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Alaska Tribe Looks to SRPMIC for Ideas to Build Child Welfare Services

Members of the Central Council Tlingit Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska (CCTHITA) visited the Community on December 14 and spent two days with SRPMIC Social Services, learning about how the Community handles child-dependency cases and CPS investigations.

Representatives from an Alaska Native community visited the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community in December looking for ideas they could take back to their community on providing child welfare services.

Members of the Central Council Tlingit Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska (CCTHITA) visited the Community on December 14 and spent two days with SRPMIC Social Services, learning about how the Community handles child-dependency cases and CPS investigations. Staff from Social Services provided them details about all the services the Community offers and how the departments work together for the sake of families and children. 

The guests from Alaska were invited outside on the third floor patio to see the new judicial center and get a birds eye view of the Community.
CCTHITA is trying to build its child welfare services. The State of Alaska currently handles the tribe’s child dependency cases, but the tribe is preparing to take over the program.

“They wanted to get some input regarding our lessons learned or things we do well,” said SRPMIC Assistant Community Manager Lena Jackson-Eckert.

The tribe was also interested in the Community’s court system and how many judges it takes to handle these types of cases. They met with SRPMIC Chief Judge Ryan Andrews, along with SRPMIC President Delbert Ray Sr., a former judge.

Staff from the Alaskan tribes introduced themselves to President Ray and Chief Judge Ryan Andrews.
CCTHITA is partnered with the Casey Family Programs, which helps tribes build their child welfare capacities; the program funded their trip to Arizona. SRPMIC is also a partner with the program.

“Casey really puts a lot of emphasis on peer-to-peer relationships and believes the best way tribes can learn is to learn from each other,” said Jackson-Eckert.

The group shared how its court system was still in the early stages of being in existence for 10 years. Andrews explained how the Community’s court building was funded, as well as the size of the department.