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Project Description

Minnesota The White Earth Child Well-Being Project served the area of the White Earth Reservation and 25 miles beyond its borders. The objectives were:

  • To build systems collaboration and improve treatment linkages between the tribal and Becker County Human Services programs; To create a culturally competent strategy for improving the well-being of White Earth's Native American children with caregivers who abuse substances with a focus on improving permanency outcomes for children at risk of, or in out-of-home placements; Provide substance abuse treatment and services to caregivers and their children in a rural area well-documented with highest rates in poverty, alcohol and drug abuse including methamphetamines, and suicide; The project approach was to provide culturally appropriate, comprehensive strategy with multi-disciplinary human services program partnerships, targeted media educational delivery, and substance abuse treatment services designed to address the treatment needs and out-of-home placement issues experienced by White Earth caregivers and their children. Results of this project filled the gap and need for counseling and support services a year with substance abuse issues and who may or may not be involved with the Indian Child Welfare Program. Children directly at risk for, or in out-of-home placement received an array of services from seven or more multi-disciplinary partners in an integrated collaboration to improve permanency outcomes. Educational print information on substance abuse and methamphetamine reached all communities on the White Earth Reservation to provide education and improved understanding of the negative effects of substance abuse on families and community. 

Target Population

White Earth Band of Ojibwe, Indian Child Welfare Program targeted:

  • 50 caregivers/year and 125 children

Major Project Goals

  • Understand effects substance abuse; Follow a healthy diet and exercise program; Access and receive appropriate treatment; Know how to access help; Understand how community involvement reduces; Maltreatment; Have support network; Support sobriety; Know how to access formal support networks.  

Key Major Program Services

Case Management and In-Home Services

  • Intensive Case Management
  • Family Group Decision Making
  • Wraparound/Intensive In-Home Services

Parenting/Family Strengthening

  • Evidence-Based Parenting or Family Strengthening Program- Positive Indian Parenting

Substance Abuse Treatment for Adults

  • Intensive Outpatient
  • Aftercare/Continuing Care/ Recovery Community Support Services

Specialized Outreach, Engagement and Retention

  • Co-located of Staff
  • Culturally Responsvie- Wellbriety Approach

Substance Abuse Prevention Services

  • Information Dissemination
  • Prevention Education

Screening and Assessment – Child Welfare and Other Children’s Issues

  • Screening and Assessment for Child Welfare Issues
  • Other Specialized Child Screening and Assessment - Mental Health/Psychological

Screening/Assessment – Substance Use and Other Adult Issues

  • Screening and Assessment for Substance Abuse Disorders
  • Other Specialized Adult Screening and Assessment

Children’s Services

  • Early Intervention

Housing Services

  • Housing Support Services

Cross-Systems Collaboration

  • Clinical and Program Training
  • Cross-systems Policies and Procedures
  • Regular Joint Case Staffing Meetings
  • Co-location of Staff
  • Cross-systems Information Sharing and Data Analysis

Partner Agencies and Organizations

The White Earth Band of Ojibwe, Indian Child Welfare Program Project includes the following partners:

Substance Abuse

  • White Earth Substance Abuse Program


  • Family Treatment Drug Court (FTDC)
  • Other Dependency Court


  • White Earth Indian Child Welfare
  • Minnesota Tribal Child Welfare Consortia
  • White Earth Tribal Court
  • White Earth Family Drug Court
  • Tribe/Tribal Consortium

Criminal Justice, Law Enforcement, Legal and Related Organizations

  • White Earth Tribal Law Enforcement
  • Anishinaabeg Legal Services
  • Tribal and area Attorneys
  • County Law Enforcement Agencies (Becker, Mahnomen, Clearwater)
  • Local Law Enforcement (police, sheriff)
  • Attorneys

Mental Health and Health Services

  • White Earth Tribal Mental Health
  • Indian Health Services Clinic, White Earth
  • Area mental health provider agencies and counties


  • Housing/homeless services provider


  • Individual School(s) Circle of Life Academy, White Earth (BIA School)
  • Pine Point Elementary School, Ponsford, MN (on reservation)
  • Naytahwaush Charter School
  • Neighboring School Districts: Waubun-Ogema Public
  • Schools, Mahnomen Public Schools, Detroit Lakes Public
  • Schools, Bagley Public Schools, Park Rapids Public Schools
  • Early Child Services/Education Provider White Earth Child Care & Early Childhood Initiative

Other Community and Child and Family Services

  • State/County Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or Welfare Office
  • Home Visiting Agency/Services Provider White Earth Home
  • Health/Tribal Public Health Program


  • Church/Faith-Based Org
  • Domestic Violence Services Provider/agency
  • Evaluator (university-affiliated or other)

Request Technical Assistance


Project Details

  • Lead Agency:
    White Earth Band of Chippewa
  • Geographic Area and Congressional District Served:
    Becker County; Congressional District 7
  • Federal Grant:
    $500,000/5 years
  • Evaluation Design and Comparison Group Type:
  • Proposed Number Served (5 years):
    Children: 411
    Adults: 228
    Families: 182
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