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Jessica Cejnar Andrews / Wednesday, May 24 @ 4:54 p.m. / Tribal Affairs
Tolowa Dee-ni' Nation Councilwoman Serves on Administration for Children and Families' Tribal Advisroy Committee
From the Tolowa Dee-ni' Nation:
Councilwoman Dorothy Wait has been chosen to serve on the Administration for Children and Families’ (ACF) Tribal Advisory Committee (TAC/Committee).
The ACF TAC’s purpose is to strengthen the government-to-government relationships and provide advice on opportunities; ensuring that ACF programs benefit American Indians and Alaska Natives. Councilwoman Wait was selected to serve as the primary delegate for California. Her term of service began in April and ends in December, 2025.
The ACF TAC holds six meetings per year that include three in-person or virtual meetings for approximately 2 days each and three virtual meetings for 1.5 hours each. ACF will support Councilwoman Wait's per diem and travel expenses to attend in-person meetings in accordance with standard Government Travel Regulations.
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) was created on April 15, 1991, following the merger of the Office of Human Development Services, the Family Support Administration, and the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant Program. ACF is one of 12 operating divisions of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and oversees programs to address the needs, strengths, and abilities of communities—including tribal communities. ACF is comprised of 19 offices, including the Office of Regional Operations, which represents 10 regional offices around the country, that provide funding, grants support, and work with state, tribal, and local agencies and other non- profit organizations.
Tolowa Dee-ni' Nation Tribal Council Chairperson, Jeri Lynn Thompson wrote, "Dorothy's contributions to Tolowa Dee-ni' Nation and our Family Wellness Department, and by extension Indian families overall, are unmatched. Her contributions include securing more than seven million dollars of competitive grant funds as well as establishing and maintaining block grant programs such as Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) and Family Violence Preventions Services Act (FVPSA) funds. Dorothy was also the leader and essential driver to Tolowa Dee-ni' Nation becoming the first Tribe in California to receive approval for federally funded, direct Title IV-e child and family services."
The ACF TAC approved the following priorities and is currently working on their strategic plan.
PRIORITY AREA 1: The ACF/Tribal Relationship
1. Establish tribal priorities for specific ACF programs
2. Identify and leverage regional ACF opportunities
3. Collaborate with other HHS Tribal Advisory Committees to advocate for tribes within HHS
4. Develop a tribal engagement strategy for ACF
5. Initiate outreach to Native communities about ACF’s programs
PRIORITY AREA 2: Funding Opportunities
1. Increase ACF funding to Native American communities
2. Develop recommendations to address fiscal issues impacting tribal recipients
3. Improve technical assistance to lower-capacity tribes/underserved Native American communities to enhance their competitiveness for ACF funding opportunities
4. Improve coordination of ACF resources for tribes/Native American Communities
PRIORITY AREA 3: Economic Development
1. Assess for Administration initiatives related to economic development
2. Identify potential collaborations among federal programs that support economic development
3. Hold a tribal economic development summit to inform federal and tribal programs
4. Establish a collaborative federal demonstration pilot on tribal economic development
PRIORITY AREA 4: Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons
1. Ensure implementation of the ACF Framework on Missing and Murdered Native Americans
2. Establishing an ACF Implementation Strategy for the Framework
3. Establish ACF, HHS, and external partnerships to advance the Framework
4. Monitor and assess progress on the Framework
PRIORITY AREA 5: Tribal Flexibility
1. Identify areas of flexibility within existing ACF programs for program consideration
2. Identify areas for potential 477 expansion for ACF consideration
3. Hold two ACF events on Tribal self-governance (a roundtable with senior ACF officials and TAC delegates and a Consultation Session focused on self-governance at ACF)
4. Complete an analysis on the viability of tribal self-governance at ACF
5. Identify an ACF self-governance demonstration pilot
PRIORITY AREA 6: Indian Child Welfare
Ms. Wait is a great choice for the ACF TAC California delegate as she has a long-standing history of championing Tribal families with both programs and policy development. We look forward to seeing the important collaborative work with Council Wait's presence on the Committee, aiming to improve the wellbeing of all tribal communities.