NCWWI Workforce Excellence Site Overview:


Mandan, Hidatsa, & Arikara Nation Children and Family Services (MHA)

University of North Dakota (UND)

Native American Training Institute (NATI)

NCWWI Workforce Excellence Initiative

The MHA partnership will develop and implement workforce strategies, build internal leadership capacity, identify and implement service innovations, and bolster the tribal child welfare workforce in North Dakota by developing leadership skills, improving workforce recruitment and retention of social work graduates, and aligning university curriculum with tribal priorities around tribal sovereignty, ICWA, cultural awareness, and historical trauma and resilience.

Key Assessment Findings

Strengths include:

  • Strong leadership and committed staff.
  • Tribal partnerships.
  • Community engagement.
  • Tribes’ ability to respond to the needs of their citizens.

Areas for growth include:

  • High levels of staff stress and burnout.
  • Need for strategies to address equity and inclusivity of Native students and faculty.
  • COVID-related stress in the workforce and families.

Implementation Activities

  • Stipends awarded to 4 students who are employees of MHA Family Services to earn their social work degrees at the University of North Dakota, 2 have graduated so far.
  • Implementation Team meets monthly for workforce assessment, planning, and support for Action Team implementation.
  • 2 Action Teams meet regularly to implement workforce development strategies.
  • 6 program leaders completed the Tribal Child Welfare Leadership Academy and participated in monthly individualized professional development coaching.

Strategies Overview

  • Select and deliver program to address secondary traumatic stress and burnout for all staff that is a cultural fit.
  • Develop leadership pathway for MHA graduates.
  • Develop and implement staff performance evaluation and training needs assessment for all staff.
  • Provide licensure support education to all MHA graduates who are preparing to take the social work licensure exam.
  • Partner with the Native American Training Institute to address equity and inclusion of ICWA policy and Qualified Expert Witness (QEW) practice.
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