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How County Prosecutors and DCS Together Make a Difference Brady Rossnagle, Tribal Relations Team Manager Department of Social and Health Services Division.

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Presentation on theme: "How County Prosecutors and DCS Together Make a Difference Brady Rossnagle, Tribal Relations Team Manager Department of Social and Health Services Division."— Presentation transcript:

1 How County Prosecutors and DCS Together Make a Difference Brady Rossnagle, Tribal Relations Team Manager Department of Social and Health Services Division of Child Support Denise Delorme, Paralegal Spokane County Prosecutors Office

2 Session Outline Why things are sometimes different if there is a tribal connection on a case. Why you can’t always assume that DCS has researched Tribal information. Early screening for tribal information may save you time in the long run. What can happen if tribal information is not discovered until much later in the process. How you can discover tribal information. What you should do with tribal information once you acquire it. Where you can find tribal resources to assist you. Q & A’s

3 Why are Things Sometimes Different if There is a Tribal Connection? Federal Reasons – Tribal Sovereignty Tribal Sovereignty – Indian Law Indian Law – Treaties Treaties – Case Law Case Law – Federal Child Support Laws Federal Child Support Laws State Reasons – Federally Recognized Tribes of Washington State Federally Recognized Tribes of Washington State – 1989 Centennial Accord 1989 Centennial Accord – DSHS Administrative Policy 7.01 DSHS Administrative Policy 7.01 – RCW 26.25 Cooperative Child Support Agmts RCW 26.25 Cooperative Child Support Agmts

4 What is Tribal Sovereignty? Sovereignty: – The right or power that comes from itself, and no other source, that a government draws upon to govern. Tribal Sovereignty/Self-Governance: – Indian tribes enjoy all inherent powers of self- government except those Congress has specifically removed.

5 What is Indian Law? Encompasses laws created by: – treaties – statutes – executive orders – case law – administrative law Defines the legal and political relationship between the federal government, Indian tribes, state governments and individuals.

6 What does the U.S. Constitution say? Recognizes the governmental status of Indian tribes and creates the basis for the unique federal relationship with them. Four clauses define congressional authority over Indian affairs: Commerce Clause, Treaty Clause, Property Clause, Supremacy Clause (Article 6, Section 2): Four clauses “All treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the U.S., shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby…” Treaties enjoy legal superiority over any conflicting provisions of a state constitution or law.

7 What is a Treaty? “A treaty, including one between the United States and an Indian tribe, is essentially a contract between two sovereign nations.” The U.S. Supreme Court A Treaty is not a grant of rights To a Tribe, but rather a grant of rights From the Tribe to the US government, and a “reservation of rights” not granted. “Reservation of rights” includes the right to: – govern themselves, – their resources, and – their land, as these were inherent rights they already had.

8 Federal Child Support Laws Full Faith & Credit to State and Tribal CS Orders (28 USC 1738B) (28 USC 1738B) States and Tribes may enter into Cooperative C.S. Agreements 42 U.S.C. 654 (33) 42 U.S.C. 654 (33) Tribes may operate Tribal IV-D Programs 45 CFR 309 45 CFR 309

9 WA State 1989 Centennial Accord It is the cornerstone of the formal state/tribal relationship between the State of WA and the federally recognized Indian tribes in the state. “Illustrates the commitment by the parties to implementation of the government-to-government relationship. This relationship respects the sovereign status of the parties, enhances and improves communication between them, and facilitates the resolution of issues.”

10 DSHS Administrative Policy 7.01: Defines the Department’s commitment to consultation with Tribes in planning DSHS services, and ensuring quality and comprehensive service delivery to American Indians in Washington. Requires the appointment of Tribal Liaisons. Requires completion of yearly implementation plans and progress reports.

11 RCW 26.25 – Cooperative Agreements with Indian Tribes Encourages DCS and Indian tribes to enter into cooperative child support agreements. A cooperative agreement is the preferred method for handling tribal cases so that appropriate cases are referred to the Tribe for processing in Tribal Court. Cooperative agreements serve the best interests of the children.

12 Tribal IV-D and TANF Programs IV-D Programs TANF Programs Colville Confederated Tribes Lummi Nation Nooksack Tribe Port Gamble S’Klallam Puyallup Tribe Quinault Nation Tulalip Tribes Start-Up IV-D Program Suquamish Tribe Colville Confederated Tribes Lower Elwha Klallam Lummi Nation Nooksack Tribe Port Gamble S’Klallam Quileute Tribe Quinault Nation SPIPA (S. Puget Intertribal Planning Agency) Spokane Tribe Tulalip Tribes Upper Skagit Tribe Note: Tribes highlighted in Red have both a IV-D and TANF program.


14 WA Tribes Pursuing Tribal IV-D or TANF Programs Tribal IV-D Spokane Skokomish Lower Elwha Klallam Tribal TANF Chehalis Muckleshoot

15 DCS Agreements with Tribes Child Support Agreements – Colville, Kalispel, Lower Elwha Klallam, Nez Perce(ID), Nisqually, Nooksack, Quileute, Quinault, Shoalwater Bay, Stillaguamish, Swinomish, Tulalip, and Upper Skagit Informal Agreements – Informal child support processes exist with numerous tribes Federal Offset Agreements – Colville, Lummi, Nooksack, Quinault, Port Gamble S’Klallam Data Share Agreements – Colville, Lummi, Nooksack, Port Gamble S’Klallam, Puyallup, Quinault, Spokane, SPIPA, Suquamish, Tulalip

16 DCS Policy About Tribal Cases DCS Handbook Chapter 13, Tribal EnforcementChapter 13 13.000 Understanding Tribal Policy – K. What is a DCS Tribal Case? NCP is a member of a federally recognized WA tribe living on or “near a reservation” NCP employed by a tribe, tribal enterprise, or Indian-owned business on a reservation A party included under a coop. child support agreement A party receiving services from a Tribal TANF or IVD program (includes Tribal TANF arrears-only cases) Other Tribal Issues - Consult a DCS Tribal Liaison on cases involving other Tribal issues (Establishment cases & NCP lives on a reservation, child is a member of a WA Tribe, related action being filed in Tribal Court, etc.) 13.005 A. – DCS Tribal Liaisons manage Tribal cases.

17 So, Why are These Federal, State, and Tribal Reasons Important? They explain why it is so critical to correctly identify and work a tribal case:  Tribes are sovereign nations.  The State has a government-to-government relationship with each Tribe.  Tribes have their own laws (codes), policies, court, programs, and services.  Some Tribes have their own IV-D Child Support programs. They establish paternity/child support, and enforce child support.  Some DCS/Tribal Cooperative Agreements allow for the establishment of paternity and child support in Tribal Court.

18 Why Can’t You Assume DCS has Researched for Tribal Information? Referrals  Limited or no tribal information from CP  CSD staff may not have entered all tribal information in ACES  Initial electronic Foster Care referrals from Children’s Administration (CA) often do not contain tribal information. If CA staff later add tribal information into their FamLink computer system, an update is not sent to DCS. Forms and SEMS – Tribal information may not be there or may have been overlooked

19 What is Being Done to Improve Tribal Affiliation Coding on Cases? DCS, CSD, HRSA  Training  Policy improvements  I.T. enhancements  Form improvements Children’s Admin  I.T. work request WAPA  Survey  WAPA Conference training  Website - Add tribal links and information  Manuals (Best Practices, Paralegal Procedures Manual) – Add tribal links and information

20 Pros Screening for Tribal Information  Honors tribal sovereignty and government- to-government commitments.  Will save you time in the long run.  Can prevent negative outcomes that can occur when you discover tribal information much later in the process. Early Screening:

21 How to Discover Tribal Information? Paternity Questionnaire Paternity Interview SEMS – CC, WB, BC, BI, IA, SD, OR, CI, MI ACES – Demographics: Race/Tribal Affil is “597”, Income/Unearned Income/Source: Tribal TANF (“TT”) State referrals and forms (18-632, 14-57, 9-957, 27-053, and others) Tribal referrals, forms, and assignments Correspondence /letters Tribal Court orders Contact a DCS Tribal Liaison Contact Tribe – Common tribal last name, Address on a reservation Contact Jerry Ford, Pierce Co Pros Atty (a great resource for ideas on these matters) Be familiar with Tribes that operate IV-D or TANF programs Be familiar with DCS/ Tribal Cooperative Agreements

22 Paternity Questionnaire or Interview: Tribal Questions Tribal membership of all parties Whether any parties live on an Indian Reservation (if so, which one) Was the child conceived on a reservation (if so, which one) Whether the alleged father works for the Tribe, tribal enterprise, or Indian-Owned business on the reservation Whether the CP or children receive tribal services (i.e. TANF, Indian Child Welfare, Child Support) Whether Indian Health Services (IHS) is available to the children

23 What Should You Do with Tribal Information Once You Acquire it? Contact a DCS Tribal Liaison to determine if you should proceed You can find their contact information by going to the DCS Tribal Relations Internet site at You can find their contact information by going to the DCS Tribal Relations Internet site at

24 Tribal Resources to Assist You Tribal Liaisons DCS Tribal Relations Team Tribal IV-D Program Contacts Tribal TANF Program Contacts Jerry Ford, Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney, 253-798-6519 DCS Handbook – Chapter 13, Tribal Enforcement DCS Tribal Relations Internet Web site

25 Questions for us?

26 For More Information Contact Brady Rossnagle, Manager DCS Tribal Relations Team Dept of Social & Health Services 712 Pear St SE, PO Box 9162 Olympia WA 98507 360-664-5031 Denise Delorme, Paralegal Spokane Co Prosecutor's Office Family Law Department 1026 W. Broadway, 1st Fl. Spokane, WA 99260 509-477-3751

27 THE END… Tribal, Legal, and You: How County Prosecutors and DCS Together Make a Difference

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