Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Update: Region X Tribal TANF Emergency Fund Strategies Meeting

Update: Region X Tribal TANF Emergency Fund Strategies Meeting

Dear NICWA Cause Members:

I just wanted to let you know of some important work NICWA is carrying out in Northwest Indian Country.

In 1996, the National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) led a successful advocacy effort resulting in American Indian tribes being eligible to directly operate the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) Program. In the late nineties, NICWA, working closely with the regional office of the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), provided information and technical assistance services that helped several Northwest Tribes develop TANF programs.

Earlier this year, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 created the TANF Emergency Fund which made approximately $12.5 million available to the 14 TANF tribes in Washington and the Portland Metropolitan Area if they choose to take advantage of it. These funds could provide help to many Indian families in need, including children in or at risk of being placed in foster care, victims of domestic violence, and many more. This fund can relieve the fiscal pressure on tribal services that provide low-income families with children with ongoing cash assistance or short-term benefits, such as emergency shelter, medical treatment, counseling, employment, education, and relocation assistance. In some cases, tribes and providers may be able to form partnerships under which local or private funding is counted as tribal spending to draw down additional funds.

Through the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, NICWA is conducting a short-term project to facilitate increased access to TANF Emergency Funds for eligible tribes. Our objective is to expand the number of Tribal TANF programs that gain access to the Emergency funds created under the ARRA legislation last year. Our second objective is to expand partnerships between TANF and tribal child welfare programs to help support families so that children at risk because of poverty can stay safely in their own homes.

Here are a few pictures captured from "Region X Tribal TANF Emergency Fund Strategies Meeting" which was presented by NICWA and Administration for Children and Families (ACF) in Seattle, WA, on April 29-30, 2010.

Ahéhee' (Thank you),

Eddie Sherman (Diné | Umóⁿ'hoⁿ)
Development Manager
National Indian Child Welfare Association
Dedicated to the well-being of American Indian children and families.
T 503.222.4044, ext. 123
F 503.222.4007

Posted By: Eddie Sherman
To: Members in National Indian Child Welfare Association

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