Illinois Department of Children and Family Services
FFY 2012 Annual Progress and Services Report
Provide training to DCFS licensed foster parents and community members around
ICWA, its history and relevance to the child welfare and Native American community.
Developed a two-hour presentation involving ICWA’s historical base and relevance to
the child welfare system including information regarding the Department’s advocacy
program; the advocates have presented the PowerPoint to child welfare stake holders in
both the public and private sector throughout the State.
Participate on the Chicago American Indian Community Planning Initiative with Native
American community leaders with the identified goal of building unity and collaboration
within the Community.
Participate weekly in community outreach activities within the Native American
community including volunteer work at the American Indian Center and American Indian
Association of Illinois.
Communication with Tribal Nations/ICWA Professionals Nationally
The ICWA program continues to communicate with tribal entities throughout the country to
clarify a child’s eligibility for membership and ensure that tribal representatives are involved in
case planning/permanency for those children who are members/eligible for membership of a
specific tribe. In situations in which Native American ancestry is suspected but insufficient
information is available to contact any specific tribal groups, the Bureau of Indian Affairs is
contacted for assistance. Illinois does not have any federally recognized tribes within its borders
and thus all of its communication and collaboration is with tribal nations outside of the State.
As part of efforts to coordinate services for Native American children and families consistent
with the mandates of ICWA, the Department participates in a national ICWA work group. This
work group is sponsored by the Child Welfare League of America and was established with the
goal of best serving Native American children and families consistent with the Indian Child
Welfare Act. It is composed of ICWA child welfare professionals from across the country and
convenes monthly to bi-monthly via teleconference.
Engagement of the Native American Community within the State of Illinois
The ICWA advocates have continued to participate in weekly outreach activities within the
Native American community. These activities include volunteer work at the American Indian
Center, the American Indian Association of Illinois, the Kateri Center of Chicago (formerly
Anawim Spiritual Center) and American Indian Health Center, as well as participation in major
Native American events such as the annual largest Midwest Pow-wow hosted by the American
Indian Center. Other interactions within the community include collaboration with the Native
American Title VII Program through Chicago Public Schools and Positive Paths, a Native
American Youth Group sponsored through the American Indian Center in Chicago. These
interactions have afforded opportunities for collaboration with the Native American community,
as well as have helped build relationships in which community leaders have felt comfortable
facilitating linkage between the ICWA advocates and Indian families who have recently come to
the attention of the child welfare system; this has permitted opportunities for prompt, culturally
relevant services for Native American families at risk of disruption.
To help provide input and collaboration between the Native American community and the
Department, the program has continued to consult with community leaders who are active
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