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Child Welfare. 2012;91(3):157-72.

Native American Indian child welfare system change: implementation of a culturally appropriate practice model across three tribal child welfare systems.

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Mountains & Plains Child Welfare Implementation Center (MPCWIC), University of Texas at Arlington, USA.


Currently, there are 565 federally recognized tribes in the United States who are independent sovereign nations. These tribes have varying capacities to manage and administer child welfare programs. Most provide some type of child welfare service to the children and families within their tribal land. However, there are no national resources to document the number of children in foster care or the extent of abuse and neglect in the families served by tribal child welfare agencies. Information is only known about those Native American/Alaska Native families and children who are reported to state child protection agencies. Native American children represented 0.9% of all children in the United States in the late 1990s, but they comprised 3.1% of the substitute care population in state-run child welfare systems (Morrison, et al., 2010). Incident rates of child welfare referrals, substantiated referrals, and foster care placement among Native American children and families are relatively high compared to other ethnic groups (Earle & Cross, 2001) but precise interpretation of Native American status is difficult due to variations in child welfare reporting systems (Magruder & Shaw, 2008).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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