The Center for States builds capacity within States to increase Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) implementation and improve relationships between Tribes and State agencies. State-Tribal relationships are complex in nature because they represent two different governments. Increasing productive communications and collaborative decision-making will improve outcomes for the Native American and Alaskan Native families being served.
The Center for States will design strategies to support a culture and climate change in State agencies to recognize that ICWA is both the law and a best practice. Increasing capacity for States to develop culturally responsive programs and services is critical to improving outcomes for the Native American families and children they serve. Additionally, the Center plans to support States in maintaining collaborative communication with Tribes in the changing environment as Tribes plan for direct IV-E funding.
Developing capacities in the State-Tribal focus area will include collaboration with both the Center for Courts and the Center for Tribes, as all three Centers are contributing to capacity building in this area.