CB Letter to State and Tribal Leaders Regarding Families First and Kinship Funding


The Family First Transition Act authorized and appropriated $500 million for this new one-time grant to assist with implementation of FFPSA and other child welfare activities. The funding is available to all states, territories and tribes approved to receive grants * * * in light of the current public health emergency and the increased burdens facing child welfare agencies, the Children’s Bureau has determined that we will not require a separate application for this funding. Instead, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) will proceed to make awards to all eligible grantees as soon as possible. Acceptance of the grant by the agency will indicate its agreement to provide required programmatic and financial reports.

TLPI Tribal Healing to Wellness Court Webinar during the Pandemic


Fri, Apr 10, 2020 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM EDT

The Tribal Law and Policy Institute (TLPI) in partnership with the Center for Court Innovation (CCI) will host a webinar providing guidance for Tribal Healing to Wellness Court programs in adapting treatment court operations during the COVID-19 crisis. A panel of Healing to Wellness Court practitioners will share how they have modified program operations in response to tribal, federal, state, and local mandates.

The webinar is scheduled for 2 hours: – For the first 30 minutes, the Tribal Law and Policy Institute and Center for Court Innovation staff will present information on priority responses to COVID-19, the use of technology, and Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) grant updates related to COVID-19; – The following 60 minutes will be reserved for panelists to share their experiences and program modifications related to court operations, treatment services, client engagement, and communication; – The last 30 minutes will be reserved for questions from webinar participants directed to panelists; – Unanswered questions will be used to inform a follow-up online event to provide a more in-depth sharing of modified Wellness Court practices as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

Children’s Bureau Guidance on IV-E Findings/Child Welfare During the Pandemic

Reposting (I’ve received this from a lot of people since I put it up a week ago). This is the Children’s Bureau’s guidance on how to handle child welfare hearings–specifically the IV-E requirements–during the pandemic. It also includes other guidance related to Court Improvement Programs and issues around children and their attorneys.

Finally, re. Friday’s post about Michigan’s new visitation policy suspending visitation, this guidance says:

CB is also aware of instances where judges have issued blanket orders suspending or drastically reducing family time (visitation) between children in foster care and parents, sometimes indefinitely. Family time is important for child and parent well-being, as well as for efforts toward reunification. Family time is especially important during times of crisis. CB strongly discourages the issuance of blanket orders that are not specific to each child and family that suspend family time; doing so is contrary to the well-being and best interest of children, may contribute to additional child trauma, and may impede the likelihood of reunification.

Covid-19.Child.Legal and Judicial Letter_Signed (002)

I’ve also added it to the Child Welfare COVID-19 page.

NAICJA Tribal Court/Pandemic Webinar Tomorrow


Administering Justice in Tribal Courts during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Rapid Response Webinar. Continuation Planning for Tribal Courts
The National American Indian Court Judges Association hosts its first rapid response practice webinar to assist courts to answer some questions related to administering justice in the middle of court closures, restricted court access, and the telephonic/videoconference era. Join to discuss questions your courts should consider when closing, what your administrative orders should address, limiting access to certain cases and parties, and whether and how to move your dockets and hearings to a virtual format.

Apr 2, 2020 01:00 PM in Mountain Time (US and Canada)


Kevin S. Settlement Agreement Involving New Mexico Child Welfare and Includes ICWA


Indian Child Welfare Act
  • A State ICWA law that mirrors and expands upon the federal version and that will be drafted with the Administrative Office of the Courts and with New Mexico Tribes and Pueblos
  • Processes and procedures to promote traditional interventions as first-line interventions and services, developed with the input of New Mexico’s Tribes and Pueblos
  • Federal funding for traditional and culturally responsive treatments, interventions, and supports, including non-medicalized interventions
  • A plan to increase recruitment and retention of Native resource families
  • A policy to provide or ensure provision of direct assistance for traditional ceremonies, including arranging for all preparation and providing payment if needed, if Native Children want to participate