Resolution 2020-21: Establish a Child Protection Strategic Plan

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WHEREAS, Tanana Chiefs Conference (TCC) is an Alaska Native tribal health and social services consortium established by the Interior Alaska tribes and tribal communities, to provide a unified voice in advancing sovereign tribal governments through the promotion of physical and mental wellness, education, socioeconomic development and culture of the Interior Alaska Native; and

WHEREAS, TCC and the Interior Tribes strive to support tribal self-determination, improve community wellness, and reverse health, education and socio-economic disparities of Native people; and

WHEREAS, In order to advance tribal governments, Native children must be prioritized through education, safety, nurturing and care. Without a focus on children, we will be continually combating substance abuse, suicide, crime rates, and child in government custody; and

WHEREAS, Native children that suffer neglect, abuse, and trauma experience ramifications long into adulthood; child protection services through the state and tribes intend to protect children from these kind of experiences, but often create additional side effects of the trauma when removed from the home, family and community; and
WHEREAS, Given the tremendous impact of childhood trauma on communities, TCC and the tribes need to give child protection services the attention, time and resources necessary to equalize the level of priority that is given to housing, subsistence, mental health, VPSO, health-care and education are prioritized; and

WHEREAS, TCC and the tribes need better data and information regarding child protection in order to create a robust child protection vision which will improve the safety and wellness of children; currently data for tracking
Native children at risk, in custody, in out of home placement, away from family, and other relevant information is being developed; and

WHEREAS, Once children are removed from the home, the services provided to the family for reunification and family placement are extremely lacking, with limited or no services provided to parent through case plans and
family contact; and

WHEREAS, The current TCC child protection contract between TCC and the tribes is outdated and needs to be revised to address the growth in OCS cases, tribally initiated cases, case planning, family referral services and diligent relative services; and

WHEREAS, TCC child protection and tribal courts need coordinated service delivery through clarified roles, responsibilities, communication and increased resources.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Tanana Chiefs Conference Full Board of Directors, subject to the availability of funds, directs TCC to create a robust Child protection five-year strategic plan to include all relevant programs across TCC departments, to establish annual goals with progress and challenges to be formally adopted by the full board and reported to the full board each year; The plan will seek to obtain relevant data, achieve increased safety for Native children, increased Native foster homes, decreased out of home placements, decreased out of family placements, increased use of tribal courts for child protection, increased staff and social workers focused on child protection matters, increased role of diligent relative search and scopes of work through the tribal state welfare compact, and new funding for child protection programs.

Submitted by: Nulato Tribal Council


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