Tribal Child Support Enforcement Program (CSEP)

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The Tribal Child Support Enforcement Program (CSEP) is dedicated to protecting children on the Nez Perce Reservation through locating custodial and noncustodial parents, determining paternity, establishing child support orders, and enforcing orders. Their mission is to break the cycle of non-support by assuring financial assistance for children. Sabrina worked as a case manager with the Nez Perce Tribal Child Support Enforcement Program. She collaborated with custodial and non-custodial separated couples, other tribes, and state agencies across the United States. After attending an Integration Institute, Sabrina had the goal of educating staff on the Institute and brainstorming ways they could utilize the information to integrate relationship education into their services.

Following the Institute, Sabrina brought together the staff and leadership to share what she had learned. One of the challenges Sabrina thought she might face is that people don't always see the connection between child support and healthy relationship education. However, Sabrina found that once she gave her presentation, the connection between the two was clearer and the staffs’ perception seemed to change as a result of everything Sabrina had learned at the Institute.

The Institutes provide a unique opportunity for collaboration, and Sabrina had the chance to connect with several community partners throughout the day. As a result of attending the Institute, Sabrina connected with a staff member from the University of Idaho Extension Program. Sabrina has since met with a Coordinator at the Extension program to discuss potential collaborations on healthy relationships!

Conduct an informational meeting with other staff, using the Institute’s PowerPoint and Healthy Marriage and Families binder to share the information she had learned.

While at the institute, Sabrina met with a representative of the I-Vision Project (a Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood grantee) which is a program of the Nez Perce Tribe in Lapwai, ID. CSEP was able to collaborate with their program and often refers families to I-Vision for their services and healthy relationship education. Sabrina also met an individual who focuses on adverse childhood experiences from the University of Idaho Extension program, which opened the door to a potential collaboration!

Sabrina found that the flash drive given to her at the Institute (containing the Institute slides, materials, and workbook content) was especially useful in sharing highlights from the day-long training with her staff and leadership.

For child welfare specialists, take extra time to stress the connection between child support and healthy relationship education. Stakeholders don’t always make the connection between child support and healthy relationship education, so it’s important to make it explicit.

Since attending the Institute, Sabrina was able to share healthy relationship education information with her staff and discuss ways to integrate it into CSEP’s current programming. Sabrina was also able to pursue a couple of partnerships as a result of attending the institute.

Sabrina shared the slideshow the Resource Center provided at the Integration Institute to pique the staff’s interest and share information with her team. She shared the Resource Center website and found the “Together We Can” co-parenting curriculum in the library, which the Tribe has since used for separated families.

Since the Institute, Sabrina was able to meet with a Coordinator at the University of Idaho Extension – Sabrina was aware of their work due to her networking at the Institute. Sabrina and the Coordinator collaborated on a Mother’s Day event and Children’s celebration where they provided relationship education to families.