I: Tribal Court Operations
1. Authority and Relation to Unwritten Tribal Law
SECTION 1. Authority and Relation to Unwritten Tribal Law
The intent of the following Ordinances are not meant to undermine or eliminate unwritten laws and customs of the Tribe. Unwritten Traditional law has always been in place and the following written law will not replace the application of unwritten traditional law. The Curyung Tribe will continue to value and implement the knowledge of those customs and beliefs that cannot be written. Unwritten Traditional law shall be the highest form of law that the Tribe shall abide. In any written law conflicts with unwritten law, Traditional law shall prevail.
1. In the Curyung
Tribe’s Indian Country; and/or
The Ordinances shall generally be interpreted as civil in nature and any violations shall not be interpreted as a criminal offense unless specifically provided by them.
If any provision of these Ordinances, or their application to any person or legal entity or circumstances, is held invalid, the remainder of the Ordinances, or the application of the provision to other persons or legal entities or circumstances, shall not be affected.
The unwritten custom law of the Curyung Tribe shall remain in place and shall not be infringed upon by this Judicial Code.
COUNCIL - Page 3
Section 1. Generally Accepted Procedure
NOTIFICATION: After an Ordinance proposal is made to the Tribal Council, the Council shall set a time for the proposal to be discussed. The Council shall make the proposal available to Tribal members and shall post notice of when and where the discussion about the proposal will take place. The notice shall be posted at least 1 week prior to the meeting in the Curyung Tribal main office notice board under “Tribal Notices”.
OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK: All meetings in which ordinance proposals are discussed, and/or voted on, shall be open to the general Tribal membership. Tribal members shall have the opportunity to speak as directed by the Curyung Tribal Chief. If an ordinance is adopted or amended, the Tribal Council shall make copies available to Tribal members.
ADOPTION OF PROPOSAL: Ordinances shall be adopted, amended or repealed by resolution or certification. An affirmative vote by a majority of those Tribal Council members in attendance at a regular meeting is necessary to adopt, amend or repeal ordinances. Ordinances shall be put to a referendum vote of the Curyung Tribal members of the Curyung Tribal Constitution or the Curyung Tribal judicial code so specifies. The Tribal Council has the option of call a referendum vote on ordinance proposals even if it is not specifically called for, if supported by a majority of those Tribal Council members in attendance at a regular meeting. Upon adoption, the ordinance resolution or certification shall be signed and dated by the Tribal Chief and attested to by the 3rd Chief.
COUNCIL - Page 4
SECTION 1. Purpose
Curyung Tribal Court Judges, Court staff and appointed Court representatives are leaders and represent the Curyung Tribe. As such, these Tribal Court officials and Court representatives are role models for the Tribal membership. The purpose of this Chapter is to promote responsible leadership. All Tribal Judges and Court representatives shall follow the following guidelines. Tribal Judges and Court representatives who violate these guidelines may be subject to repaying of per diem/meeting fees or other reimbursement, and or removal from their position from the Court. Removal shall be reserved for the most habitual and/or most serious situations.
“I, _____________________________, do solemnly swear and affirm that I will not discuss the proceedings of this case outside of the chambers of the Elayne Ingram Honorary Courtroom. I shall maintain respect due the Curyung Tribal Court by striving for fairness and impartiality in the Tribal Court proceedings that comes before me.”
Violators of this oath may be subject to removal of their position, and/or contempt of court.
COUNCIL - Page 6
Section 1. Civil Rights
The Curyung Tribe shall provide all persons within its jurisdiction the rights guaranteed by the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968, as amended. In summary, the Tribal Government shall:
1. Not prohibit the free exercise of speech, press, religion, or rights of the people to assemble peacefully or file grievances against the Tribal Government.
2. Not allow unreasonable search and seizure or issue search warrants without probable cause.
3. Not try anyone for the same offense twice.
4. Not make any person testify against him/her self in a criminal matter.
5. Not take private property for public use without paying the owner the fair market value.
6. Not deny a person the right to a speedy trial. A speedy trial is generally assumed to be a trial within 90 days or less. The accused person must be informed of the nature of the offense he is accused of, told about any witnesses against them, be allowed to have witnesses testify and be allowed a lawyer at their own expense.
7. Not impose excessive bail or fines, nor impose cruel or unusual punishments. The Tribal Court cannot impose a penalty greater than $5,000 or one year in jail, or both for any one offense.
8. Give all persons equal protection under Tribal laws.
9. Not pronounce anyone guilty of a crime or civil violation without a fair trial. The Tribal Council shall not pass an ordinance and charge a person with a violation of that ordinance or change penalties, after an incident. (Ex Post Facto)
10. Provide anyone accused of an offense punishable by jail time the right to a trial jury of no less than six persons.
SECTION 3. Jurisdiction
A judging panel will consist of a minimum of two (2) and no more than
three (3) judges.
COUNCIL - Page 11
B. Community Work: The work sentences shall benefit the elders, Tribal members- individually or as a whole, the victim of an offense, or the youth. Tribal Court Judges shall not order work sentences that only benefit themselves personally or other Tribal government officials. Work sentences shall not displace persons employed in the community or employment opportunities. Work sentences shall be completed within 30 days unless otherwise directed by the Court.
Persons have the option of work sentences instead of paying a fine only if the Court specifically permits it. Community work shall contribute $10.00 per hour towards fines ordered by the Curyung Tribal Court.
C. Traditional Activities: The Curyung Tribal Court may order a person found in violation of an ordinance to participate in seasonally appropriate traditional activities such as fish camps, trapping, hunting, spirit camps, and other tribally sponsored or approved traditional activities.
D. Drug and Alcohol Treatment and Other Counseling: The Tribal Court has the authority to order an assessment for drug and alcohol treatment and a requirement that the recommendations of the assessment be met, and other personal counseling as a sentence or as part of a sentence. The Tribal Court shall consider the cost to the person and possible waiting periods for getting in to treatment in ordering such treatment.
E. Restitution: The Tribal Court has the authority to order the defendant to pay restitution to his or her victims. Such payment shall go through the Curyung Tribal Court Clerk.
F. Confiscating Personal Property: The Tribal Court may seize a person’s personal property if that person is found in contempt of court by the Curyung Tribal Court, for not doing what the Curyung Court has ordered. The property shall remain confiscated and under the care of the satisfaction of the Curyung Tribal Court. If the person does not comply with the Court Order within a reasonable length of time, the Curyung Tribal Court may sell the confiscated property after providing notice of the proposed sale to the person.
G. Banishment: An Order of permanent or temporary banishment shall only be used to protect the Tribe and/or Tribal members from harm. Before banishments may be ordered, the person shall be given a Citation and a Notice to Appear in Tribal Court. A hearing shall be held that provides the person an opportunity to speak either in person or telephonically. The Curyung Tribal Court shall notify the surrounding villages when banishment orders are issued by the Court.
A. Complaints – Violations of Ordinances: A case involving a violation of Curyung Tribal Ordinances is started by filing a written Complaint with the Tribal Court Clerk. Upon acceptance of the Complaint, a copy of the Complaint shall be given or mailed by the Court Clerk to the person who is being charged with the violation. If the Complaint is personally delivered, a proof of service shall be filed with the Tribal Court. If the Complaint is mailed, it shall be done by certified, return receipt mail and a proof of service file in the case record. The person who is being held responsible for the violation of the ordinance shall be called the Defendant. The complaint ant shall be referred to as the Plaintiff.
B. Petition to Use the Tribal Court – Other Matters: All cases other than those involving a violation of tribal ordinances shall be started by filing a Petition to use the Tribal Court by persons who wish to use the Tribal Court for some specific reason. The person filing the Petition shall be called the Petitioner. The Petitioner shall briefly state the reason why he or she wants to use the Tribal Court. The Tribal Court may charge fees to use the Tribal Court in these cases. Fees shall be charged equally for similar types of cases. If the Petitioner want the Tribal Court to resolve a dispute or problem involving some other entity or person, that entity or person shall be called the Respondent. A copy of the Petition shall be given to each Respondent by the Tribal Court Clerk or by some other person designated by the Tribal Court. A proof of service shall be filed with the Court.
C. Proof of Service: Written proof that a Defendant or Respondent was given a Complaint or Petition, and a Notice to Appear in Tribal Court is called Proof of Service. Proof that a Defendant or Respondent was given a Complaint or Petition, and a Notice to Appear in Tribal Court shall be made by filing a Statement of Mailing with a return receipt attached, or by Statement of Personal Service. Costs involved in serving these papers shall be paid by a Petitioner in cases beginning with a Petition to use Tribal Court, and by the Complaint ant in cases beginning with a Complaint.
B. Code of Honor: All persons testifying in the Curyung Tribal Court are expected to tell the truth. If the Tribal Court has proof that a person violated this trust, the Court may hold the person in Contempt of Court.
C. Hearings when a case involves a Complaint: In cases where a Complaint has been filed against a Defendant charging that he or she violated a tribal ordinance, a hearing shall be held within 60 days after Notice has been given to the Defendant, unless the Court determines there is good cause to hold the hearing at a later date. At this hearing, the Presiding Judge shall open the hearing and shall read the pleas to the Defendant in Court on the record, and shall make sure the Defendant understands the pleas. If an interpreter is needed to understand the proceedings, is shall be the responsibility of the Complaint ant to pay for any associated interpreter fees. The Defendant shall state his/her plea for the record. If the Defendant pleads guilty or no contest, the Tribal Court may either sentence the person or set a date for sentencing. If the Defendant pleads not guilty, the hearing shall be held at this time unless the Tribal Court finds good cause to delay the proceedings. At the hearing, the Plaintiff shall make a statement to the Court, and shall present any other evidence or witnesses to the Court. The Defendant may make a statement to the Tribal Court and may present other witnesses and evidence to the Court. Each party shall be entitled to question the other party’s witnesses.
D. Hearings in cases involving a Petition to Use the Tribal Court: A hearing shall be set by the Tribal Court when a Petitioner requests the Tribal Court to settle a dispute or to perform an undisputed activity such as a marriage or uncontested adoption, through filing a Petition to Use the Tribal Court. The hearing shall be held no more than 60 days after the Respondent was served with the petition, unless the Tribal Court determines there is good cause to hold the hearing at a later date. At the hearing, the Petitioner shall make a statement to the Court saying what he/she wants the Court to do. The Petitioner may present witnesses on his/her behalf on his/her behalf and may present other evidence to the Court. The Respondent may make a statement to the Court saying what he/she wants the Court to do. The Respondent may present witnesses on his/her behalf and may present other evidence to the Court. Each party shall be permitted to question the other party’s witnesses and shall be responsible for the expenses of their own witnesses. Tribal Judges may question all witnesses throughout the proceedings.
E. Hearings involving emergency matters: Emergencies involve matters where harm or damage to a person or property could occur if the Tribal Court had to wait. In cases of emergencies, the Court may hold a hearing as soon as proof of imminent harm is provided to the Court. Orders issued during emergency hearings shall be written and of limited duration and stand only until a regular hearing is held.
F. Changing the time of a hearing: If the Tribal Court changes the time of a hearing for any reason, the involved parties shall be given reasonable notice of the change.
G. Failure to show for a hearing: If a Defendant has been served with a Complaint and has been notified about the hearing, but fails to show up at the hearing without a compelling reason, the Curyung Tribal Court may proceed to hold the hearing and make a decision in the absence of the person, or the Court may set another hearing date.
H. Recesses: The Tribal Court may recess and reconvene during the hearing at the Judges discretion.
I. Records of hearings: The Tribal Court shall keep a record of all cases consisting of a tape recording of all hearings, a copy of all documents filed with the Court, and all Orders entered by the Court.
J. Decision-Making: After both sides have presented their cases, the Judges may ask everyone to leave while the Court considers the case and reviews any evidence presented. If the Defendant pleads guilty, no contest, or is found guilty of a violation, the Court may either sentence the person immediately or set another hearing for a later date to sentence the person. The decision shall be by consensus. The Court shall issue a written Order of its decision.
K. Sentencing circles: Instead of the Judges issuing a sentence, the Tribal Court may choose to design a Sentencing Circle, and send a case to the Circle. The Presiding Officer shall be the peacekeeper of the Circle. If the Circle fails to come up with a consensus plan for a case that has been referred to it, the case shall be sent back to the Tribal Court to render a decision.
L. Confidentiality: All cases and hearings shall be confidential. Hearings involving adults may be open to the Tribal membership if the parties and the Court agree. Unless a case is appealed to the Curyung Tribal Appellate Court, only the Tribal Court Judges and the Court Clerk shall have access to the Court records without further Order of the Court. The Curyung Tribal Appellate Court shall have access to all records involving cases that are appealed and which they are considering.
B. Evidence by Subpoena: The Curyung Tribal Court may Order evidence to be brought before the Court by issuing a Subpoena.
C. Affidavits: The Curyung Tribal Court may accept sworn, notarized, Affidavits as evidence in cases if the witness(es) are not available to testify.
B. Time frame for complying with Orders: For cases involving a Complaint, all sentences shall be accomplished within 60 days after the Defendant has been notified of the Order unless the Court provides for otherwise. For cases involving a Petition to use the Tribal Court, the Order shall specify the time frame in which actions shall occur.
C. Default orders: If a party fails to appear at a hearing after being properly notified of the hearing, the Tribal Court may decide the case and issue an Order in his/her absence, after reviewing the Complaint or Petition and hearing from witnesses and/or examining other evidence in the case.
D. Request to Change an Order: After an Order has been given, the person(s) receiving the Order may request a change in the Order by filing a Request to Change an Order form with the Court. The request shall state the reason the person believes a change should be made. The requesting person shall present new evidence to the Court to support the request. The Court may deny the request, or set a hearing date.
E. Proof of Compliance with the Order: Records of proof of compliance with Orders of the Tribal Court shall be kept by the Tribal Court Clerk, or the Court’s designee, in the Court files. If a party is ordered to so something, proof that the action has been taken shall be supplied to the Court Clerk and certified by the Clerk within 14 days of completion of the act unless otherwise specified by the Court Order. Payment of a fine to the Tribal Court Clerk and a recording of the payment shall be proof in itself of payment. Restitution Ordered to another party shall be made through the Clerk of the Tribal Court and proof that the restitution has been completed shall be certified by the Clerk within 14 days of completion of restitution. The Court Clerk shall report any failures to comply with Tribal Court Order to the Court. Failure to comply with an Order of the Court shall be considered contempt of court as described in Section 7 of this Chapter.
B. Court Costs: The Curyung Tribal Court may charge fees to use the Tribal Court. Such fees shall be equal for equal types of cases, and shall be made known to the Petitioner before disputes and other matters are heard.
C. Payment of Fines or Fees: Fines or fees shall be paid in case, or by check or money order. Checks or money orders shall be made out to the Curyung Tribal Court. Payments of fines and/or fees shall be deposited into the Curyung Tribal Court bank account and used solely for the Court’s operations.
COUNCIL - Page 19
SECTION 1. Purpose
The Curyung Tribal Court of Appeals is hereby established to assure a fair judicial process within the Curyung Tribal Government system. The purpose of the Curyung Tribal Court of Appeals is to not re-hear cases, but to review cases that are appealed for possible inconsistent application of tribal law and/or violations of fundamental fairness. The Curyung Tribal Court of Appeals shall only take a case after reviewing records on the case from the Curyung Tribal Court, reviewing the “Appeal”, and making a preliminary determination that there is sufficient evidence that there may have been an inconsistent application of tribal law or a violation of fundamental fairness.
SECTION 4. Beginning an Appeal
SECTION 5. Appeal
a Case: The Court Clerk shall notify the Curyung Tribal Council that an
Appeal has been filed. The Court Clerk shall make copies of the Tribal
Court records of the case and the Appeal for the Court of Appeals. The
Court of Appeals shall review these materials during the next regularly
scheduled monthly meeting to determine if there is sufficient evidence
that tribal law may have been inconsistently applied and/or there may
have been a violation of fundamental fairness. If the Court of Appeals
decides that there is not sufficient evidence, the decision of the Curyung
Tribal Court will be upheld, and no Appeals hearing will be scheduled.
COUNCIL - Page 22
SECTION 1. Intertribal, State, Federal & Private Party Agreements
COUNCIL - Page 23
SECTION 1. Purpose
The intention of this Title is to promote the health, safety, and welfare of the most valuable resource of the Curyung Tribe, its people. The welfare of children is of the foremost importance. Children must receive the care and guidance necessary to allow them to become healthy, content and productive members of Curyung Tribe and society in general.
SECTION 2. Authority and Jurisdiction
JURISDICTION: CHILDREN’S MATTERS
Once the Curyung Tribal Court exercises its authority in any child’s
case under this Title, the Curyung Tribal Court gains exclusive authority
over all stages of the case as a matter of Tribal law until the case is
dismissed or concluded, or until the Tribal Court gives authority to another
government or another Court by order of the Tribal Court.
SECTION 3. Best Interest of the Children
In cases involving minor children, the Curyung Tribal Court shall consider the best interest of the child in all Court decisions. In determining what is in the best interest of the child, the Court shall consider the following factors:
1. The child’s
wishes if he/she is old enough and understands what the proceedings mean;
SECTION 1. Child Protection Confidentiality
SECTION 4. Rights and Best Interest of the Child
SECTION 5. Starting a Child Protection Case
6. Contents of Child Protection Petition
1. The name, address
and age of the child; and
SECTION 7. Emergency Custody
SECTION 8. Temp. Custody Hearing after Emer. Custody Has Been Taken
The purpose of the review hearing is to determine whether the child should continue to remain a ward of the Tribal Court, or if any conditions of the legal custody should be modified or added. A review hearing shall be held before the Tribe’s custody expires according to the order. After making a decision based upon the child’s best interests, the Tribal Court shall state its decision in a new order.
SECTION 2. Contents of Child Custody Petition
1. A party or parties
be given legal and physical custody of a child; or
B. The Tribal Court may also Order a parent to pay child support to the child’s custodian, and may take into account the parent’s ability to contribute in cash or in goods, and also the child’s needs.
If the parental rights are not terminated, the continued custody of the
child by the parent is likely to result in serious emotional or physical
damage to the child; or
The name, address and age of the child(ren); and
If after reviewing the petition, scheduling and holding a hearing, the Tribal Court finds that the conditions necessary to terminate parental rights exist, it shall issue an order terminating parental rights in whole or in part, depending on what is in the best interest of the child(ren). If those conditions exist, the Tribal Court must find, beyond a certainty, that it is in the best interest of the child(ren) to do so. If the Tribal Court finds that the conditions necessary to terminate parental rights do not exist, it shall dismiss the case.
It is given in the presence of the Tribal Court or to a designated representative
of the Tribal Court; and
The name(s), address(es) and age(s) of the child(ren) to be adopted; and
The biological parent(s) have consented to the adoption or have had their
parental rights terminated in Tribal Court or the Court of any other jurisdiction
or are unavailable to consent to the adoption; and
CURYUNG TRIBAL COUNCIL
CURYUNG TRIBAL COUNCIL
1. Where the Tribal
Court finds that it has jurisdiction to dissolve a marriage, but lacks
jurisdiction to adjudicate property rights, it may issue such an order
and proceed accordingly.
1. The marriage
was the result of fraud or duress; or
Section 1. Order of Name Change
1. Policy, Purpose and Enforcement
Reporting abuse or neglect to the Tribal Court;
ENFORCEMENT: The Curyung Tribal Court shall be the primary enforcer of this Chapter, provided that the Curyung Tribal Court may enter into agreements with other courts of competent jurisdiction for enforcement when circumstances warrant such cooperation.
The Elder’s family or caretaker;
The name of the reporter; and
INVESTIGATION: Investigators, who are appointed by the Curyung Tribal Court, shall gather information and file a report with the Tribal Court containing the following information:
1. The Elder’s
name, address or location, and telephone number; and
NOTICE OF HEARING: Notice and hearing procedures shall be the same for suspected Elder abuse cases as they are for other Curyung Tribal Court cases.
VOLUNTARY PLACEMENTS AND PROTECTIVE SERVICES: Protective services or placements may be provided on a voluntary basis by the Curyung Tribal Court when requested by any abuse Elder and the Tribal Court finds the Elder to be in need of such services or placement. The Tribal Court shall act on such petitions within 10 days. These services or placements shall be provided in the manner least restrictive to the Elder’s liberty and rights consistent with the Elder’s welfare and needs. Such services and placements shall be provided subject to available funding and resources and only as determined necessary by the Curyung Tribal Council. The Tribal Council shall develop a written plan for the delivery of Elder protection services.
INVOLUNTARY PROTECTIVE PLACEMENT/SERVICES: Upon an order of the Curyung Tribal Court, involuntary protective services or placement shall be provided to any Elder who is incapacitated or who is abused.
Is at risk of immediate physical harm; or
The emergency protective order shall be issued for a maximum of 30 days and shall specify the emergency services to be provided, by whom the services shall be provided and any other relevant information to the existing emergency.
The Curyung Tribal Court may authorize a forcible entry to enforce the emergency protective order after attempts to gain voluntary access to the Elder have failed.
An Elder, the Elder’s
Family, or caretaker may refuse to allow an investigator into their home.
In this situation, the investigator may seek a warrant for forcible entry
before entering the home.
The Elder, Elder’s family and caretaker have the right, at their own expense, to seek independent medical, psychological, or psychiatric evaluation of the Elder. These records shall be released to the Curyung Tribal Court if the Elder or caretaker wants the Tribal Court to consider such evaluations.
CURYUNG TRIBAL COUNCIL
1. Application of Tribal Laws to Juveniles
Section 1. Family Qualifications
Section 2. Safety Checks
Section 3. Personal Qualifications
Section 4. Health Qualifications
Section 5. Duty to Cooperate With the Tribe, the State, and the Birth Parents for Chidren in State Custody
Section 6. Confidentiality
Section 7. Care and Development of the Child
Section 8. Other Activities
Section 9. Education
Section 10. Home Environment, Health and Safety
Section 11. Transportation Safety
Section 12. Termination, Suspension and Revocation of License
Section 13. Training
Section 14. Variances and Waivers
Section 15. Civil Rights
Section 16. Amendments
B) During and after licensure, foster families shall keep the Tribe informed of any changes in their status, including employment, names and number of children and adults living in the home, and how long they’re going to stay if the adults are living there temporarily, and any change of address or telephone number.
C) Applicants shall provide the Tribe with the following information:
1) Name, sex, address, birth date, tribal identification number, social security number (optional), and driver’s license number (where possible) of applicants and all persons residing in the home, including the children of the foster parents old enough to drive a motor vehicle.
2) Proposed number, sex and age of foster children to be served.
3) Names and addresses of at least four persons, three of whom are unrelated, who have known the applicant(s) for two years or more and who can attest to their character and ability to care for children. The Tribe may contact schools, employers, adult children, and other sources for references.
4) A statement as to whether the applicants have ever operated or currently are operating a licensed/certified care facility or foster home for children or adults, and reasons for any termination of such license or certification.
5) Reports or where not available a statement of the applicants of all criminal or juvenile delinquency charges for all persons living in the home, including all employees, volunteers and minor children.
6) Reports or where not available a statement of the applicants of all allegations of child abuse and neglect, with dates and locations and resolution of those allegations for all persons living in the home, including all employees and volunteers.
7) A statement demonstrating that the applicants generate an income sufficient to meet the needs and ensure the stability and financial security of the family, independent of any foster care maintenance payment.
8) Documentation of all child support obligations in any state, whether the obligor is current with payments or in arrears, and whether any applicant’s/ foster parent’s wages are being attached or garnished for any reason.
D) Verification that at least one foster parent in the home is 18 years of age or older.
E) Within 10 days of a request for home licensure, the Tribe shall advise the applicant of the information and supporting material required to support the application.
F) Within 45 days of receiving all requested material, the Tribe shall approve or deny the request for licensure or request additional material in support of the application.
G) If the Tribe requests additional information, then it shall approve or deny the licensure within 30 days of receiving the requested information.
H) Any denial shall be accompanied by a concise statement of the grounds for denial.
I) The Tribe will not issue a license if the prospective foster parents falsify (including by acts of omission) the application or supporting documents. The Tribe may act to revoke a license if falsification is discovered after licensure, or if foster parents fail to inform the Tribe of any disqualifying condition that arises after licensure.
J) The Tribe will not issue or renew a license if any safety rule or other standard required by the Tribe is not met.
K) The Tribe will issue a provisional license for one year to a new applicant when all required documentation has been received and all applicable standards have been assessed as being met. A license will not be issued to an applicant before all standards have been reviewed with the applicant and the applicant agrees to comply with all standards when the foster home license is issued. A license will not be issued until the required background checks for the applicant(s) and household members have been completed and show no evidence of criminal or other history, that would prohibit the home from being licensed to provide foster care.
L) Before the end of the first year of licensure the Tribe will assess compliance with licensing standards. If the foster home meets all requirements, the Tribe will issue a Biennial Foster Home license that will be in effect for two years.
M) Before the expiration of a Biennial license the Tribe will reassess compliance with all licensing standards. If the foster home is in compliance with the standards, the Tribe will renew the Biennial license for another two years.
SECTION 2. Safety Checks
1) Prospective foster parents and members of the household age 16 years and older shall consent to a criminal record check and will provide finger prints for the purpose of state and federal criminal records checks. No license will be issued until the results of these checks have been received and the Tribe has determined none of the individuals has a criminal history that would prohibit him/her from being a foster parent or household member in a licensed foster home.
2) The Tribe will require that any employee or volunteer in a foster home or any individual living in a part of the foster home where the individual would have direct access to children in care, meet the background requirements for foster parents described in these standards. Employees, volunteers and individuals residing in a facility where they would have direct access to children in care, will give the Tribe permission to check CPS history and criminal background by providing the Tribe with a “release of information” and fingerprint cards.
3) The minimum standards of character that are to be prescribed under this section shall ensure that none of the foster parents or other adults, age 16 and older, shall have been found guilty of, or entered a plea of nolo contendre or guilty to, any offense under Federal, State, or tribal law involving crimes of violence; sexual assault, molestation, exploitation, arson, involving an imitation controlled substance or a controlled substance, contact or prostitution; or crimes against persons.
4) The Tribe shall consider all information obtained through the criminal history checks including charges by complaint, indictments, arrests, and investigations of a serious criminal offense when issuing, renewing, denying or revoking a license.
5) In accordance with the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) and State law, the Tribe shall not issue or renew a license if a member of the household has been:
a) Convicted of committing, or attempting to commit, solicitation, or conspiracy to commit any of the following crimes or crimes of similar nature in any jurisdiction.
b) For child abuse or neglect,
c) Domestic violence,
f) A crime against the person and is a felony, except for a crime committed under AS 11.41.200-11.41.220 or 11.41.260,
g) A crime that is a felony and involves a victim who was a child under age 18 years of age at the time of the conduct, including a crime where the perpetrator was a person responsible for the child’s welfare;
h) Crimes against children (including child pornography),
i) A crime involving violence, including rape, sexual assault, or homicide, but not including other physical assault or battery. (Taken from ASFA) Example might include two males fighting
6) After a five-year period since the conviction of the crimes of either a felony physical assault, battery, or a drug related offense the Tribe may review and consider the circumstances surrounding the crime and conviction; the probability of committing future offenses; of rehabilitation (including counseling, therapy, and education); and the relationship between the offense and the ability to be a foster parent in making a licensing decision.
B) Child Protective Services (CPS) Background Checks
1) Tribal Licensing Workers will obtain a “release of information” from the licensing applicant(s) and all household members age 16 and older, giving the Tribe permission to submit the individual’s information for a CPS check. If the individual is found to have been the alleged perpetrator in a substantiated report of harm or there is an open case or report of harm in which the individual is involved, the Tribe will not issue a license to the individual or allow the individual to reside in a licensed foster home.
A) Foster parents shall be responsible, stable, emotionally mature adults, who exercise sound judgment and have the capacity to meet the mental, physical, and emotional needs of children placed in foster care.
B) Foster parents shall understand the behavior of children in foster care, and shall use effective child-rearing practices that will enable children to grow and develop.
C) Foster parents shall understand and use non-punitive ways of discipline and ways of helping a child build positive personal relationships and self-esteem.
D) Foster parents must be able to provide temporary care, respect for the child’s relationships with his/her birth family, and the ability to work in partnership with the Tribe, and the State of Alaska, if the child is in State custody, toward the return of each child to his/her birth parents, or to achieve an alternative permanent plan.
E) Foster parents shall demonstrate a capacity to give and receive affection, kindness, a sense of humor, and the ability to deal with frustration and conflict.
F) Foster parents shall have supportive ties with family, friends, neighborhood, and community.
G) Foster parents shall respect the Native culture and heritage of the Tribe and adhere to the Tribe’s culture and heritage in all aspects of care of the children.
B) Foster parents and employees, volunteers, and other adults in the household caring for children shall be physically and mentally able to perform the duties of foster parents as prescribed in these rules. The Tribe may require a medical statement from a physician verifying that no person suffers from a communicable disease, specific illness or disability which would interfere with the family’s capability to care for children in foster care.
C) Applicants must notify the Tribe of any prior or on-going counseling or treatment of any parents, employees, volunteers and other adults in the household caring for the children. Once licensed, the duty to notify the Tribe of any counseling or treatment is on going. Applicants and foster parents shall supply psychological, medical or physical, sex-offender, drug and alcohol, and psychiatric reports and evaluations to the Tribe. The Tribe may require that a release of information be signed for the purpose of obtaining the above or other reports.
B) The foster parents shall cooperate with the Tribe, the State of Alaska, and the birth parents in developing and implementing a child’s case and service plans and executing all court orders regarding the child.
C) Foster parents shall notify the Tribe and the State of Alaska when the child is in State’s custody and placed in a tribally licensed foster home, immediately of, injury, illness, accidents, or any unusual circumstances which threaten the health, safety, physical or emotional well being of the foster child.
D) Foster parents shall allow the Tribe and the State of Alaska, when the child is in State’s custody and placed in a tribally licensed foster home, reasonable access to their home and to the children placed in their care.
E) The Tribe will determine the appropriate number and ages of children for which the foster home will be licensed. The foster parents shall not exceed the licensed capacity or accept a child outside of the licensed age range for placement. To ensure the health and safety of all children in the home, the Tribe will consider the ratio of adults to children, the level of supervision available, the skill levels of the foster parents, the health, safety and special needs of children in the home and the local standard in the community when determining the license capacity and age range for the foster home. The number of children in the home will not exceed the limit that would assure that the needs of each child in the home can be met.
F) The Tribe may modify the licensed age range or capacity based on a request from the foster parent and an assessment by the Tribe that the home can meet the health, safety and developmental needs of the children who would be placed as a result of the requested change(s). If the Tribe determines that a license will be modified for a change in capacity or age range, a new license reflecting the change(s) will be issued.
G) In accordance with
the case plan, foster parents shall:
H) The Tribe may develop a mentor program to assist foster families in resolving problems that arise in connection with the placement of children. Foster parents will participate in this program if so required by the Tribe.
SECTION 6. Confidentiality
A) The foster family shall treat personal information about a child and the child’s family in a confidential manner.
B) Confidential information may be disclosed only when necessary to provide for the safety and well being of a child or other children in the home or as required by Tribal, State, or Federal law. The information shared must be limited to only what is necessary to comply with this rule. This duty not to disclose confidential information applies during the period in which the foster family cares for the children and forever thereafter.
C) In maintaining children’s records:
1) Foster parents will maintain records on the physical and mental health care received during placement, immunizations, and educational and placement progress for the duration of the child’s placement. Within ten days of the termination of a foster care placement, the foster parents shall relinquish all records to the placement agency (Tribe/State).
2) Foster parents shall keep such written records for each foster child in a manner that ensures their confidentiality.
SECTION 7. Care and Development of the Child
A) Daily Living:
1) Foster parents shall treat natural children and foster children placed in their home equitably.
2) Foster parents shall provide structure and daily activities designed to promote the physical, social, intellectual, spiritual, and emotional development of the children in home.
3) Playthings shall be available in the foster home, including games, recreational and educational materials, and books appropriate to the age and development level of the child.
4) Foster parents shall help the foster children placed in their home develop skills and perform tasks that promote independence and self-sufficiency.
5) Foster parents shall participate with the Tribe to help children in foster care maintain an awareness of their past, a record of the present, and a plan for the future.
6) In accordance with the case plan, the foster parent shall ask children placed in their home to assume work responsibilities appropriate to the child’s age and ability and commensurate with those expected of their own children.
7) Foster parents shall not use mechanical restraints on children in their care other than car seat belts and normally acceptable infant safety products.
8) Each child in placement shall be treated with respect and dignity. The foster family shall:
a) Respect the child’s Native heritage;
b) Provide meaningful opportunities for the child to develop relationships with Tribal members and practices of the Tribe;
c) Ensure regular contact with the foster child’s caseworker; and
d) Provide the child access to telephone and writing materials and other household resources, in accordance with the standard of the local community;
e) Allow the child to receive and open her/his own mail and to have private phone calls unless the foster parent has been asked to monitor the communication by the placement social worker.
B) Alternate Caregivers:
1) The foster parents shall arrange for safe and responsible childcare.
2) When the foster parents are absent overnight, or longer, a person of at least 18 years of age, capable of assuming foster care responsibilities, shall be present in the same home to supervise the children. The foster parents shall provide contact information where they can be reached during their absence. Foster parents shall not leave children for more than 48 hours without first giving notice to the caseworker.
C) Food and Nutrition:
1) Foster parents shall provide well-balanced daily meals.
2) Foster parents shall provide for any special dietary needs of the children placed in their homes.
D) Clothing and Personal Belongings:
1) Foster parents shall provide each child with his or her own clean, well-fitting, attractive, seasonal clothing appropriate to age, sex, individual needs, and comparable to the local community standards.
2) Foster parents shall allow children to bring and acquire personal belongings.
3) Foster parents shall send all personal clothing and belongings with the children when they leave the foster home.
E) Discipline and Guidance:
1) Many children come into foster care because they have suffered physical abuse and severe punishment. It is vital that foster parents use positive discipline and guidance to help the child develop acceptable behavior.
2) Foster parents shall teach and discipline children with kindness and understanding.
3) Foster parents shall set clear expectations, limits, and consequences of behavior.
4) Foster parents shall teach each child with techniques that stress praise and encouragement.
5) No foster child or other child in a foster home shall be subjected to corporal punishment, physical abuse, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, neglect, emotional abuse, mental injury, or threats of harm.
6) Foster parents shall not deny a child food, clothing, shelter, rest or contact with family members and the Tribe.
F) Health Care:
1) Foster parents shall work with the Tribe to ensure that health care needs of children placed in their care are met, including making and arranging transportation to medical, dental and counseling appointments as needed, and as is possible based on the resources available in the local community and the region.
2) Foster parents shall obtain necessary emergency medical care for children placed in their home as is possible based on the resources available in the local community and the region. Foster parents shall obtain permission, where possible, from the birth parents and the DFYS Case worker for major medical decisions that are not of an emergency nature.
3) Foster parents shall be responsible for keeping immunizations current for children placed in their home.
4) Foster parents shall give children prescription medication only in accordance with a physician’s prescription or authorization.
5) Foster parents shall give children prescription psychotropic (mental health) medication only with the parent’s permission or if DFYS gets a court order approving the children’s use of the medication.
6) Foster parents shall not provide tobacco products in any form to children under the age of 18 placed in their home.
B) Foster parents shall not require children to participate in activities that may demean their Native heritage or violate cultural tenets or beliefs.
C) Foster parents shall encourage the children to participate in Tribal activities and events.
D) Foster parents shall provide opportunities for recreational activities appropriate to the age and abilities of the child.
E) Foster parents shall encourage the children to participate in religious activities and promote the religious preference of the birth parents or the child if age appropriate, if so requested by the birth parents. The foster parents shall not impose their religious beliefs or practices on the foster children placed in their care.
A) Foster parents shall enroll each child of school age in a school within five school days of placement of the child or in accordance with the case plan.
B) Foster parents shall be actively involved in educational programs appropriate for the child’s age, abilities, and in accordance with the case plan.
C) Foster parents shall plan with school personnel when there are issues with the child in school, and report to the Tribe, or the State of Alaska when the child is in State’s custody, any situations that may require the Tribe’s involvement (or the State of Alaska when the child is in State’s custody.
A) Home Environment:
1) The foster parent’s home shall, to the extent possible in the local community, and in accordance with local community standards, be accessible to schools, recreation, churches, medical care and community facilities.
2) The premises shall, to the extent possible in the local community, and in accordance with local community standards, be free from pests, objects, materials, and conditions that might constitute a danger to the occupants.
3) Foster parents shall take measures to keep the house and premises free from rodents and insects.
4) The home shall be well heated and well ventilated, in accordance with the standards of the local community.
5) Stairways shall be equipped with safety features in accordance with local community standards.
6) Foster parents shall install and maintain working smoke alarms in every room in which a foster child sleeps and at least one on each floor of the home.
7) A foster home shall post a diagramed fire escape plan. This escape plan is to be in an accessible location within the foster home and reviewed periodically with the foster children. In addition, the foster parents are to provide the Tribe with a copy of the escape plan.
8) A foster home shall have one class 2-A-1OBC rated fire extinguisher in the house, or demonstrate that there is a system in place to extinguish fires that is satisfactory to the Tribe.
9) The foster home shall have a continuous supply of safe, clean drinking water. Private water sources and septic tank systems shall be safe and operable.
10) The foster home shall have an adequate system for disposing of human waste that is sanitary, in accordance with the standards of the local community.
11) Foster parents shall keep the home clean and free of hazards to the health and physical well being of the family.
12) The foster home shall have an adequate supply of hot water for bathing and dish washing.
13) Foster parents shall provide each child with adequate storage space for personal belongings, in accordance with the standards of the local community.
14) Foster parents may allow a child over the age of five to sleep in the same bedroom as a child of the opposite sex, only after consulting with the Tribe and determining that factors such as the age, health, developmental level and history of the children would not affect the health, safety or well being of the children.
15) Bedrooms used by foster children must have easily accessible and safe emergency access and egress to and from the room, and to and from the home.
16) Bedrooms used by children in care shall:
a) Be safe and have adequate space for each child, in accordance with the standards of the local community;
b) Provide sufficient natural light and ventilation, in accordance with the standards of the local community;
c) Normally have no more than four children to a bedroom. More than four children may share a bedroom in situations where this practice is consistent with community standards and after consideration of the age, health, development and history of the children it has been determined that sharing a bedroom adequately ensures that the health, safety and privacy needs of the children in care are met and does not increase the risk of harm to children;
d) Have a bed for each child and a crib for each infant. Children may share a bed, if, after an evaluation of factors such as the age, health, developmental level, special needs and history of the children, it has been determined that such an arrangement would not pose a risk to the health, safety or well being of the children or increase the risk of harm to children in care;
e) Foster parents must ensure that the bedding used by foster children is kept in a sanitary condition at all times and adequately provides warmth and comfort to the children.
1) Each child will have access to resources to enable personal hygiene and grooming, based on the standards of the local community.
2) Foster parents shall provide each child individual items necessary for personal hygiene and grooming, in accordance with the standards of the local community.
3) Foster parents shall prepare and serve meals in a safe and sanitary manner that minimizes the possibility of food poisoning or food infection.
1) The foster parents shall protect the children from safety hazards.
2) Foster parents shall ensure that foster children are supervised and appropriate safety precaution is taken when engaging in activities that are otherwise appropriate but that pose a risk of harm to the children (such as water-related activities or inherently dangerous subsistence activities).
3) Foster parents are accountable for the safety of foster children at all times whether or not they are supervising the activities of the children.
4) Foster parents shall store all medications, poisonous chemicals, and cleaning materials in a way that prevents access by children.
5) Foster parents shall have the ability to communicate with emergency medical services and to obtain the same emergency services available generally to the residents of the local community.
6) Foster parents shall restrict children’s access to potentially dangerous animals.
7) Foster parents shall store any ammunition and unloaded and operable firearms in separate locked places.
8) Foster parents will not travel in a vehicle with a loaded firearm with foster children in the vehicle.
9) Foster parents shall have first aid supplies in a place easily accessible to adults.
A) Foster parents shall provide or arrange for safe transportation for children in placement to attend school, recreational, and medical activities.
B) Foster parents shall maintain all personal vehicles owned by them used to transport children in a safe operating condition, in accordance with the standards of the local community.
1) Foster parents may terminate their foster care responsibilities to children in their homes only on 30 days written notice to the Tribe and after consultation with the caseworker. The Tribe may waive this notice requirement if such waiver would be in a child’s best interests.
1) The Tribe may suspend a foster home license because of violations of one or more licensure rules or because of conditions in the home that render it unlicensable.
2) A notice of suspension must be in writing and must list the violations, along with the actions necessary for compliance, and any services available to assist the foster parents with compliance.
3) A license may be suspended for up to 180 days.
4) Children in placement will be removed from homes with suspended licenses.
5) No additional placements will be made during the period of suspension.
6) Within 30 days of the effective date of the suspension, the foster parents shall submit a written corrective action plan to the Tribe. This plan must list the steps that will be taken to correct the deficiency
7) This action plan must be approved by the Tribe and signed by both the foster parents and the Tribe. Failure to submit a plan will constitute a withdrawal from licensure.
8) At the end of the suspension period or when the foster parent complies with the plan to remedy the conditions that led to the suspension, the Tribe may:
a) Reinstate the license for the term of the original license;
b) Issue a new license;
c) Deny an application for re-licensure; or
d) Notify the foster parents of the intent to revoke the license.
1) The Tribe will revoke a foster home licensure only after one or more of the above steps have been attempted or when child safety concerns warrant an immediate revocation.
2) A notice of revocation shall be in writing and shall state the reasons for revocation.
3) The Tribe may take any action necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of foster children, including emergency removal of foster children from a foster home or referral to any law enforcement or other child protective agency or organization to effect such removal.
D) Foster parents may appeal the suspension or revocation of their license by making a written request to the Tribe.
E) If the Tribe has not received a request for a hearing within 21 days of mailing or other service of the notice, the foster parent shall have waived the right to a hearing.
SECTION 13. Training
A) The Tribe will require tribally licensed foster parents to complete foster parent training each year. A foster parent in a one-parent foster home shall complete a minimum of 10 hours of training annually. Foster parents in a two-parent foster home shall complete a minimum of 15 hours of training annually that may be shared between the two foster parents. However, each parent in a two-parent foster home shall complete a minimum of five hours of training annually. Training may be accomplished through on site trainings, self-study packets or electronically received training materials. Training is required in order to continue being licensed.
B) Within 90 days of licensure the Tribe shall require at least one parent in the home to possess a current Infant/Child Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) certification.
A) Variances may be requested by the foster parent. The Tribe will consider requests on a case by case basis to ensure that the variance allows the foster home to meet the standard in another way and will approve or deny the request based on their findings so as to protect the health, safety and well being of the child/ren.
B) Non-safety standards may be waived for relative foster parents. Criminal background clearances and other safety standards may not be waived. A non-safety standards may only be waived for relative foster parents and only when the health, safety and well-being of the child is otherwise supported in the foster home.
SECTION 16. Amendments
B) The sovereign immunity of the Tribe, the members of the council, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, judges, court personnel, and any other personnel necessary for implementation and enforcement of these “Alaska Standards” is in no way waived by using these Alaska Tribal Foster Care Licensing Standards.