National Child Welfare Association

Systems of Care Tribal Communities

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Through the Systems of Care Grants Program, American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities are developing and improving children's mental health services. NICWA and national partners such as the Technical Assistance Partnership, provide technical assistance that increases the capacity and effectiveness of these services. Systems of care is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services, under the Center for Mental Health Services.

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Tribal Systems of Care Best Practices 

Honoring Innovations Report

The Honoring Innovations Report is a newsletter published to describe best practices in AI/AN systems of care for current and graduated systems of care communities. View past issues.

September 2015. Lessons Learned: Observations and Reflections on 20 Years of Tribal Systems of Care
July 2015. Formal Partnership Engagement
April 2015. Secondary Trauma Stress in Indian Country
October 2014. Family-to-Family Peer Support: How Can Tribal Communities Join the Growing Movement?
July 2014. Sustaining Family-Driven Care
February 2014. Social Marketing
October 2013. Practice Based Evidence and Evidence Based Practice
July 2013. Funding Culturally Appropriate Tribal Children’s Mental Health Services with Medicaid
April 2013. Standards of Care for LGBTQI2S American Indian and Alaska Native Youth
January 2013. Youth Engagement
October 2012. Sustainability for Children's Mental Health Programs
July 2012. Community Readiness Model

Fact Sheets

September 2015. Youth Engagement Organizational Assessment: NICWA as a Case Study
August 2015. High-Fidelity Wraparound in Tribal Communities
October 2014. Privacy, HIPAA and Information Sharing
April 2014. Trauma-Informed Care
September 2013. The Affordable Care Act: What AI/AN Parents Need to Know
January 2013. Medicaid Fact Sheet
April 2012. Understanding Grant Match Requirements Fact Sheet
October 2011. Wraparound Fact Sheet


January 2015. Self-Care: Working within Tribal and Urban Communities
Do you practice self-care while working in tribal and urban communities? Do you incorporate wellness into your daily work life? This webinar discusses ways to begin and maintain wellness in your daily life. It addresses how to bring wellness into the workplace, which includes healthy communication, healthy conflict resolution, and learning how to move your team or department forward in a good way. Refers to this handout. Presented by Jillene Joseph, Executive Director, Native Wellness Institute.

July 2014. Tribal Systems of Care Sustainability
Presented by Melissa Bob.

March 2014. LGBTQI2-S in Tribal Systems of Care
This webinar explores the unique needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, and Two-Spirit (LGBTQI2-S) youth in Indian Country. Topics covered include terms and definitions, historical context (particularly regarding Two-Spirit individuals pre- and post-contact), and intersectionality as it relates to some of the specific challenges facing American Indian/Alaska Native LGBTQI2-S youth in systems of care. Presented by Linda Gokee-Rindal.

February 2014. Suicide Prevention in Native Communities
Review of recent research in the area of suicide prevention in Indian Country.

January 2014. Trauma-Informed Care
Explores the definition of trauma-informed care and what it may mean in terms of support for seriously emotionally disturbed (SED) children and their families.

January 2014. Non-Federal Match for Tribal Systems of Care
NICWA Director of Community Development for Children’s Mental Health and Youth Engagement Melissa Bob presents the non-federal match requirements for systems of care grantees with a special focus on non-federal match requirements for tribal communities. She reviews the content in NICWA's Match Toolkit.

September 2013. Systems of Care in Children's Mental Health
Do you have any questions about the technical assistance NICWA provides to your system of care staff and partners? In this webinar, Melissa Bob, director of community development for children’s mental health and youth engagement, describes the ways NICWA provides technical assistance to tribal SOCs as well as basic background information about the expansion planning and implementation system of care grants.

July 2013. Using Medicaid to Provde Culturally Based Mental Health Services
This webinar describes how tribes and Native organizations can utilize Medicaid to support cultural and traditional services within their children’s mental health systems. Presented by Ashley Horne.

June 2013. Part III: Operationalizing Your Behavioral Health Organization
The third part in a three-part series. The key to launching your mental health or wellness center is doing the research, developing a plan, knowing your revenue source, and following the systematic plan to launch. This webinar focuses on blending your body of work, paying attention to the business plan, following your conservative budget projections, and hiring the right workforce to meet your goals. Presented by Dan Aune.

May 2013. Part II: Developing a Robust Medicaid Billing and Collection System
The second in a three-part series. Sustainability of a mental health or wellness center is dependent on a reliable revenue source. This webinar provides the basics on Medicaid and other reliable revenue sources such as Employee Assistance Programs, Veteran Administration, specialty population grants, and commercial insurance. Presented by Dan Aune.

April 2013. Part I: Developing a Business Plan for Your New Behavioral Health Organization
The first in a three-part series for tribal communities who are initiating or interested in initiating a mental health or wellness center for children and families. The webinar includes information on the elements of a behavioral health business planning process and a structured chronological approach to building your business plan. Presented by Dan Aune.

March 2013. Honoring Life: Supporting Suicide Prevention Strategies
This webinar explores the current state of suicide within communities, and covers specific topics areas: attitudes and actions; risk within tribal communities; survivors, siblings and special populations; responses and resources. Presented by Shannon CrossBear.

February 2013. Federal Resources Available to Tribal Systems of Care Communities
Presenters from the Indian Health Service, Bureau of Indian Education, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Office of Indian Alcohol and Substance Abuse present resources available to tribes from their federal agencies including specific resources related to the Tribal Law and Order Act. Presented by Rose Weahkee, Juanita Mendoza, and Rod Robinson.

January 2013. Cultural Adaptation of Evidence Based Practices
Presented by Dolores Subia BigFoot, PhD.

January 2013. Tribal Equity Toolkit: Tribal Resolutions and Codes to Support Two Spirit and LGBT Justice in Indian Country
This webinar discusses the purpose of the first guide for Two Spirit and LGBT equity in Indian Country and how it was used to train tribal systems of care staff in Portland, Oregon. Presented by Se-ah-dom Edmo.

November 2012. Native Youth Engagement Resources
This webinar highlights the resources provided by Native youth organizations around the country for tribal systems of care communities. Presented by Josie Raphaelito, Stephanie Craig Rushing, PhD, and Amira Madison.

April 2011. Cultural Issues in the Development of Native American/Alaska Native Children and Youth
Presented by Terry Cross.

Children's Mental Health Initiative

The system of care grants are provided through the Center for Mental Health Services that fund county, state, and tribally operated mental health programs to implement services based on the systems of care principles.

System of Care Grantees



Grant Year in FY2016

Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe Washington 1 of 4
Lummi Nation Washington 2 of 4
Santee Sioux Nation Nebraska 2 of 4
Tule River Indian Reservation California 2 of 4
Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation Alaska 2 of 4
Yurok Tribe California 2 of 4
Cherokee Nation Oklahoma 3 of 4
Montana Office of Public Instruction Montana 3 of 4
Wayne County/American Indian Health and Family Services Michigan 3 of 4
Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center Oregon 3 of 4
Pascua Yaqui Tribe Arizona 4 of 4
Pueblo of San Felipe New Mexico 4 of 4
Mescalero Apache Tribal Council New Mexico 6 of 6
Sinte Gleska University South Dakota 6 of 6