The National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) is dedicated to the well-being of American Indian children and families. We have learned that we maximize our effectiveness when we form strategic alliances, collaborations and partnerships. Our approach is to seek out organizations and funders whose missions overlap our own, but who are not currently focused on or capable of serving American Indian children and families.
NICWA’s partners include other child advocacy, child welfare TA, and training organizations, as well as other American Indian organizations. Wherever possible, we seek to share our challenges with others so you will share our mission.
The Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) is a membership organization representing tribal nations in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. NICWA staff serves on ATNI's standing committee on Indian child welfare issues.
American Humane has a long and established history of protecting children from abuse and neglect, as well as protecting animals. We support the development and implementation of effective community, state, tribal and national systems to protect children and strengthen families. Visit our website for information and resources, and especially job opportunities.
Formerly the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information and the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse, Child Welfare Information Gateway allows NICWA to provide information about child abuse and neglect to all tribes and assists them in gaining access to the resources available through NCCANI.
NICWA participates in activities of CWLA that involve Indian child welfare issues, including participation on their national policy advisory committee, in monthly conference call with state Indian child welfare staff liaisons, and collaboration on responses to public policy proposals that impact American Indian and Alaskan Native children and families. Read the CWLA Success Story.
The Circles of Care Evaluation Technical Assistance Center supports American Indian and Alaska Native communities who are developing health service programs for children with serious emotional and behavioral disturbances (SEBD) with funding from the SAMHSA Circles of Care Initiative.
This partnership with the Center for Mental Health Services and an interagency agreement with the Indian Health Service allows NICWA to provide technical assistance to seven tribal service grantees and seven "Circles of Care" planning grantees.
This partnership established a sustainable national clearinghouse and coordination center on American Indian adoption information that will respond to inquiries from tribes wishing to establish adoption programs and provide information and referral services to prospective Indian parents.
This partnership with Family Support America (FSA) allows NICWA to disseminate family support information and offer technical assistance to tribes and Indian organizations. The family support movement and FSA seek to strengthen and empower families and communities so they can foster the optimal development of children, youth, and adult family members.
The Indian Health Service has entered into an interagency agreement with the Center for Mental Health Services, which allows NICWA to provide technical assistance to seven tribal service grantees and seven "Circles of Care" planning grantees under the Indian Children's Mental Health Initiative. The IHS Behavioral Health Unit at Headquarters East serves as the main host for this partnership.
The Native American Children's Alliance has been working since 1999 to provide support, mentoring and technical assistance to multi-disciplinary teams and child advocacy centers serving Native American and Alaskan Native communities. NACA's mission is to promote excellence in child abuse prevention and intervention in Native American and Alaska Native communities through training, mentoring, and information.
The Native American Rights Fund (NARF) is a non-profit organization that provides legal representation and technical assistance to Indian tribes, organizations and individuals nationwide.
NICWA has a Memorandum of Agreement with NCAI to provide them with our child welfare and children's mental health expertise and help staff their Indian Child and Family Welfare Subcommittee. NICWA regularly meets with NCAI's Executive Committee, updates tribal members of NCAI on relevant policy issues and provides support to NCAI as they respond to the media, policymakers and tribes on these issues.
National Indian Children's Alliance
The National Indian Children's Alliance (NICA) has addressed three problems and service gaps: lack of data on Indian child maltreatment, tribal access to Title IV-E funding, and enhancing permanency through compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978.
This partnership with the Learning Systems Group allows NICWA to provide direct program consultation and technical assistance to over twenty tribes each year.
This partnership with Hunter College allows NICWA to support the development and operation of tribal foster care, kinship care, adoption, and related services.
This partnership with the Child Welfare League of America allows NICWA to support the enhancement of tribal child welfare data systems.
This partnership with the University of Southern Maine allows NICWA to conduct an assessment of tribal ICWA programs, administrative needs, plan and conduct a national ICWA administrator's institute, and provide technical assistance directly to tribal programs on management issues.
NICWA's Families and Advocates Partnership for Education with the PACER Center is about disseminating information on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This partnership allows NICWA to offer trainings and information to parents of children with a disability in Indian Country.
This project raises awareness and support for the Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care recommendations for tribal governments. NICWA is working with the media, policymakers, tribal leaders, and national child advocacy groups in an effort support these recommendations, which include providing tribal governments with direct funding from federal sources and increasing state court collaboration with tribal governments.
Portland State University Research and Training Center on Family Support and Children's Mental Health
This project examines and documents practice-based evidence from a cultural perspective and increases knowledge about research methods that are appropriate for the evaluation of practice effectiveness for culturally specific and community-embedded services.
Project: Practice-Based Evidence Project
The purpose of this partnership is to collaborate with the American Institutes for Research (AIR)and the Caring for Every Child's Mental Health Campaign in delivering technical assistance to both tribal and non-tribal System of Care grantee communities in the United States and territories. This takes the form of providing on-site TA at national grantee meetings, participating in conference calls, providing consultation to program partners on issues related to cultural responsiveness with tribal communities, and participating on national webinars.
This partnership with the Tulalip Indian Tribe, Casey Family Programs, and SAMHSA allowed NICWA to provide technical assistance on individual (child), family, and community interventions through the Start Early Start Smart (SESS) project. The goals of SESS were to reduce risk factors and enhance protective factors in children and parents by promoting recovery from substance abuse and mental health problems in parents and to prevent these problems in children by strengthening individual skills and the bonds between children and their families and communities.
United South and Eastern Tribes (USET) is an inter-tribal organization comprised of tribal governments from the eastern and southern areas of the United States. NICWA provides USET's membership with information on policy issues affecting Indian children and families. NICWA staff also participate regularly with USET's Social Services Committee.
The University of Minnesota Duluth's School of Social Work-American Indian Projects engaged NICWA to participate in a planning project to establish a comprehensive American Indian Child Welfare Worker Certification Program. The effort was underwritten by a grant from the Bush Foundation in Minnesota.
NICWA collaborates with CMHS and IHS (listed above) and the following partner organizations to provide technical assistance to tribes, urban Indian programs, tribal colleges and other recipients of grants under the Center for Mental Health Services' Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and their Families, including the Circles of Care planning grantees and Systems of Care implementation grantees:
- Technical Assistance Partnership for Child and Family Mental Health, American Institutes for Research (AIR)
- National Evaluation Team--ORC Macro International, Inc. (MACRO)
- Caring for Every Child's Mental Health Campaign--Vanguard Communications (Vanguard)
- Research and Training Center for Children's Mental Health Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida
- Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health (Federation of Families)
- National Technical Assistance Center for Children's Mental Health, Georgetown University Child Development Center (Georgetown)