Coordinating Tribal Services

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Martha works for a tribal council that provides support services, including education, workforce development, family preservation, domestic violence prevention services, and substance abuse services, to Alaska Natives and Native Americans living in Alaska. They serve thousands of people annually, striving to help individuals, families, and communities thrive.

Martha is the Director of Child and Family Services for the Tribe. Her goal leaving the Institute was to train staff to facilitate healthy relationship and parenting classes on-site. Immediately following the Institute, Martha shared what she had learned with the Director of their Recovery Services program. They discussed shared goals and the implementation of parenting and healthy relationship education within their programs. They also discussed possible curricula and areas of focus such as parenting in the context of substance abuse treatment. The Recovery Services program has begun to focus more on how relationships, both romantic and familial, impact sobriety. Martha also partnered with a transitional housing program to enhance what the tribal council is doing to help families.

Following all of this, the Child and Family Services department received a grant as part of the Governor’s initiative to reduce violence in communities across the state. Martha helped plan a series of traditional talking circles with elder men and adolescents around issues such as domestic and family violence. The program was well received, and participants gave a lot of positive feedback.

Train staff to facilitate healthy relationship and parenting classes on-site.

One way to incorporate healthy marriage and relationship education is through talking circles.

Partnerships don’t always need to be external. Departments within an agency can create partnerships to enhance the integration of healthy relationship education.

Several months after the institute, Martha and representatives from the Recovery Services program, a city Mental Health Services organization, and the Tribal TANF program met to discuss how they could all coordinate services around parenting and healthy relationship education. They also met with their Chief-of-Operations to discuss the financial impact.

Martha also developed a new partnership with a program that provides families with transitional housing, to enhance what the tribal council is doing to help families. They have created a memorandum of agreement with this program to provide case management services, ensuring that families have stable work and are able to find more permanent housing. 


Integration Institute materials

A city Mental Health Services, another department within the tribal council (Recovery Services), and Tribal TANF