Methods: The assessment methods included a general survey that consisted of 85 multiple-choice questions completed by 262 stakeholders; Telephone interviews of 31 tribal child welfare program directors and in depth, onsite assessments with 16 tribes. Tribes participating in the onsite assessments and telephone interviews were randomly selected using a stratified sampling plan based on region and tribal population. Expert Native American consultants interviewed 86 tribal directors, workers, and supervisors; tribal court judges and/or attorneys; community partners and providers; client families; and foster parents. In total, more than 400 individuals, representing 127 federally recognized tribes participated in the NRC4Tribes needs assessment through either a survey or an interview.
Qualitative data were analyzed with the assistance of ATLAS.ti 6.2 program. General Survey responses and 144 interviews were openly coded and analyzed by four coders, using an iterative process of open coding and inter-rater reliability analysis to ensure consistency. Quantitative data were initially analyzed using descriptive statistics. Both kinds of data were examined in an integrative way to identify national themes and to provide individual tribal profiles to the tribes.
Results: Themes emerged in five broad areas: 1. Tribal child welfare programs' approaches to practice (culture-based services; challenges to working with tribal families and communities; issues related to the infrastructure needed to support programs; and workforce issues such as staffing, capacity, training, and development); 2. Foster care and adoption which described the needs of tribal foster care and adoption programs and funding, recruitment, licensing, and training matters; 3. Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) which addressed collaborations with state and county child welfare programs and courts; 4. Legal and judicial which discussed tribal Children's Codes, participants' experiences working with state/county and tribal courts and child protection/multidisciplinary teams; and 5. Tribal child welfare program operations, including experiences with tribal/state agreements and numerous funding programs. Conclusions: Results of this tribal child welfare needs assessment will be presented in this session. They will be used to inform the CB, guide the training and technical assistance services provided by NRC4Tribes, and to identify opportunities for the CB's technical assistance network as they support tribal child welfare programs as they serve American Indian/Alaska Native children, youth, and families.