NATIVE AMERICAN CHILDREN TRAINING FORUM

Welcome to the Native American Children Training Forum (NACTF) online training course site created by the National Indian Justice Center (NIJC) through a grant from the California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES).  The training courses on this site were developed in response to a survey of needs taken among tribal youth-serving organizations in California.  The content is specific to California and federal rules governing the implementation of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). These training courses are designed to increase the availability of resources to and capacity among tribes and tribal organizations that work with Indian Children and who work with ICWA cases. 

This online classroom uses the Moodle platform which allows for synchronous (real-time) and asynchronous classrooms.  We suggest that you go to the classroom category entitled Distance Learning Tips and take the course entitled Technology Tips for Distance Learning Success before you begin the NACTF training courses. This course will increase your understanding of how Moodle works and enable you to take full advantage of the course offerings.

The courses offered on this site are designed for child welfare workers, social workers, children's services providers, youth advocates, department of justice professionals, law enforcement professionals, elected Tribal officials, Tribal leaders, and all tribal staff or community partners who represent tribal interests in court proceedings involving Native American Children who have been abused/neglected or at risk. We hope the course curricula, discussions and activities will assist you in understanding Indian Child Welfare and obtaining better outcomes for Tribal children in the welfare system.

Thank you for your participation!

“Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children.” —Sitting Bull, Hunkpapa Lakota Chief & Holy Man


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    Available courses

    This course is an introductory overview of the Indian Child Welfare including but not limited to: the Indian Child Welfare Act policy and intent, Adoption and ICWA, Reporting procedures in Indian Country, State court & federal responsibilities regarding implementation of ICWA, preparing an ICWA case, Abuse and Neglect and the ICWA, identifying the Indian child, Active versus Reasonable Efforts, Customary Adoption, and Expert Witnesses.

    This course was developed through coordination and support with Tribal STAR to adapt their existing ICWA training into an online format. The focus of the course includes: the historical, philosophical, and legal basis for the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA), the origins and legacies of historic distrust and trauma, issues of fairness, equity, and the disparities experienced by Indian/Native American children and their respective families within the child welfare system, and assist the participant in understanding the fundamental concepts of culture; understand how one’s own culture affects one’s perceptions, behavior, values; and know how cultural differences and unconscious bias can affect service delivery.

    This course will discuss when to use an expert witness, how they can and should be used, and from what lists should be generated. The course would assist tribal representatives, advocates, community members etc, on the unique categories of expert witnesses and differentiate the various ways that Expert Witnesses can be utilized in an ICWA case. It is imperative that members of tribal councils, tribal court judges and child welfare service providers understand the application, requirements and interaction between these laws especially in developing the use of an Expert Witness. 

     

    The ICWA: Active Efforts Online Course provides an introductory overview of Active versus Reasonable Efforts under ICWA including what are active efforts, responsibilities and requirements to provide active efforts, evidentiary standards and the impact of the revised guidelines, and how to implement active efforts in an ICWA case.

    The ICWA: Mandatory Reporting Online Course provides an introductory overview of Mandatory Reporting under ICWA including California law governing mandatory reporting; mandatory reporters and reportable forms of abuse; filing a report & consequences of failing to report, and mandated reporters confidentiality rights.

    The ICWA: Courtroom Decorum Online Course provides strategies, approaches and recommendations to effectively prepare for successful outcomes in court appearances, testifying in court, and all interactions with the court including basic training on how to relate and speak to the judge effectively.

    This Positive Indian Parenting curriculum is designed to provide a brief, practical, and culturally specific training program for Indian parents. The first goal of the curriculum is to help Indian parents explore the values and attitudes expressed in traditional Indian child-rearing practices and then to apply those values to modern parenting skills.

    This course will provide training in the understanding, use, and operation of commonly utilized computer programs, distance learning tools, and various online and other tools needed for distance learning and teleconferences.  Some examples may include how to develop teleconference/webinar training or conduct a teleconference meeting, using free sources like Skype, smart phones, Microsoft Office, and PDF’s to increase efficiency in work.

    Technology Tips for Distance Learning Success is a moderated online course provided by the National Indian Justice Center, the pioneer in training and technical assistance for tribal communities nationwide since 1983.

    This course is especially designed for California Native people who are interested in improving their skills or pursuing interests new and old through distance learning.

    Thanks to the California Consumer Protection Foundation, Community Collaborative Fund for providing a grant to support course development .

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    Provides a brief overview and understanding of how to facilitate a synchronous online training session. Synchronous learning refers to "real-time" learning, in which a group of students is engaged in learning at the same time.  It is like a virtual classroom which allows students to ask, and teachers to answer questions instantly, through instant messaging, which is why it is called synchronous. 

    NICWA’s: Positive Indian Parenting Online Course includes curriculum designed to provide a brief, practical, and culturally specific training program for Indian parents. The curriculum has two goals, 1) to help Indian parents explore the values and attitudes expressed in traditional Indian child-rearing practices and then to apply those values to modern parenting skills; and 2) to help parents develop positive and satisfying attitudes, values, and skills that have roots in their cultural heritage. 

    This course was adapted by Tolowa Dee'Ni Nation to do a training on the parenting curriculum module in the Positive Indian Parenting Course.

    This course will discuss when to use an expert witness, how they can and should be used, and from what lists should be generated. The course would assist tribal representatives, advocates, community members etc, on the unique categories of expert witnesses and differentiate the various ways that Expert Witnesses can be utilized in an ICWA case. It is imperative that members of tribal councils, tribal court judges and child welfare service providers understand the application, requirements and interaction between these laws especially in developing the use of an Expert Witness.