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The Crisis Facing Native American Youth

Native American youth are removed from their homes and placed into the child welfare system at rates much higher than any other population served by Children’s Administration. They also remain in out-of-home care significantly longer and are often placed in homes outside of their families, tribes, and Indian culture, contributing to significant social problems. To read more on the plight facing Native American children, please Click Here.

ICW – Historical Trauma – ‘My Mother’s Story’
Caregivers can earn 2 hours of training credits by watching this video and completing this worksheet and submitting it to your licensor.

The Reality of Racial Disproportionality

Racial disproportionality is defined as the over- or under-representation of certain groups (e.g. racial/ethnic, gender, age) relative to the group’s proportion in the general population. Reports conducted in 2008 showed that, compared to other groups, Native American children were:

  • 3 times more likely to be referred to CPS
  • 1.6 times more likely to be removed from their biological homes
  • Twice as likely to remain in foster care for over two years
  • Less likely to be adopted and more likely to be in guardianships
  • Less likely to be reunited with their biological parents

The sad reality is that there are not enough culturally appropriate homes for these children, resulting in the placement of Native American children in homes that do not share their cultural heritage or traditions. While Children’s Administration and tribal leaders are committed to recruiting more culturally appropriate homes, partnering with non-native homes is necessary to meet the overwhelming need. For those who are interested in providing care to Native American youth, there are many resources and trainings available to help support the cultural needs of a Native child.

Native American Resources

Below are some websites and articles to help illustrate the historical trauma faced by Native Americans, and why culturally appropriate foster homes are so important for these children.

White Bison Wellbriety Training Institute: This sustainable grassroots movement provides culturally based healing to the next seven generations of Native people.
Historical Trauma Website: This provides information on the impact of historical trauma on the Native American community.
All My Relations, a film about the importance of cultural connections for Native American children. (44 min.).
Nak Nu We Sha Program, Yakama Nation. Reflect on the importance of foster homes within the Native community. (9 min.)
Important Issues in Indian Child Welfare. This is a panel discussion about the Indian Child Welfare Act and why it is important to our work with Native children. (1 hr)

Agencies Specializing in Native American Foster Care

Note: This is not meant to be an exhaustive list. As we identify additional agencies, we will post them.