Policy 101: Direct tribal access to federal child welfare funds needed

Nationally, American Indian/Alaskan Native children are overrepresented in foster care–at more than 1.6 times the expected level – and are over represented among the children in foster care who are awaiting adoption – at two to four times the expected level (Maple & Hay, 2004)

Tribes have the responsibility for caring for their children but many times do not have the direct federal funding that the states receive. Currently, only those Indian tribes that have developed a special contract with a state can receive federal reimbursement for providing child welfare supports and services.

Without access to reliable federal funding, Tribes will continue to struggle to provide the full array of programs needed to help keep families together and reduce the need for foster care. Reforms are needed to make child welfare funding more equitable for the children served by the tribes.

Reports & Briefs: Time for Reform: A matter of simple justice (National Indian Child Welfare Association and the Kids Are Waiting campaign)