Minority Youth and Family Initiative for American Indian/Alaskan Native Children (MYFI)
About This Program
Target Population: American Indian and Alaskan Native children and families
For parents/caregivers of children ages: 0 – 17
Through culturally competent practice approaches consistent with the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and the utilization of American Indian/Alaskan Native (AI/AN) staff, flexible support funds, and community resources, MYFI decreases entry of AI/AN children into the child welfare system and increases reunification with their family of origin, transfer to tribal jurisdiction, and/or placement within relative or tribal networks.
The goals for Minority Youth and Family Initiative for American Indian/Alaskan Native Children (MYFI) are:
- Decrease proportion of AI/AN children in child welfare system
- Increase relative or Tribal placements for child welfare involved AI/AN children
- Increase transfer to Tribal jurisdiction for child welfare involved AI/AN children
The essential components of Minority Youth and Family Initiative for American Indian/Alaskan Native Children (MYFI) include:
- Specialized unit for AI/AN families at the county level of the state child welfare system
- Approaching every self-identified AI/AN child as being eligible for Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) practice requirements, even if they do not qualify for ICWA
- Use of AI/AN staff as consistent liaisons to families and tribes throughout the case
- Hiring of AI/AN social workers
- Continual use and updating of ancestry chart to understand family relationships, the possibility of enrollment with a tribe, and/or placement options
- Routine cultural competency training and education for child welfare staff, including interaction with area tribes
- Flexible funds to purchase items families need to provide or maintain placement for a child. Purchases have included: beds, diapers, utility bills, filing fees for guardianship papers, gas money, etc.
- Use and support of parenting and recovery programs designed and delivered for and by AI/AN agencies in the community
- Participation with AI/AN agency that provides advocacy for child welfare-involved families
- Monthly meeting with an interdisciplinary group, including members of the AI/AN community to present data and other indicators of program progress
Minority Youth and Family Initiative for American Indian/Alaskan Native Children (MYFI) directly provides services to parents/caregivers and addresses the following:
- Referral to the public child welfare system. Associated symptoms vary from substance abuse and domestic violence to poverty to mental health issues, etc.
Services Involve Family/Support Structures:
This program involves the family or other support systems in the individual's treatment: Family Team Meetings are utilized to identify and maintain family supports. Families also receive advocacy services through an AI/AN agency in the community.
1-2 hours per week with family team meeting, advocacy involvement, and other referrals based on need
This program is typically conducted in a(n):
- Birth Family Home
- Community Agency
- Foster/Kinship Care
This program does not include a homework component.
Resources Needed to Run Program
The typical resources for implementing the program are:
Trained social workers and family group conferencing facilitators
Education and Training
Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications
Bachelor’s level degree for child welfare workers; prefer Master’s level degree in social work or related field for supervisors
Education and Training Resources
There is a manual that describes how to implement this program ; but there is not training available for this program.
Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research
Currently, there are no published, peer-reviewed research studies for Minority Youth and Family Initiative for American Indian/Alaskan Native Children (MYFI).
Derezotes, D., Richarson, B., King, C. B., Kleinschmit-Rembert, J. & Pratt, B. (2009). Evaluating multisystemic efforts to impact disproportionality through key decision points. Child Welfare, 87(2), 241-254.
Richardson, B. (2009). Comparative analysis of two community-based efforts designed to impact disproportionality. Child Welfare, 87(2), 297-317.
Richardson, B., & Derezotes, D. (2010). Measuring change in disproportionality and disparities: Three diagnostic tools. Journal of Health & Human Services Administration; 33(3), 323-352.
- Julia Kleinschmit, MSW
- Agency/Affiliation: University of Iowa and Iowa Dept. of Human Services
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: (402) 254-2122 or (402) 841-4919
Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: September 2013
Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: December 2011
Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: December 2011