Child Abuse & Neglect

Addressing child abuse and neglect is at the core of NICWA’s mission and priorities. This work is far reaching and includes our efforts to work collaboratively with tribal communities, families, and others to target the precursors to child abuse and neglect to prevent it from occurring. It also entails addressing tribal and state systems’ responses to child abuse and neglect that involve American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) families and children.

Projects & Partners

PIP Curriculum Evaluation

NICWA has long aspired to evaluate our PIP curriculum, as we believe establishing evidence of effectiveness of the program will allow tribes to access additional funding streams to support local PIP implementation. Fortunately, with policy change in the passage of the Family First Prevention Services Act, some private and government funders are interested in supporting evaluation of parenting, substance abuse, and mental health services as a way for states and tribes to secure additional federal funding for these prevention services. With support from Casey Family Programs and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, NICWA has partnered with Child Trends to design and implement a pilot evaluation of in-home delivery of PIP (as opposed to a group setting) with Native families who are not mandated to receive parenting training. While PIP was designed to be widely customized, it is important to ensure the fidelity of PIP’s key principles and content is maintained across different sites. Consistency in key content items and format will ensure the curriculum is delivered in the way originally intended and will allow PIP to be evaluated meaningfully related to well-being outcomes for children and caregiver-child relationships.

First Kids 1st: Every Native Child is Sacred

NICWA partners with the National Congress of American Indians, the National Indian Education Association, and the National Indian Health Board to support a nationwide campaign to lift up and support Native youth. This initiative focuses on youth from birth to mid-twenties in age, and it emphasizes the role that family plays in helping AI/AN youth thrive. This W.K. Kellogg Foundation-funded initiative aims to galvanize systems changes in education, health, child welfare, and governance to better support Native children and youth. In each of these areas, community-determined and community-driven changes will improve the systems that impact Native youth, allowing them more and better opportunities to achieve their full potential.

County Indian Child Welfare Systems Assessment Project

NICWA provided a systems-wide assessment of county services provided to AI/AN children involved with the child welfare system in Humboldt County, California, that included a final report and recommendations. The assessment examined policy supports and barriers, workforce training and capacity, data collection, case management, collateral support agencies role, and tribal-county relationships.

Project LAUNCH

NICWA participates in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration’s Project LAUNCH, which supports children in reaching social, emotional, behavioral, physical, and cognitive milestones because healthy growth in each of these areas builds the foundation for children to thrive in school and beyond. The purpose of Project LAUNCH (Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children’s Health) is to promote the wellness of young children ages birth to eight. The long-term goal of Project LAUNCH is to ensure that all children enter school ready to learn and able to succeed. Project LAUNCH seeks to improve coordination across child-serving systems, build infrastructure, and increase access to high-quality prevention and wellness promotion services for children and their families.

Research & Resources