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Programs & Projects

Department of Social Work

Child Welfare Scholars Program

With help from Title IV-E federal child welfare training funds is to strengthen staffing in public child welfare agencies. The Department of Social Work at UMD has become a partner in fulfilling this purpose through our Center for Regional and Tribal Child Welfare Studies. We have undertaken The Center initiatives in the areas of student support, American Indian Projects, and curriculum development.

"What Does It Take to Raise Healthy Anishinaabeg Children?"

Beginning in 2003, the Center has been asking the question "what does it take to raise healthy American Indian children?" With the help of a grant from the Otto Bremer Foundation, the Center completed a three-year research study asking tribal elders how to raise healthy American Indian children. The Center has produced several national and state-wide presentations, a poster, and online training related to this work. Currently, the Center is expanding this research to the Twin Cities, and Duluth to begin to ask the question "what does it take to raise healthy American Indian children in the city?"

Summer Institute in American Indian Child Welfare  - July 8-10, 2019

The annual Summer Institute is an opportunity for Tribal child welfare workers and administrators to develop new practice skills, share collective experiences, and learn with other Indian child welfare professionals and scholars in a Tribal context. The Center's hope is that this free training can emerge as the premier opportunity for Tribal child welfare workers in the state and continue to be provided for years to come. The 2018 Summer Institute will be held July 9-11 at the Northern Lights Casino and Event Center in Walker, MN.  

Annual ICWA Conference - March 4, 2019

The annual ICWA Conference (previously the Winter Institute) is an opportunity for County and Tribal child welfare workers and administrators to learn about best practices in addressing disparities in out of home placement in Minnesota. This FREE conference offers child welfare practitioners the opportunity to gain a deeper insight into best practices, while providing a great venue for networking. 

2019 Annual ICWA Conference:    The Indian Child Welfare Act in Minnesota: Moving Forward Together

Minnesota is generating a lot of momentum in strengthening and complying with the ICWA. Why is it so important to implement both the spirit and the letter of law into our practice? The Annual ICWA Conference will address trauma - individual, historic, and collective - experienced by American Indian people involved in the child welfare system, while providing an introduction to a model the State of Maine and the Wabanaki people are using in the spirit of ICWA to heal.The 2019 Annual ICWA Conference will be held March 4 at Grand Casino in Hinckley, MN.  Register Here.