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February 2015Vol. 16, No. 1Associate Commissioner's Page

The following is the monthly message from JooYeun Chang, the Associate Commissioner of the Children's Bureau. Each message focuses on the current Children's Bureau Express (CBX) Spotlight theme and highlights the Bureau's work on the topic.

I am excited that our first 2015 Spotlight theme highlights diverse populations. From the rich cultural backgrounds of the children and families served—and the varied backgrounds of the professionals with whom families work—to the wide ranging strengths and challenges faced by these populations, child welfare is truly a diverse field. The Children's Bureau is committed to ensuring all children and youth achieve permanency and that all families are safe and stable. We also recognize that Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) compliance requires effective child welfare services within Tribal communities.

That is why President Obama's fiscal year (FY) 2016 budget includes two proposals designed to support capacity and the development of infrastructure within Tribal child welfare. The first proposal provides enhanced match to provide "start up" funding for Tribes to implement title IV-E programs. All Tribes would also receive an increase of $20 million through the Promoting Safe and Stable Families Program to build child welfare programs and enhance staff capacity.

The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoption Act of 2008 authorized federally recognized Tribes, Tribal consortia, and Tribal organizations to apply to the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) to receive title IV-E funds directly for foster care, adoption assistance, and, at Tribal option, for guardianship assistance programs. The Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe of Kingston, WA, was the first Tribe to have an approved title IV-E plan in 2012, followed by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of Pablo, MT, in March 2013. In December 2013, the Children's Bureau approved the title IV-E plan for the South Puget Tribal Planning Agency of Shelton, WA—the first Tribal consortium to be approved to operate the title IV-E program directly. Information about these approvals was featured in the February 2014 issue of CBX at