’s relationships between CWS and Tribal programs.

Next training:  March 13-14-15, 2018

The training will be from 8am – 5pm. 
Working lunch provided.
Participants will need to complete the pre-requisite ICWA eLearning before March 13. 
Preference is given to individuals who plan to train ICWA in 2018-2019, and county child welfare staff who serve as ICWA liaisons, coordinators, or specialists.

Location TBD.

For more information contact Sunni Dominguez



ICWA Bias, Media and Historical Context eLearning: This eLearning course will explore how media and propaganda have affected our perceptions resulting in a bias toward American Indians. During this course you will be asked to identify three events in American history related to American Indians – and what do these events have in common?

For more information contact Tom Lidot at or call 619-594-3158.


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General information, pertinent articles and resources related to Native American Foster Youth can be sent to us at for inclusion in the the next edition of the Tribal STAR eNewsletter.  Whenever possible please make submissions 3 weeks prior to publication of the next newsletter.  The next issue will be published the first week of March. All submissions will be reviewed and are published at the sole discretion of the Tribal STAR editorial staff.

  For current news, thoughts and events follow us on Twitter  #TribalSTARNews
Tribal STAR is a program of Academy for Professional Excellence, a project of
San Diego State University School of Social Work.
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