Legislature(2021 - 2022)DAVIS 106

04/06/2021 03:00 PM House HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES

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Audio Topic
03:03:29 PM Start
03:04:13 PM Overview: Tribal Child Welfare Compact
04:57:45 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Overview: Tribal Child Welfare Compact by TELECONFERENCED
- Nicole Borromeo, Alaska Federation of Natives
- Vivian Korthuis, Assoc. of Village Council
- Brittany Madros, Tanana Chiefs Conference
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
      HOUSE HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                     
                         April 6, 2021                                                                                          
                           3:03 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Liz Snyder, Co-Chair                                                                                             
Representative Tiffany Zulkosky, Co-Chair                                                                                       
Representative Ivy Spohnholz                                                                                                    
Representative Zack Fields                                                                                                      
Representative Ken McCarty                                                                                                      
Representative Mike Prax                                                                                                        
Representative Christopher Kurka                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
OVERVIEW: TRIBAL CHILD WELFARE COMPACT                                                                                          
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
NICOLE BORROMEO, Executive Vice President                                                                                       
Alaska Federation of Natives                                                                                                    
Anchorage Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Gave a PowerPoint presentation entitled                                                                  
"Alaska Tribal Child Welfare Compact: 2021 Update."                                                                             
VIVIAN KORTHUIS, CEO                                                                                                            
Association of Village Council Presidents                                                                                       
Bethel, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Read a prepared statement about AVCP's role                                                              
in the Alaska Tribal Child Welfare Compact.                                                                                     
BRITTANY MADROS, Tribal Government Services Director                                                                            
Tanana Chiefs Conference                                                                                                        
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Discussed  Tanana Chiefs  Conference's role                                                             
in the Alaska Tribal Child Welfare Compact.                                                                                     
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
3:03:29 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  TIFFANY ZULKOSKY  called  the House  Health and  Social                                                             
Services  Standing  Committee  meeting  to  order  at  3:03  p.m.                                                               
Representatives Fields, McCarty, Prax,  Snyder, and Zulkosky were                                                               
present  at the  call to  order.   Representatives Spohnholz  and                                                               
Kurka arrived as the meeting was in progress.                                                                                   
^OVERVIEW: Tribal Child Welfare Compact                                                                                         
             OVERVIEW: Tribal Child Welfare Compact                                                                         
3:04:13 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  ZULKOSKY  announced that  the  only  order of  business                                                               
would be an Overview, entitled "Tribal Child Welfare Compact."                                                                  
3:05:04 PM                                                                                                                    
NICOLE BORROMEO,  Executive Vice President, Alaska  Federation of                                                               
Natives (AFN),  gave a  PowerPoint presentation  entitled "Alaska                                                               
Tribal  Child Welfare  Compact:  2021 Update."  She informed  the                                                               
committee  that she  serves as  the Compact  Facilitator for  the                                                               
Alaska  Tribal  Child  Welfare  Compact  ("the  Compact").    She                                                               
explained that she is charged  in appearing in a neutral capacity                                                               
between the tribes and the state.                                                                                               
MS. BORROMEO presented slide 2,  "Why the Work Began," which read                                                               
as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                     
     (1) Significant Disparities                                                                                                
      ? Alaska  Native children make  up 15% of  the state's                                                                    
     general population;  but represent  60% of the  kids in                                                                    
     state  custody. Disparities  of  this nature  generally                                                                    
     indicate a system failure, and Alaska is no exception.                                                                     
     (2) Retention Difficulties                                                                                                 
      ?  Additionally,  the  state   has  a  difficult  time                                                                    
     recruiting  and retaining  a proficient  workforce. The                                                                    
     Office of Children's  Services (OCS) typically operates                                                                    
     at  a  50%  vacancy  rate and  requires  its  frontline                                                                    
     workforce to carry caseloads more  than 3x the national                                                                    
MS. BORROMEO presented slide 3, "How the Work Began," which read                                                                
as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                     
     Tribal State Collaboration Group                                                                                           
      ? What ? 25-year  partnership between state and tribal                                                                    
     representatives (and invited stakeholders)                                                                                 
      ? Goals  ? (1) strengthening Alaska's  compliance with                                                                    
     the Indian  Child Welfare Act (ICWA);  (2) reducing the                                                                    
     disproportionality of  'Indian' kids in  state custody;                                                                    
     and    (3)   building    and   strengthening    working                                                                    
     Tribal Title IV-E Agreements                                                                                               
      ? What ? provides federal  resources ($) to states and                                                                    
     tribes  for   foster  care,   transitional  independent                                                                    
     living programs, guardianship  assistance, and adoption                                                                    
      ? Note  ? Tribes  receive a higher  reimbursement rate                                                                    
     than   states  for   covered  services,   resulting  in                                                                    
     significant General Fund savings.                                                                                          
MS.  BORROMEO explained  that  Title IV-E  refers  to a  specific                                                               
section  of the  Social  Security and  Administration  Act.   She                                                               
stressed that  these funds  are beneficial in  terms of  how much                                                               
money can be brought into the state to free up resources.                                                                       
3:09:50 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. BORROMEO presented slide 4, "Alaska Tribal Child Welfare                                                                    
Compact Overview," which read as follows [original punctuation                                                                  
      ?  What ?  a intergovernmental  agreement between  the                                                                    
     state  of Alaska  and  18  federally recognized  Alaska                                                                    
     Native tribes  and tribal organizations to  improve the                                                                    
     life  outcomes of  Alaska's children  and families,  by                                                                    
     transferring  negotiated  child  welfare  services  and                                                                    
     supports   along with  their respective revenue streams                                                                    
       from OCS to the 'Tribal Co-Signers.'                                                                                     
      ? Goal ? provide  higher quality services and supports                                                                    
     at a lower cost.                                                                                                           
MS. BORROMEO  presented slide 5,  "Compact (Cont'd),"  which read                                                               
as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                     
     ? Precedence  ? modeled after the  compacts the federal                                                                    
     government routinely negotiates  with tribes and tribal                                                                    
     organizations under  the Indian  Self-Determination and                                                                    
     Education Assistance Act (ISDEAA).                                                                                         
      ?  Historical   ?  the  Compact  is   the  first  ever                                                                    
     government-to-government   agreement   negotiated   and                                                                    
     executed at the state level (history making!).                                                                             
      ? Sovereignty  ? recognizes the inherent  authority of                                                                    
     federally  recognized Alaska  Native tribes  to provide                                                                    
     child welfare services and supports to their members.                                                                      
MS. BORROMEO  noted that "tribes"  can be an  uncomfortable word.                                                               
She said  AFN encouraged the  state to  think of tribes  as local                                                               
governments.  She pointed out  that many villages in rural Alaska                                                               
don't  have  a strong  local  government  because there  are  not                                                               
resources, but there is often a  tribe in those communities.  She                                                               
said AFN  didn't want anyone in  the room to be  uncomfortable by                                                               
the  terms "tribal  immunity," "tribal  sovereignty," or  "tribal                                                               
authority"  and explained  that this  was  a way  to say,  "local                                                               
3:12:49 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  BORROMEO   presented  slide  6,  "18   Tribal  Co-Signers                                                                  
Representing 161  Tribes."  She explained  that it was a  list of                                                               
all  18  co-signers who  had  signed  on  to  the Compact.    She                                                               
explained  that   the  takeaway   was  that  the   18  co-signors                                                               
represented 161 tribes.                                                                                                         
MS. BORROMEO presented slide  7, "Implementation Timeline," which                                                               
read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                
     Fiscal Year (FY) 2018                                                                                                      
      ?    Tribal   Co-Signers    developed/redesign   their                                                                    
     programs,  and  built  capacity and  infrastructure.  ?                                                                    
     State began  sharing Protective Services  Reports (PSRs                                                                    
     or  'screen  ins'  or  'screen  outs'),  and  providing                                                                    
     training and technical support.                                                                                            
     FY 2019                                                                                                                    
      ? Tribal Co-Signers  began performing Initial Diligent                                                                    
     Relative  Searches  (IDRS).  ? The  Parties  negotiated                                                                    
     four  new  Scopes  of  Work   (SOW)  for:  (1)  Ongoing                                                                    
     Relatives  Searches  (ORS);  (2)  Family  Contact;  (3)                                                                    
     Licensing  Assists;  and  (4) Safety  Evaluations,  but                                                                    
     State   declined    to   sign   due   to    change   in                                                                    
MS. BORROMEO  shared that negotiations  for the Compact  began in                                                               
2017 with the goal of having a  compact to sign at the annual AFN                                                               
Convention.  She  said that is the largest meeting  in the state,                                                               
and AFN  wanted the state  to see what the  Walker Administration                                                               
had  negotiated with  the Alaska  Native community  for improving                                                               
child welfare.   She said that with the  state allocation, tribes                                                               
either developed  a child welfare program  or redesigned existing                                                               
programs with  the new  authorities from the  Compact.   She said                                                               
the tribes  hoped to  work with the  state to  provide prevention                                                               
work, by  reaching out with  wraparound services  before removing                                                               
children and having them placed  in state custody.  She commented                                                               
that Governor Dunleavy's administration  put the Compact on hold,                                                               
so the  new governor could  reassess the work and  reevaluate his                                                               
administration's commitment to the Compact.                                                                                     
3:17:23 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  PRAX asked  if the  tribes were  doing prevention                                                               
work legally  on behalf of  the state of  Alaska, or if  this was                                                               
comparable to a church's work.                                                                                                  
MS. BORROMEO  answered that  in prevention  work the  tribes were                                                               
not legally representing the state.   She said the tribes did not                                                               
operate  as a  non-governmental organization  (NGO) or  religious                                                               
organization.    She  explained   that  because  the  tribes  are                                                               
sovereign entities,  each has the  authority to  provide services                                                               
to its members.  She shared  that some tribes also use funds that                                                               
are not  provided by the  state to  help families that  have been                                                               
identified as  "high priority"  and in need  of services  to help                                                               
them become more stable.   She clarified that the prevention work                                                               
is not  paid for by the  state of Alaska, because  the state does                                                               
not  receive money  to do  preventative  services, rather,  state                                                               
funds are  for children who have  been removed and are  in foster                                                               
3:19:53 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY asked about the  shift in sharing the PSRs                                                               
referenced on slide 7.                                                                                                          
MS. BORROMEO answered  that the legal shift was  brought about by                                                               
the Compact,  which is  the document that  allows the  sharing to                                                               
take place.   She  commented that  there was  a strong  desire to                                                               
better  partner and  share information,  but the  legal framework                                                               
wasn't there [previously] for the state  to be able to engage the                                                               
tribes  at the  desired level.   She  explained that  there is  a                                                               
series of different confidentiality  agreements in place, and the                                                               
tribes  have   completed  training  to  access   different  state                                                               
databases.     She  noted   that  [the   PSRs]  are   all  highly                                                               
confidential  information, and  that  the goal  was  to keep  the                                                               
family intact or reunite them if experiencing foster care.                                                                      
3:21:53 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KURKA asked whether  individuals working under the                                                               
authority  of the  tribes are  bound by  same confidentiality  as                                                               
state workers.                                                                                                                  
MS. BORROMEO answered that  the same confidentiality requirements                                                               
apply whether  or not  the worker  is a  state or  tribal worker.                                                               
She offered  that any type  of floor requirements in  federal law                                                               
that  exist  for the  state  carry  over  to  the Compact.    She                                                               
explained  that  the  Compact allows  the  different  tribal  co-                                                               
signers to tailor their own  programs to each tribe's geographic,                                                               
regional, and  tribal needs,  which allows  flexibility, although                                                               
there are a number of baseline  factors that are the same for all                                                               
co-signers.   She emphasized that  this was  not a way  to "sneak                                                               
around requirements" imposed by the  federal government or by the                                                               
state of Alaska.                                                                                                                
3:23:29 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. BORROMEO presented slide  8, "Implementation (Cont'd)," which                                                               
read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                
     FY 2020                                                                                                                    
      ? Parties  worked out differences and  signed all five                                                                    
     pre-negotiated  Scopes, including:  (1) IDRS;  (2) ORS;                                                                    
     (3)  Family Contact;  (4)  Licensing  Assists; and  (5)                                                                    
     Safety Evaluations.                                                                                                        
      FY 2021                                                                                                                   
      ? . . . Coming in May 2021.                                                                                               
3:24:13 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  BORROMEO presented  slide  9, "Public-Private  Partnership,"                                                               
which read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                          
     Casey Family Programs                                                                                                      
      ? Applying  the federal compact  model to  state child                                                                    
     welfare  work  caught  the attention  of  Casey  Family                                                                    
     Programs  (CFP), the  largest foster  care and  related                                                                    
     services foundation in the country.                                                                                        
      ?  CFP  was eager  to  partner  on the  endeavor,  and                                                                    
     through  a modest  amount of  seed money  helped create                                                                    
     the first ever  public-private partnership to transform                                                                    
     Alaska's child welfare system (history making AGAIN!).                                                                     
3:25:21 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SPOHNHOLZ asked  for the  difference between  the                                                               
unsigned scopes  of work that  were drafted and negotiated  in FY                                                               
19, and what was signed in FY 20.                                                                                               
MS. BORROMEO referenced  slide 7 in response to  the question and                                                               
pointed  out the  different scopes  outlined.   She said  once an                                                               
Indian child  is removed  from his/her home  and placed  in state                                                               
custody,  one  of  the  first  tasks  that  OCS  does  is  locate                                                               
relatives,  because   under  the   ICWA  there  is   a  placement                                                               
preference.   She  said the  preference is  first that  the child                                                               
stays  in  his/her  immediate  family,  then  to  another  Native                                                               
family,  next to  another tribal  family, and  finally to  a non-                                                               
Native  home.   She  circled  back  explaining  that it  is  very                                                               
helpful if  the state knows  who the  relatives of the  child are                                                               
for  the  initial  placement  but  noted  that  ongoing  relative                                                               
searches are  also important because  sometimes a child  is taken                                                               
from temporary  custody and put  in a more permanent  foster home                                                               
MS. BORROMEO  said the "child contact"  scope of work had  been a                                                               
difficult  service for  OCS  to provide,  especially  out in  the                                                               
Bush.   She explained  that this  is when a  child is  placed for                                                               
visitation to  have some contact with  the parent.  She  said the                                                               
difficulty came  from OCS not  having buildings or staff  in many                                                               
of  the smaller  villages,  or  even the  hub  communities.   She                                                               
shared  that "licensing  assist" work  was licensing  a home  for                                                               
foster care placement.   She explained that if OCS  didn't have a                                                               
worker  in a  village, it  could  call up  [the partnered  tribal                                                               
authority] for assistance  surveying the home, and  that the same                                                               
applied for safety evaluations.                                                                                                 
3:29:04 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SPOHNHOLZ reworded her  question, stating that the                                                               
"state declined to sign" in FY 19, and then the scopes were re-                                                                 
negotiated  in  F Y20.    She  asked  if there  were  significant                                                               
changes between  the FY 20  and the FY19 scopes,  or if it  was a                                                               
matter of  bringing the new  leadership in the  administration up                                                               
to speed.                                                                                                                       
MS.  BORROMEO  replied that  the  scopes  were substantially  the                                                               
same,  but   what  had  changed  was   the  new  administration's                                                               
understanding  of tribal  sovereign  immunity  and the  insurance                                                               
requirements that are in place.   She said that when tribes began                                                               
performing this work  on behalf of the state,  they also incurred                                                               
the liability  that comes with child  welfare.  She said  that as                                                               
part  of the  Compact,  the  state and  the  tribes negotiated  a                                                               
"waterfall system," wherein the tribes  were not asked to execute                                                               
immediately  a  broad  blanket   of  sovereign  immunity  waiver,                                                               
instead  the tribes  instead are  covered  by private  insurance,                                                               
which  all tribes  have, or  by  Federal Tort  Claims Act  (FTCA)                                                               
insurance.   She said,  "Only then,  if there is  an act  of harm                                                               
that goes  beyond those different  forms providing  full recovery                                                               
for the  child or the child's  family ... will the  state ask the                                                               
tribe to waive its sovereign immunity."                                                                                         
3:31:02 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  ZULKOSKY  referenced the  goal  stated  on slide  4  to                                                               
provide higher services at a lower  cost.  She asked Ms. Borromeo                                                               
to discuss  what was funded  by the state for  the implementation                                                               
of the  Compact in FY  18, in contrast to  what was set  aside in                                                               
subsequent fiscal years.                                                                                                        
MS.  BORROMEO responded  that the  state has  consistently funded                                                               
the Compact  at between  $1.2-$1.6 million,  landing consistently                                                               
at $1.5 million.  She said this  is the amount all the tribal co-                                                               
signers  said it  would  cost to  hire  one full-time  equivalent                                                               
employee  to run  the program.   She  said that  even though  the                                                               
amount  has stayed  the same  financially since  the Compact  was                                                               
signed  in  FY  18,  the  tribes have  routinely  taken  on  more                                                               
responsibility  at  the  annual  negotiations,  which  means  the                                                               
tribes are  doing more  "scopes of work,"  even though  the state                                                               
has not committed more resources to the Compact.                                                                                
CO-CHAIR ZULKOSKY asked  if the new scopes of  work increased the                                                               
workload and required additional underwriting  on the part of the                                                               
MS. BORROMEO  answered that  there are  many unfunded  costs that                                                               
the tribes  are bearing, which  means they are taking  from other                                                               
programs  outside  of  child  welfare.   She  said  this  is  not                                                               
sustainable,  but the  state is  aware of  the issue.   She  also                                                               
mentioned that there have been  implementation challenges, so not                                                               
as many cases have been transferred  to the tribes as is desired.                                                               
She explained  that there had  not been enough  capacity building                                                               
in the  front end of the  Compact, which was meant  to be wrapped                                                               
up in  one fiscal year;  capacity and implementation has  been an                                                               
ongoing  challenge for  both parties,  she explained.   She  said                                                               
workforce retention  has also been  an issue because  many tribal                                                               
employees  have  difficulty  committing  to  a  program  that  is                                                               
subject to annual funding.                                                                                                      
3:35:34 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR SNYDER asked why some tribes had not signed on.                                                                        
MS. BORROMEO  explained that the  Kodiak Area  Native Association                                                               
(KANA), along  with a few other  tribes, did not sign  on because                                                               
they  were  unhappy  with  how   the  tribal  sovereign  immunity                                                               
provisions in the Compact were drafted.                                                                                         
3:36:49 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SPOHNHOLZ  asked if there had  been any discussion                                                               
concerning  multi-year  fiscal  compacting  in  order  to  create                                                               
fiscal certainty.                                                                                                               
MS.  BORROMEO replied  that it  had been  discussed.   She shared                                                               
that  one model  the  tribes  are looking  at  is the  Millennium                                                               
Challenge  Corporation model  at the  federal level,  which is  a                                                               
five-year compact to  third world and developing  countries.  She                                                               
argued that this makes time to  do the work instead of gearing up                                                               
for an  annual negotiation.   She said  it was a  good suggestion                                                               
and possible solution.                                                                                                          
3:38:02 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KURKA  asked  why  two tribes  on  slide  6  have                                                               
asterisks by their names.                                                                                                       
MS. BORROMEO answered  that those two tribes  signed the umbrella                                                               
agreement but  have not signed the  corresponding Service Support                                                               
Funding  Agreement (SSFA),  which  is the  power  to perform  the                                                               
scopes, because of tribal sovereign immunity challenges.                                                                        
3:39:30 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. BORROMEO  returned to slide  9.   She said the  CFP dedicated                                                               
two  consultants to  working on  the Compact.   She  said one  is                                                               
Francine Eddy Jones,  who has previously worked  with the Central                                                               
Council Tlingit  and Haida Indian  Tribes of Alaska on  its child                                                               
welfare program.   The other  is Kristie Swanson, a  previous OCS                                                               
employee, who Ms. Borromeo opined  is the leading expert on Title                                                               
IV programs in Alaska.                                                                                                          
MS. BORROMEO  presented slide 10,  "Long Term Goals,"  which read                                                               
as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                     
     ? Alaska children and families will be served locally,                                                                     
     as close to home as possible.                                                                                              
      ? Services will be provided in a more cost effective                                                                      
     and efficient manner.                                                                                                      
       ? Children and families will be more receptive to                                                                        
     changing abusive or neglectful behavior(s), which will                                                                     
     decrease the number of children in state custody.                                                                          
      ? Outcomes for Alaska children and families will be                                                                       
       improved, particularly Alaska Native children and                                                                        
3:42:00 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY requested a copy of the Compact.                                                                         
MS. BOROMMEO offered  to send a copy  to Representative McCarty's                                                               
3:42:15 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  ZULKOSKY asked  Ms. Borromeo  if there  was a  "percent                                                               
increase" in the work burden on  tribes in the Compact related to                                                               
scopes of work that increased between FY 18 and FY 20.                                                                          
MS. BORROMEO  replied that  not all cosigners  are equal  in work                                                               
output  and  while  some  cosigners have  over  150  children  in                                                               
custody, others  have a small handful.   She also said  that some                                                               
have  established child  welfare  programs, and  others are  just                                                               
setting  up child  welfare programs.   She  suggested that  other                                                               
presenters could better answer the question.                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR ZULKOSKY  asked about the  legal requirements  in Alaska                                                               
in  terms of  ensuring  equitable outcomes  for  children in  the                                                               
foster care  system, particularly Alaska Native  children who are                                                               
disproportionately represented in the system.                                                                                   
MS.  BORROMEO   answered  that   the  State   of  Alaska   has  a                                                               
responsibility to all  children in the child  welfare system, not                                                               
just  Alaska Native  children.   She acknowledged  that the  data                                                               
shows there is a disproportionality  issue and said the state has                                                               
big  challenges  in how  it  can  overcome  those hurdles.    She                                                               
explained that  when rural Alaska  Native children are  placed in                                                               
urban,  often  non-Native homes,  it  is  difficult unifying  the                                                               
family.  She stated that  heightened legal obligations for Alaska                                                               
Native children  come from ICWA.   The state has to  go above and                                                               
beyond  when trying  to reunite  an  Indian family,  and to  show                                                               
steps of reunification that not  all children in Alaska have, she                                                               
explained.   She  advised that  ICWA should  be "embraced  as the                                                               
gold  standard  for all  children,  whether  ... Native  or  non-                                                               
CO-CHAIR  ZULKOSKY  asked  if the  disproportionality  of  Alaska                                                               
Native  children in  custody increased  the  state's exposure  to                                                               
potential liability.                                                                                                            
MS. BORROMEO  said she believed  that question was  answered when                                                               
looking  at judgements  that  have resulted  from  the number  of                                                               
Alaska  Native children  in state  custody.   She said  the state                                                               
routinely  settles  OCS  case  for   hundreds  of  thousands  and                                                               
sometimes millions of dollars.                                                                                                  
3:46:29 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  ZULKOSKY  asked  Ms.  Borromeo  how  she  measured  the                                                               
success of the  Compact, what data points to monitor  in terms of                                                               
the success of any state spending,  and if she could speak to any                                                               
any signals  or data to  highlight the  impact of the  Compact in                                                               
MS. BORROMEO  replied that  she measures the  success by  the co-                                                               
signer  list  at  the  annual  negotiation.    She  said  she  is                                                               
protective of  both the  state and  the tribes  when it  comes to                                                               
data points, because [the Compact] is  on the cutting edge of law                                                               
and policy.   She  said trying  to transform  a system  with this                                                               
much disparity is  going to take time.  She  said there will have                                                               
to be an infusion of state resources for the Compact to grow.                                                                   
3:49:03 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  PRAX asked  if the  needed resources  would be  a                                                               
redirection  of resources  from what  the state  is doing  now to                                                               
whatever the tribes would be doing.                                                                                             
MS. BORROMEO  confirmed OCS does not  ask for more money  for the                                                               
Compact, rather it reallocates resources.                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE PRAX asked about the disparity.                                                                                  
MS. BORROMEO answered that the disparity  is due to poverty.  She                                                               
explained that  when families have  trouble clothing  and feeding                                                               
their children, this  can lead to many stressors.   She suggested                                                               
that  until the  state addresses  poverty, it  will pop  up in  a                                                               
number of  situations, like how  many children enter  the state's                                                               
MS. BORROMEO,  in response  to a  question about  sovereignty and                                                               
child custody, said  the children are still in  state custody and                                                               
that the  tribes are not  transferring custody to  tribal welfare                                                               
programs.  She  pointed to the scopes of work  as specific things                                                               
that OCS  does, and said the  tribes are not engaging  in removal                                                               
efforts or placement.                                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE PRAX commented  that it made sense to  him that it                                                               
would  help   outcomes  if  those   helping  the   children  were                                                               
culturally close to the children.   He said he did not understand                                                               
the  custody and  liability aspects  in terms  of sovereignty  as                                                               
opposed to contracting with the state  and asked if he would need                                                               
to read the Compact.                                                                                                            
MS. BORROMEO  agreed that he may  need to read the  Compact.  She                                                               
suggested starting with  the "American Indian Law  in a Nutshell"                                                               
and offered to  send additional reading material.   She explained                                                               
that a  sovereign [entity] cannot  be sued unless it  consents to                                                               
being sued.   She noted  that an  Indian tribe that  is federally                                                               
recognized  does not  have absolute  sovereignty, as  the federal                                                               
government withholds  some immunities.   She said  that liability                                                               
was  a separate  issue  because  Alaska is  a  joint and  several                                                               
liability state,  meaning that if  there are two  actors involved                                                               
in one act, both may be  brought to court if something goes wrong                                                               
because of  the partnership.   She  said if  the state  wanted to                                                               
decrease  its liability  for what  tribes do  on its  behalf, the                                                               
easiest way to do that would be to give the tribes more control.                                                                
3:55:28 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  PRAX asked  if a  child with  one Native  and one                                                               
non-Native  parent  would  fall  under the  jurisdiction  of  the                                                               
MS.  BORROMEO  replied  that  the  child  must  be  eligible  for                                                               
enrollment,  which is  first indicative  of  whether the  child's                                                               
parent  is  enrolled.     She  commented  that   every  tribe  is                                                               
3:56:34 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  MCCARTY  said it  seemed  that  Ms. Borromeo  had                                                               
indicated  that  the  disparity  between  Native  and  non-Native                                                               
children in the child welfare  system was related to poverty, and                                                               
not OCS  choosing Native children  over non-Native children.   He                                                               
asked if his understanding was accurate.                                                                                        
MS. BORROMEO offered her understanding  that he was asking if OCS                                                               
had a bias  of removing Native children  over non-Native children                                                               
and replied that  she didn't believe that was  how OCS approached                                                               
the  work.   But, she  said, when  looking at  the data  one must                                                               
reconcile that there  are some differences.   She reiterated that                                                               
it stems  from poverty, because  a family  not being able  to get                                                               
enough basic essentials for its  children would cause a mandatory                                                               
reporter  to  file  a  report  with OCS.    She  said  there  are                                                               
sometimes cultural conflicts  with OCS and offered  an example of                                                               
multiple  Native children  sleeping in  the same  bed, which  she                                                               
suggested could  be by  choice, rather than  the family  being in                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  MCCARTY  said  he   understood  the  modality  of                                                               
different  cultures.   He  asked  to learn  more  about the  data                                                               
collection,  and whether  there was  a longitudinal  study so  to                                                               
avoid anecdotal data.                                                                                                           
MS. BORROMEO  replied that it  was being done and  accredited the                                                               
Dunleavy Administration  with insisting on  it.  She said  it was                                                               
important  to make  sure the  Compact  was working  and that  the                                                               
resources were spent in the  most efficient manner possible.  She                                                               
noted that  there had been  implementation challenges so  not all                                                               
the scopes are  functioning on "all six cylinders."   She pointed                                                               
out  that just  as many  of  these scopes  were implemented,  the                                                               
world changed rapidly because of COVID-19.                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE  MCCARTY  asked  for  the  timeline  on  the  data                                                               
MS. BORROMEO  replied that that  was a good question,  but better                                                               
answered by OCS.   She said OCS tracks the  number of children in                                                               
state custody and in all  the co-signers' regions, along with how                                                               
many  of the  scopes of  work referrals  had been  made in.   She                                                               
commented that it was a two-part  issue; the state needed to make                                                               
referrals to  the tribes in  all of  the different areas,  and in                                                               
turn once the  tribes received the referrals from  the state, the                                                               
tribes do the work.  She  said there has been difficulty with the                                                               
referrals  going   out,  and  with  the   tribes  declining  some                                                               
4:02:41 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY  asked if the Compact  was also collecting                                                               
data once a child's case had been moved from OCS.                                                                               
MS.  BORROMEO said  that when  a  child is  serviced through  the                                                               
Compact,  OCS  still  maintains  authority  over  the  child  and                                                               
4:03:20 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SPOHNHOLZ referred  to slide  7 which  listed the                                                               
scopes of  work.   She commented that  children were  not leaving                                                               
OCS custody  when a  tribe compacted  the state  of Alaska  to do                                                               
that  work.    She  recognized   that  there  had  been  relevant                                                               
discussion  on  data  collection  and  measurements  against  the                                                               
scopes of work, but then  stated that "a brand-new Mercedes won't                                                               
go anywhere  if you  don't put  fuel in the  car."   She asserted                                                               
that  it was  important  to  make certain  that  the Compact  was                                                               
adequately resourced.   She asked if one full  time child welfare                                                               
coordinator for the state was  enough, or if additional resources                                                               
were needed, and if Ms. Borromeo had any recommendations.                                                                       
MS.  BORROMEO  responded  that one  full-time  employee  was  not                                                               
enough  to perform  all  these scopes,  although  there are  some                                                               
exceptions.    She said  the  vision  is  that the  tribes  could                                                               
shoulder some  of this work  for the state.   In response  to the                                                               
question about the  Compact's needs going forward,  she said more                                                               
funding  was needed.    She  stated that  even  though every  OCS                                                               
individual  in  a  position  of  leadership  contributes  to  the                                                               
Compact, there is only one  dedicated employee who is supposed to                                                               
interface  with  all  18  co-signer  tribes  with  child  welfare                                                               
programs in  varying stages of  development.  In response  to the                                                               
second part of Representative Spohnholz's  question she said more                                                               
resources need  to be infused into  the Compact, and it  may take                                                               
time to  turn data around, being  on the cutting edge  of law and                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE SPOHNHOLZ commented that  the time to implement is                                                               
very important.  She opined  that the legislature has unrealistic                                                               
expectations for change, wanting to  see "massive results" in one                                                               
to two  years, but argued  that that  is not how  systemic change                                                               
works.   She  asserted that  long-term restructuring  takes time;                                                               
the first few  years are "setting the floor," and  from there the                                                               
results will grow.                                                                                                              
4:08:55 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KURKA  noted  that  Ms.  Borromeo  had  mentioned                                                               
tribal  caseworkers  as  having  a different  way  of  evaluating                                                               
regarding cultural  differences.   He asked  if the  rules stayed                                                               
the same for removal of children from the home.                                                                                 
MS. BORROMEO answered that the  baseline rules are the same under                                                               
the Compact  as under  the regular system.   She  emphasized that                                                               
the Compact was  working towards prevention to  keep the children                                                               
from  the OCS  system.   She said  tribes approach  child welfare                                                               
differently  from  the  state,   with  a  more  preventative  and                                                               
holistic focus.   She said  tribes don't want  to step in  when a                                                               
child is  being neglected and  abused, rather the tribes  want to                                                               
be involved as soon as there are stresses on the family.                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE  KURKA referred  to slide  2 and  asked if  Alaska                                                               
Native  children make  up 15  of  the population  of children  in                                                               
Alaska, or of the entire population.                                                                                            
MS. BORROMEO  responded that  Alaska Native  children make  up 15                                                               
percent of the state's child population.                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE  KURKA asked  how Alaska's  disparity ranked  with                                                               
other states.                                                                                                                   
MS.  BORROMEO  said  this  was  generally  reflective  of  Indian                                                               
country.  She said different  states with high Native populations                                                               
such  as Arizona  and  South  Dakota, had  similar  trends.   She                                                               
shared that CFP  is working with tribes outside of  Alaska and is                                                               
closely tracking  the work done in  Alaska so the Compact  can be                                                               
introduced  to other  tribes to  improve different  child welfare                                                               
systems.  She said there is a  lot of attention being paid to the                                                               
Compact on  the national  level by subject  matter experts.   She                                                               
emphasized  that everybody  at the  table has  high expectations,                                                               
because these are children, not just data points and numbers.                                                                   
4:16:11 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR SNYDER  commented that there  are three  different kinds                                                               
of  evaluation in  the public  health context.   The  first is  a                                                               
formative evaluation, which is at the  start of a new program and                                                               
asks about  the design, the  stakeholders involved, and  if there                                                               
was proper roll out, she  explained, verses a process evaluation,                                                               
which looks  at the implementation,  delivery, and if  funds were                                                               
properly applied,  or an impact/outcome evaluation,  which tracks                                                               
changes  in the  various metrics.    She argued  the metrics  can                                                               
sometimes  be  difficult to  capture  when  looking at  long-term                                                               
implications.     She   commented   that   when  thinking   about                                                               
evaluations and OCS,  these questions need to be  asked about OCS                                                               
as a whole, not  just how it relates to the  Compact.  She opined                                                               
that if  the legislature is  going to be asking  those questions,                                                               
it should also be providing  the resources that make [the desired                                                               
results] possible.  She asked Ms.  Borromeo if the Compact was in                                                               
the  realm of  a  formative evaluation,  which  would be  tracked                                                               
differently than what  is being asked of OCS.   She also asked if                                                               
Ms. Borromeo  would amend or  add to her earlier  statements with                                                               
respect  to  necessary  resources  if  it  was  desired  to  make                                                               
evaluation an integral and sustainable part of the effort.                                                                      
MS.  BORROMEO answered  that formative  evaluations  needs to  be                                                               
factored in when  policy makers are thinking  about the resources                                                               
for the Compact.  She said  evaluations are not something she has                                                               
seen any of the OCS leadership  or the tribal co-signers shy away                                                               
from and  noted that tribal  co-signers pass federal audits  on a                                                               
yearly basis  and want to see  "the dial turn."   She opined that                                                               
there is  some pent-up  frustration on  both sides  that progress                                                               
isn't made  fast enough, but  she said  that when on  the cutting                                                               
edge of law and policy  during a pandemic, sometimes expectations                                                               
must be tempered.                                                                                                               
MS. BORROMEO emphasized that at the  end of the day, Alaskans are                                                               
going to pay  for this service.   She said if it is  not going to                                                               
be paid  for in  child welfare,  it will be  paid for  [later] in                                                               
corrections.   She further  argued that that  would be  much more                                                               
expensive, with  lower chances of  rehabilitation.   She reasoned                                                               
that intervening  and putting resources towards  children to make                                                               
them productive members of society  would be in the best interest                                                               
of the entire state.                                                                                                            
4:21:21 PM                                                                                                                    
VIVIAN KORTHUIS,  CEO, Association of Village  Council Presidents                                                               
(AVCP), shared  that she  is Yupik  and a  member of  the Emmonak                                                               
Tribe and read a prepared  statement.  She informed the committee                                                               
members that AVCP is the  largest tribal consortium in the nation                                                               
with 56  federally recognized tribes  as members.  She  said AVCP                                                               
is  located on  the  Yukon-Kuskokwim (Y-K)  Delta, bordering  the                                                               
Yukon River,  the Kuskokwim  River, and the  Bering Sea  Coast in                                                               
Western Alaska.   She  shared that when  giving testimony  to the                                                               
federal government, she described the  region and rural Alaska as                                                               
"extremely rural  America."  She  shared that the AVCP  region is                                                               
about the  same size as the  state of Washington, and  is off the                                                               
Alaska road system,  so the only way to the  region is by flying,                                                               
or during the  summer, by barge.  She  said transportation within                                                               
the region  in the summertime  is by small  plane or boat,  or by                                                               
snowmachine  in   the  winter.     The  region's   population  is                                                               
approximately 26,000 people with a median age of 25.                                                                            
MS.  KORTHUIS   shared  that  the   tribes'  current   top  three                                                               
priorities   are  public   safety,   economic  development,   and                                                               
community wellness.  Ms. Korthuis  opined that community wellness                                                               
happens  when families  are  safe and  healthy.  She stated  that                                                               
children  are  the  most  valuable  members  of  the  family,  so                                                               
protecting  them and  helping  them thrive  is  the tribe's  most                                                               
important  work.     She  said  AVCP  made   the  initial  $5,000                                                               
investment asked  of all  tribal caucus  members to  the Compact,                                                               
even though  AVCP knew it  would not  be able to  transform child                                                               
welfare for that  cost.  She stated that AVCP  understood that it                                                               
would take  hundreds of  thousands of dollars,  as well  as time,                                                               
energy, and commitment.  She stated  that AVCP chose to make this                                                               
investment because its  leaders and elders know that  there is no                                                               
future  without their  children.   She  shared  that tribes  have                                                               
compacted with the federal government  to provide social services                                                               
for  decades through  the Borrough  of Indian  Affairs (BIA)  and                                                               
health services through the Indian  Health Service (IHS) and have                                                               
become experts in  the compacting process, and  she asserted that                                                               
AVCP has  since been  extremely successful  in both  these areas.                                                               
However,  she observed  that compacting  is new  to the  State of                                                               
Alaska, which  has always operated  with grants or  contracts for                                                               
services  when dealing  with  tribes.   She  said  the state  and                                                               
tribal co-signers  are creating a  new process together  with the                                                               
4:27:14 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. KORTHUIS stated that compacting  requires a shift in mindset;                                                               
the state is  not paying an entity to perform  a series of tasks,                                                               
such  as  one  would  pay  an  employee,  instead  the  state  is                                                               
providing resources and funding for  the compacting entity to use                                                               
its  own  service  delivery  model  to  meet  the  needs  of  the                                                               
community.  She said the state  and the tribal co-signers are not                                                               
yet where they  need to be to transform child  welfare in Alaska,                                                               
but she is  confident in the Compact's  implementation with AVCP.                                                               
She said the  tribal caucus has committed  significant staff time                                                               
and resources to get the Compact off the ground.                                                                                
MS. KORTHUIS  said AVCP  is currently  performing four  scopes of                                                               
work  that  would  normally  be  performed by  OCS.    These  are                                                               
diligent  relative searches,  ongoing  relative searches,  safety                                                               
walkthroughs,  and   foster  parent  licensing   assistance,  she                                                               
shared.    She  said  there   are  approximately  475-500  tribal                                                               
children from the  AVPC region in OCS custody.   She said half of                                                               
the  children are  in  homes  or facilities  outside  of the  Y-K                                                               
Delta.   She stressed that this  was a very large  number for the                                                               
region,  equating it  to  the  size of  a  medium  village.   Ms.                                                               
Korthuis stated that  being removed from the home  and parents is                                                               
a  traumatic event  for every  child, even  when keeping  a child                                                               
safe.  She  opined that removing the child from  the comforts and                                                               
familiarity  of  his/her home  and  village  to  a new  city  and                                                               
culture compounds  the trauma.   She said AVCP wants  children to                                                               
stay  in their  communities whenever  possible and  is partnering                                                               
with  OCS because  this can  only  happen when  safe and  willing                                                               
homes  are  identified  and  licensed.     She  noted  that  ICWA                                                               
recognized  that it  is even  better if  a child  is placed  in a                                                               
relative's home.                                                                                                                
MS. KORTHUIS shared  an anecdote where OCS  and AVCP successfully                                                               
worked together to  place a child from Anchorage  in a relative's                                                               
home in a village.   She said it was because  of the Compact that                                                               
there was  a process in place  for OCS to make  the referral, and                                                               
it  also had  the  funding  in place  for  AVCP  to identify  and                                                               
approve a  home.   She pointed  out that  working with  tribes is                                                               
beneficial because the tribes  can leverage additional resources.                                                               
She  offered that  AVCP  works with  foster  families to  provide                                                               
equipment  needed  to  become   licensed  and  provide  childcare                                                               
4:32:56 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. KORTHUIS continued her testimony  and shared that in the past                                                               
four  years, AVCP  had identified  issues  in transforming  child                                                               
welfare through the Compact.   She said the biggest challenge has                                                               
been  implementation and  explained  that cross-training  between                                                               
tribes and  OCS takes  time and  work.   She asserted  that time,                                                               
resources, and funding needed to  be dedicated in order to ensure                                                               
that  the  Compact is  set-up  for  success.   She  said  another                                                               
challenge is  a loss of  momentum and  argued that the  state and                                                               
tribes  needed to  add new  scopes of  work and  expand services.                                                               
She said the  last challenge was consultation and  argued that it                                                               
was essential that  tribes and the state remain on  the same page                                                               
on what is  necessary to transform child welfare.   She said DHSS                                                               
has a  tribal consultation policy that  when followed strengthens                                                               
the  partnerships  between the  state  and  tribes and  leads  to                                                               
better outcomes for children.                                                                                                   
4:35:04 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. KORTHUIS  concluded by reiterating  that the  tribal partners                                                               
were  committed to  Alaskan children.   She  said placing  foster                                                               
children with  family members  in their  Native villages  is what                                                               
AVCP  wants and  why it  is invested  in the  compacting process.                                                               
She  said ACVP  wants parents  to  have the  tools and  resources                                                               
needed  to be  safe, so  their children  are not  removed in  the                                                               
first  place.    She  said  AVCP's  children  are  also  Alaska's                                                               
4:36:46 PM                                                                                                                    
BRITTANY  MADROS,  Tribal  Government Services  Director,  Tanana                                                               
Chiefs Conference (TCC),  shared that TCC is  based in Fairbanks,                                                               
Alaska,  is  one of  the  12  Alaska Native  regional  non-profit                                                               
corporations,  and  is organized  as  Dena'  Nena' Henash,  which                                                               
means "Our  Land Speaks," in  Athabascan.  She said  TCC provides                                                               
services  while  balancing   traditional  Athabascan  and  Alaska                                                               
Native values with  modern demands and works  towards meeting the                                                               
health and social  service needs of roughly  16,000 Alaska Native                                                               
people,  tribal members,  and  beneficiaries  throughout the  TCC                                                               
region,  as  well  as serving  non-Native  community  members  in                                                               
larger hub communities with IHC  hospitals and clinics.  She said                                                               
TCC services  all tribal members  of the 37  federally recognized                                                               
tribes in the TCC region,  and all eligible Alaska Native Indians                                                               
residing in  the Fairbanks  North Star Borough.   She  noted that                                                               
the region covers  a geographic territory the size  of Texas, and                                                               
is  in the  center  of Alaska,  with an  area  of 235,000  square                                                               
miles.   She  said  9  tribes are  located  on  the road  system,                                                               
ranging 1-8  hours from  Fairbanks, and the  other 28  tribes are                                                               
only  accessible  by  bush  plane  when  weather  conditions  are                                                               
viable.   She  said the  37 tribes  are predominately  Athabascan                                                               
Indian with populations  of 75 to 1,500  community members, along                                                               
with a few villages that have 10  members or less.  She said none                                                               
of the tribes  within the region are located within  a borough or                                                               
county  and are  in the  unorganized  borough, the  last of  such                                                               
status in the United States.   She told the committee there are 5                                                               
Village Public Safety Officers (VPSO)s,  although 2 posts vacant,                                                               
that work with 10 State Troopers  to cover the region the region.                                                               
She  explained  that for  the  majority  of Alaska  villages  the                                                               
closest officer is hundreds of  miles away, and response time can                                                               
take up to a  week.  She noted that this  included cases of child                                                               
sexual abuse  and said  it can  take weeks for  an OCS  worker to                                                               
charter in a plane to have a forensic interview.                                                                                
4:41:14 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  MADROS explained  that access  to state  courts is  limited,                                                               
because Alaska's centralized system  places courthouses in larger                                                               
cities.   She  said  TCC has  assisted tribes  in  the region  in                                                               
developing tribal courts  since the early 1980s and  is viewed in                                                               
the  state  as  a  model  for  tribal  court  development.    She                                                               
explained  that TCC  supports the  development through  training,                                                               
technical assistance,  and legal  support when tribal  courts are                                                               
working with the state of Alaska  with either ICWA cases or cases                                                               
that  may  overlap with  different  jurisdictional  issues.   She                                                               
informed the committee  that Alaska tribes are  confirmed to have                                                               
clear civil  jurisdiction, particularly  in the area  of domestic                                                               
relations regarding child matters.                                                                                              
MS.  MADROS said  TCC  decided  to become  a  co-signer with  the                                                               
Compact on  behalf of the  37 federally recognized tribes  in its                                                               
region  because  it  provides technical  support  to  its  tribal                                                               
governments and families  within the region that  are involved in                                                               
the  tribal or  state  justice system.   She  said  the level  of                                                               
support TCC provides to different  tribes and villages depends on                                                               
the  local infrastructure,  and the  ability to  provide services                                                               
locally.   She shared that  social workers, called  Tribal Family                                                               
Youth Specialists (TFYS),  are partly employed by  TCC and partly                                                               
employed  by  the tribal  governments,  meaning  they have  "dual                                                               
supervision."   She  said  TCC also  provides  support in  tribal                                                               
court  facilitation, tribal  foster  care  licensing, and  safety                                                               
evaluation services  for tribally licensed foster  homes, as well                                                               
as provides ICQA advocacy and  representation for tribes on cases                                                               
that are in state court.                                                                                                        
MS. MADROS  explained that  TCC has  began implementing  new data                                                               
tracking  software so  it could  show measurable  outcomes.   She                                                               
shared  that  TCC  has  also  hired  a  Family  First  Prevention                                                               
Specialist,  a  position  specifically  focused  on  preventative                                                               
services  to at-risk  families. She  said that  after the  Family                                                               
First Prevention Act passed, TCC  was excited to see the national                                                               
interest  in  prevention  work  to  provide  support  to  at-risk                                                               
families  before there  is  a crisis.   She  shared  that TCC  is                                                               
reorganizing  its Tribal  Client Services  department to  promote                                                               
family  preservation  and  healing  and  has  been  working  with                                                               
partners  to have  child advocacy  centers for  rural communities                                                               
due to the lengthy investigations on child sexual abuse cases.                                                                  
4:46:42 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. MADROS  said the only  scope under  the contract that  TCC is                                                               
operating on  is initial diligent  relative searches  and ongoing                                                               
diligent relative  searches.   She explained that  it is  a heavy                                                               
workload  for  the   staff  member  who  is   responsible.    The                                                               
organization  is  preparing  to  take  on  the  scope  of  safety                                                               
evaluations.    She  explained that  it  already  performs  these                                                               
services for  Tribally licensed  homes and  hopes to  expand into                                                               
the new capacity.  The organization  is also preparing to work on                                                               
the family  visitation scope, she  shared, but TCC  is struggling                                                               
with spacing  issues.   She explained that  there are  not enough                                                               
buildings with safe spaces to  provide family visitation and safe                                                               
exchanges,  but  TCC is  looking  for  other solutions,  such  as                                                               
specialty  trained caregivers.   The  organization also  hopes to                                                               
begin work with  the licensing assist scope, as  TCC already does                                                               
its own tribal foster care licensing  and would like to have more                                                               
homes  dually licensed  by  both  the tribe  and  the state,  she                                                               
MS. MADROS said TCC has  received staff feedback that there needs                                                               
to be a  better process for taking  on the new scopes,  such as a                                                               
structure, outline,  or checklist.   She stated  that TCC  has an                                                               
innovative  approach  and  only  needs basic  guidelines  with  a                                                               
minimum expectation to  be met.  She said the  processes are long                                                               
to  get TCC  staff under  the Compact  with access  to the  state                                                               
programs that are  needed to fulfill duties.   She reiterated the                                                               
need  for  safe  spaces  in   both  rural  and  urban  areas  for                                                               
supervised family contact, and cited  research that shows contact                                                               
with  family helps  a child  and family's  outcomes and  possible                                                               
reunification.   Regarding staff capacity to  perform the scopes,                                                               
she again noted  that the tribe's one staff  person is completely                                                               
maximized by  one single scope,  but TCC  is trying to  find ways                                                               
for other  staff to do these  duties.  She stressed  that funding                                                               
is  needed to  take on  additional scopes,  even for  tribes with                                                               
more resources.   She argued  that she didn't see  the compacting                                                               
as replacing  an OCS service,  because the services  TCC provides                                                               
are completely different.   She shared anecdotally  that there is                                                               
a difference when services are  provided by a tribal organization                                                               
and commented  that some  tribal members  have trauma  from state                                                               
services.  She  opined that when looking  at measurable outcomes,                                                               
youth are  the state's future,  and she argued that  investing in                                                               
youth  leads  to a  decrease  in  the  state's court  and  prison                                                               
systems and increased education outcomes.                                                                                       
4:54:35 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR ZULKOSKY  asked Ms. Korthuis  and Ms. Madros  what state                                                               
commitment to the Compact would look like.                                                                                      
MS. KORTHUIS  answered that she is  looking to the state  to be a                                                               
partner  in  the Compact.    This  means  not only  defining  the                                                               
framework to  roll out the  Compact, but also defining  the roles                                                               
and responsibilities, she said.  She  also wanted to be sure that                                                               
both  the  tribes and  the  staff  receive appropriate  training,                                                               
along with appropriate policies and funding.                                                                                    
MS. MADROS answered [that state  commitment looks like] coming to                                                               
the table  and understanding  that every  Alaska Native  child is                                                               
also an  Alaska State citizen.   She emphasized that  the Compact                                                               
is just  one more resource for  the state to utilize  for [Alaska                                                               
Native]  families.   She  said  being  available, coming  to  the                                                               
table, and  considering the need  for funding [are what  she asks                                                               
of the partnership with the state].                                                                                             
4:57:45 PM                                                                                                                    
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Health  and  Social  Services   Standing  Committee  meeting  was                                                               
adjourned at 4:58 p.m.                                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
AK Tribal CW Compact - AFN.pdf HHSS 4/6/2021 3:00:00 PM