Native American Youth
With generous support from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, the Alliance is partnering with the Juvenile Court and the American Indian and Alaskan Native community to better care for American Indian children in foster care.
The American Indian community strongly promotes the need to support American Indian families and children with quality services and advocacy that place a high regard on cultural values, tribal affiliation and spirituality. Indian children in foster care are at high risk of becoming disconnected from those services and values, especially in Los Angeles County where they are likely to be placed in non-Indian foster care settings. Accordingly, the Alliance participates in a stakeholder group that meets regularly to improve outcomes for these children and which includes representatives from various tribes, the State Bar of California, the Juvenile Court, child welfare officials, and American Indian social service agencies.
A subcommittee of the Stakeholder group, co-chaired by the Alliance and United American Indian Involvement (UAII), is working to expand the array of services available to children in foster care while also protecting their core values. Towards this goal, the Alliance worked to identify and reach out to service providers that were not already included in the “Red Pages,” which is a resource directory for the American Indian community first compiled by UAII in 2001. New agencies included in a recent reprint include Bet Tzedek Legal Services, Learning Rights Law Center, Mental Health Advocacy Services and others. Concurrent with distribution, UAII and the Alliance cohosted a resource for Red Pages providers, old and new, to meet and discover each other. The fair kicked off with a training by UAII about the importance of acknowledging and understanding historical trauma and its impact on the American Indian community.
In addition to this important effort, Alliance advocates work closely with a specialized court and judge (former Alliance Legal Director Amy Pellman) to screen Native American foster children for needed Alliance services and support.