ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - On Thursday, Gov. Bill Walker signed the Alaska Tribal Child Welfare Compact with Alaska Tribes and Tribal Organizations, at the 51st annual Alaska Federation of Natives Convention.
Gov. Walker signs the Alaska Tribal Child Welfare Compact at the 51st annual AFN Conference. (Photo from the Office of the Governor)
Alaska Native children have been disproportionately represented in the state's foster care system for decades. This compact aims to strengthen the state's child welfare system and reduce "the disproportionate number of Alaska Native children in foster care," according to a press release.
KTUU speaks with Christy Lawton, director of the Office of Children's Services, and Nicole Borromeo, executive vice president and general counsel for AFN, about what the Alaska Tribal Child Welfare Compact will change in the system.
The effective date of the compact will be Dec. 15. So families and children can expect to see some of these changes being implemented "very early in 2018," says Borromeo.
To read the full 2016 - 2020 strategic plan for Transforming Child Welfare Outcomes for Alaska Native Children follow this link.