The purpose of this notice of funding opportunity is to create and implement intergovernmental partnership models to improve existing and develop new best practices in family preservation and reunification efforts for Indian children. Recipients will serve as demonstration sites to design and implement projects to effectively develop and implement child welfare best practices to prevent the placement of Indian children outside their tribal communities and improve equity in cases involving Indian families. Partnerships must include the state Court Improvement Program; the state child welfare agency; and a tribal government, group of tribal governments, or tribal consortia including tribal corresponding court(s). The "tribal government" partner(s) may be tribal child welfare agencies where appropriate under tribal law or custom.
For purposes of this NOFO, "tribal courts" are defined as "a court with jurisdiction over child custody proceedings and which is either a Court of Indian Offenses, a court established and operated under the code or custom of an Indian tribe, or any other administrative body of a tribe which is vested with authority over child custody proceedings," as under 1903 of the ICWA and 25 CFR.§ 23.118(c).
Development and implementation of effective Indian child welfare best practice requires a high degree of collaboration between state and tribal courts and child welfare agencies. States and tribes must identify, build, and enhance necessary capacities such as institutionalization of training curricula, policies, procedures and data protocols.
Recipients have the opportunity to work together to craft solutions for longstanding challenges, consistent with the letter and spirit of ICWA, in ways that work best for their communities. The grant also provides an important opportunity for states and tribes to build or strengthen relationships of trust by working together toward common goals in preventing the unnecessary removal of children and preserving families.
For Project Requirements, see page 6 of the NOFO in Attached Files below.
Estimated Total Program Funding: