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Services > Child Welfare Services

Child Welfare Services

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Providing support and resources to First American families, this program helps strengthen parenting foundations and remove risk factors to prevent child abuse, neglect and trauma. These services are available to any First American parent and child(ren) in order to enhance the overall quality of life of First American families. Offices are located in Ada, Oklahoma City, Ardmore and Purcell.

Services:

Community-based family support services assist and reinforce parents in their role as caregivers with an overarching goal of helping families enhance skills and resolve problems to promote optimal child development. Available services encourage active involvement of the caregivers and other family members to prevent issues that can lead to abuse or neglect.

Programs are focused on the safety, permanence and well-being of children and advocate for family as a vital component to a child’s well-being. Courses assist parents with strengthening their ability to protect and care for their child(ren).

Child Welfare Services also provides:

  • Court advocacy, reunification and treatment plans
  • Referrals for recommended assessments and services
  • Child development education
  • Assistance with CDIB enrollment
  • Assistance with tribal citizenship enrollment
  • Case management services
  • Court advocacy specific to deprived court cases
  • Access to court documentation as necessary

You Provide

  • Birth certificate
  • Social Security card

Eligibility

  • Child(ren) must be a First American and an enrolled citizen or eligible for enrollment
  • Child(ren) removed or at risk of removal from the home and/or parents

Other Information

Related Forms
To obtain the required forms, see contact information. An applicant should know within two weeks if they qualify. Child custody issues will be referred to the proper court for resolution.

What is child abuse?
Child maltreatment is harm (or risk of harm) caused to a child by a parent, caretaker or other person responsible for the child's safety. There are four major types of child maltreatment: neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse and emotional abuse.

Neglect is a failure to provide for the child's basic needs, such as food, clothing, shelter, education, medical care and nurturing. Neglect is the No. 1 cause of child deaths.

Physical abuse is causing physical injury to a child; hitting with a hand or object, kicking, biting, shaking, burning, stabbing, choking, pinching, pulling/pushing/shoving or otherwise harming a child.

Sexual abuse is characterized by inappropriate touch and/or sexualization of a child. Many experts believe sexual abuse is the most underreported form of child maltreatment because of the secrecy that so often characterizes these cases.

Emotional abuse is characterized by acts or omissions by parents or other caregivers that have caused, or could cause, serious behavioral, cognitive, emotional or mental disorders. Examples of emotional abuse include constant criticism, threats, rejection, put-downs, name calling, and withholding love, support or guidance.

What is the Indian Child Welfare Act?

The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) is a federal law passed in 1978. ICWA was passed in response to the alarmingly high number of First American children being removed from their homes by both public and private agencies. The intent of Congress under ICWA was to “protect the best interests of Indian children and to promote the stability and security of Indian tribes and families” (25 U.S.C. § 1902). ICWA sets federal requirements that apply to state child custody proceedings involving a First American child who is a member of, or eligible for membership in, a federally recognized tribe. Child custody proceedings under ICWA include hearings focused on foster care placement, termination of parental rights, adoption and placements related to status offenses. Status offenses are actions committed by a child that if committed by an adult would not be deemed a criminal act, such as truancy from school or being incorrigible.

For a more in-depth guide on the Indian Child Welfare act, please visit the National Indian Child Welfare Association.

Remember the risk factors
Child abuse and neglect occur in all segments of our society, but the risk factors are greater in families where parents:

  • Abuse alcohol or drugs
  • Are isolated from their families or communities
  • Have difficulty controlling their anger or stress
  • Appear uninterested in the care, nourishment or safety of their children
  • Seem to be having serious economic, housing or personal problems

Recognize the warning signs
Some of the warning signs that a child might be abused or neglected include:

  • Nervousness around adults
  • Aggression toward adults or other children
  • Inability to stay awake or to concentrate for extended periods
  • Sudden, dramatic changes in personality or activities
  • Acting out sexually or showing interest in sex that is not appropriate for their age
  • Frequent or unexplained bruises or injuries
  • Low self esteem
  • Poor hygiene
  • Soiling themselves (if they have been potty trained for a period of time)

Report suspected child abuse and neglect
If you suspect child abuse or neglect is occurring, report it ̶ and keep reporting it ̶ until something is done. Contact child protective services in your area or your local law enforcement office. You may also use the Childhelp USA number below for more information on how and where to file a report.

  • Chickasaw Nation Child Welfare Services (580) 272-5550
  • Childhelp USA (800) 4-A-Child
  • Oklahoma Child Abuse Hotline (800) 522-3511
  • Chickasaw Nation Lighthorse Police Department (888) 804-3234
  • Chickasaw Nation District Court (580) 235-0279

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***Some information above taken from the 2003 child abuse prevention community resource packet.

Service Area

Chickasaw Nation Residents

This service is available inside the Chickasaw Nation's boundaries

Contact Information

Phone:
(580) 272-5550

Fax:
(580) 272-5553

Locations

Family Support
810 Colony Drive
Ada, Oklahoma 74820

(580) 272-5550