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December/January 2024Vol. 24, No. 10Report Spotlights the ICWA Implementation Partnership Grant Project and 2023 Summit

A report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, spotlights the achievements of three project teams awarded the State and Tribal Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) Implementation Partnership Grant by the Children's Bureau in 2016. ICWA Implementation Partnership Grant Project Overview & 2023 Summit Report showcases the accomplishments of the project teams and where they hope to continue their work, from disseminating toolkits to expanding training programs and partnerships.

The report offers lessons learned, best practices, strategies, and links to newly created resources for those seeking to improve ICWA compliance and child welfare in tribal communities. Common themes about the benefits, challenges, and opportunities of the project work arose from interviews with the project team and include the following:

  • "Collaboration is at the center of the work and should be consistently examined for appropriate engagement, participation, and structure."
  • "Data collection is a sensitive issue when working with tribes because of mistrust caused by historic exploitation."
  • “It is vital to practice cultural humility, to understand racism exists, and to be humble to the knowledge this work means something different for Native American people than it does to non-Natives.”

The report also provides a summary of the 2023 ICWA Implementation Summit held in Minneapolis, MN. This summit provided a collaborative platform for the project teams to gather, reflect on their achievements, and discuss the challenges they encountered. The summit served as a dynamic forum for sharing knowledge, experiences, and strategies. Discussion included general insights about why these collaborations were beneficial and who makes up the ideal collaborative, as well as specific project site components, big ideas, and dos and don'ts.

Access the full report for resources and insights into the collaboration that can be applied to other projects.