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Dec/Jan 2011Vol. 11, No. 10Tribal Title IV-E Data Collection and Reporting

The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-351) allows Tribes, Tribal organizations, and Tribal consortia to apply directly for title IV-E foster care and adoption assistance funds. The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) National Policy Research Center recently published Key Considerations and Best Practices for Tribal Title IV-E Data Collection and Reporting to describe the Act's data collection and reporting components that affect Tribes and to provide guidance to Tribes on applying for funding. The paper includes feedback about current Tribal practices from surveys of 27 Tribes and interviews with eight Tribal program administrators.

Challenges highlighted by nearly all the interviewees, included:

  • The high cost of creating a data management system
  • Lack of understanding about Federal requirements
  • Strained relationships with surrounding county and State programs

The interviewees also provided planning recommendations that may be useful to Tribes that pursue direct funding:

  • Start small and focus on basic requirements when time and resources are limited.
  • Develop Tribal/State agreements that allow Tribes to provide IV-E services with IV-E funding from States.
  • Build upon existing internal data resources, such as IT staff and data systems for other agencies.

The paper also outlines a strategic approach to funding and developing a data system.

Key Considerations and Best Practices for Tribal Title IV-E Data Collection and Reporting was written by Erin Geary and Priscilla A. Day of the Center for Regional and Tribal Child Welfare Studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth. It is available on the NCAI Policy Research Center website: (414 kb)