Characteristics and Competencies of Successful Foster, adoptive and kinship parents who care for American Indian/Alaskan Native Children

This presentation is a culmination of information collected through individual interviews with American Indian/Alaskan Native resource parents, youth, and tribal professionals and the results of a comprehensive systematic literature review. This mixed methods study produced 16 characteristics and 13 competencies that were considered to be critical to successfully parent American Indian/Alaskan Native children who are placed in out of home care. These 16 characteristics include having a strong cultural identity; and for nontribal caregivers, those that are culturally sensitive; having an appreciation for diversity and other worldviews, having confidence, being respectful, being patient, having a positive attitude/being optimistic, having a good sense of humor, being generous, being adaptive/resilient, being someone that embraces learning/open to new knowledge development, having a loving/caring spirit, being a trustworthy person, being willing to keep siblings together, being willing to access tribal and non-tribal social service programs, a willingness to access kin and family as a resource for support. The 13 critical competencies that resources parents need to successfully parent AI/AN children include having an understanding of child development, traditional child rearing practices, skills in parent/child relationship building and attachment, having an understanding of traditional/alternative discipline strategies/behavior management, learning self-care strategies, coping, and building and maintaining strong support systems, developing cultural competency, humility, understanding the economy of generosity and reciprocity, traditional communication styles, learning how to assess health and wellness from an indigenous perspective, and having an understanding of history, laws and policies that contributed to the development and implementation of the Indian Child Welfare Act.


Learning Objectives:

  1. Introduce the WA child welfare workforce to a Children’s Bureau developed and supported state of the art, national foster/adoptive parent training curriculum
  2. Prepare the child welfare workforce to recruit/retain AI/AN and non-tribal foster/adoptive parents who can successfully parents AI/AN children placed in out of home care
  3. Prepare the child welfare workforce to work with AI/AN grandparents and other relatives raising children in Indian Country

Angelique Day
Associate Professor of University of Washington School of Social Work

Angelique Day received her PhD in interdisciplinary health science in 2011 from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. She earned an MSW from Michigan State University in 2005 and a BS summa cum laude in sociology/psychology from Central Michigan University.  Much of her research focuses on foster care youth, including examining the differences in college retention rates between foster care youth and other low-income first-generation college students, and examining “youth voice” and its impact on child welfare, education and health policy reform. From 2011–2016, she was an assistant professor of social work at Wayne State University, where she taught both undergraduate and graduate classes. She’s been an evaluator, principal investigator or project coordinator on major studies funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, W. K. Kellogg Foundation, and McGregor Fund, among others.  Day has received many awards and honors, including a year-long congressional fellowship awarded during the 2016–2017 academic year by the Society for Research on Child Development and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She was assigned to the office of Congressman Danny K. Davis where she helped develop the congressman’s child welfare and higher education legislative portfolios.

Audience Description: 

This training is appropriate for social workers, program managers, supervisors and area administrators.

Assessment and Planning
Indian Child Welfare
Delivery Method: 
Training Level: 
Area Administrators
Social Workers
Is this course eligible for STARS credit?: 
Course Requires Coaching Session?: 
Registration Instructions: 

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DCYF Alliance Characteristics & Competencies of Successful Foster, adoptive and kinship parents

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Maestro Course Code: 110600

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