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CDSS Tribal Consultation Process

The CDSS’ Children and Family Services Division is in the process of developing a formal Tribal Consultation Policy (TCP) for CDSS to implement when requesting input from California tribes on child welfare issues. On September 19, 2011 Governor Brown issued Executive Order B-10-11 which declares that “…every state agency and department subject to my executive control shall encourage communication and consultation with California Indian Tribes. Agencies and departments shall permit elected officials and other representatives of tribal governments to provide meaningful input into the development of legislation, regulations, rules, and policies on matters that may affect tribal communities.” Accordingly, the CDSS is seeking to establish a formal “government-to-government” tribal consultation policy and process that represents a collaborative platform whereby tribes and the CDSS would share information on a regular basis. Since tribes have the inherent authority to set priorities and goals for the welfare of their citizens, it is critical that tribes’ needs and recommendations are heard so that the CDSS’ policies support California tribal children and families.

TCP Listening Sessions

The CDSS co-chaired two listening sessions at the 20th Annual California Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) Conference on June 25 and 27, 2013 and one listening session at the 21st Annual California ICWA Conference on June 19, 2014 with the intent to gather input about how to develop a formal TCP. See below for a description of the conference sessions and transcripts from those sessions.

These sessions are an important step toward establishing a formal consultation process with tribal nations regarding significant child welfare issues, and the CDSS understands that tribal leadership participation is instrumental in strengthening our state-to-tribal government relationship.

TCP Committee (TCPC)

Since the beginning of this process, CDSS has met with a number of tribal councils and intends to continue its efforts to meet with tribal governments face-to-face to obtain input on the structure and key components to include in this consultation policy. Based on the information gathered from our generous tribal partners thus far, it is critical that tribal council members are directly involved in the drafting of this consultation policy. Therefore, on April 17, 2014, the CDSS sent an invitation to all California tribal leaders inviting them to take part in the Tribal Consultation Policy Committee (TCPC). It is anticipated that the committee will have a total of five monthly meetings before completing the policy development by a targeted date of November 2014.

Information pertaining to the development of the TCPC is provided below:

For more information or to provide feedback, please contact us at:

Email: ICWA@dss.ca.gov
California Department of Social Services
Child Welfare Policy and Program Development Bureau
744 P Street, MS 8-11-87
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 651-6160