Children's Bureau seeks Input from Tribes and Others on Review of Child Welfare Program Plans

The Children’s Bureau of the Department of Health and Human Services has announced in the attached Federal Register notice that it will hold four meetings, two conference calls and three sets of tribal roundtables to solicit input from tribes, states, and others regarding the federal review process of major child welfare programs. Those programs are Title IV-B, Subparts 1 and 2 of the Social Security Act (Child Welfare Services and the Promoting Safe and Stable Families programs) and Title IV-E (Foster Care and Adoption Assistance) of the Social Security Act. Tribes receive a three percent funding allocation under these Title IV-B programs ($17 million in FY 2010) and are eligible to directly administer the Title IV-E program. A number of tribes also have tribal-state IV-E agreements.

The Children’s Bureau notes that the current review process – called the Child and Family Service Reviews (CSFRs) – was established in 2000 and since then a number of changes have been made to the IV-B and E statutes. While tribally-operated IV-B programs are not subject to the CFSR process and no tribe yet directly administers a full IV-E program, tribes have participated in CFSRs because of tribal-state IV-E agreements. Tribes would also have an interest in the state CFSR process as many Indian children are under state jurisdiction.

The Children’s Bureau lists questions it would like addressed, a number of which call for tribal input. They invite “State representatives, Tribal leaders and/or their representatives, judges, families and youth served by the child welfare system and other interested stakeholders to attend these in-person meetings or call in via the conference call number to provide their input…” Persons must pre-register for the meetings and calls (see attached for more details).

Meetings will be held as follows:

April 18 – Dallas
April 20 – Philadelphia and San Francisco
April 27 – Denver

Conference calls will be held April 26 and May 3.

Tribal Roundtables. The Children’s Bureau will host tribal-specific roundtables at which a portion of the time will be “set aside to discuss Federal monitoring of child and family services under titles IV-B and IV-E.” The Children’s Bureau will send information directly to tribes regarding the roundtables which will be held as follows:

August 2-3 – Oklahoma City
August 16-17 – Seattle
September 13-14 – Minneapolis

Please let us know if we may provide additional information or assistance regarding the matters in this Memorandum.