Child Welfare DepartmentManager: Frances LaCoute
Social Services Director
Email Frances LaCoute
Purpose of Program:
The purpose of the Child Welfare Department is to ensure that children are in a safe and stable home environment, free from abuse and neglect by investigating all complaints that come into the Department. The Department also has prevention services such as respite, child care, and summer camp sponsorships in the event a family is in need of these types of services. The department also utilizes outside agencies to access services such as counseling, parenting classes, substance abuse and housing by making referrals to agencies that can provide these types of services.
OVERVIEW OF THE CHILD WELFARE PROGRAM:
A. The department is responsible for the investigation of all complaints of abuse/neglect.
1. Primary focus is to maintain stability and integrity of Indian homes.
2. Removal of children in cases where the child is in imminent danger and the parent/guardian is unable/unwilling to protect the child at risk.
3. Reports may be anonymous.
4. All reports confidential as are results of investigations.
5. Reports involving possible criminal activity are jointly investigated by law enforcement.
6. Investigations involving criminal activities are referred to the proper agency of prosecution.
7. The department does not get involved in domestic difficulty or uncontrollable child situations.
a. In cases, such as previously discussed, the principles are referred to the appropriate agency/department for assistance.
8. Any person may make a report of child abuse/neglect, "If they have a reasonable suspicion that a child is being abused in Indian Country." Mandated Reporters, (any individual; professional or para-professional, who has regular contact with or control over children or who is responsible for the delivery of services to children), are required to call, when they have a reasonable suspicion that abuse or neglect may have or could occur in Indian Country.
National Indian Child Welfare Association