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Kinship Care within the Child Welfare System

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The opinions, statements, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this session are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the conference hosts.

Kinship Care is ongoing care provided for a child by a relative or fictive relative caregiver. Fictive Kinship Caregivers have a emotional tie to a child and/or the child’s parents and are accepted as part of the child’s extended family, even if they are not related by blood, through marriage, or as a custodian. Kinship Care improves outcomes related to placement stability and connections when a child is involved in the Child Welfare System. This session will focus on the types of Kinship Care in South Dakota and how those practices protect children, promote permanency, and strengthen their sense of belonging. It will discuss the history of Kinship Care and how traditions and different cultures view the practice of caring for kin. The practice of relatives or “kin” parenting children when their birth parents cannot is a time-honored tradition within the Native American culture. This session will include input from people with lived experiences as a Kinship Care provider.

Presented by Katie Larson and Joseph Ashley
Community Response to Child Abuse Conference

Katie Larson, Permanency Program Specialist, SD Department of Social Services, Child Protection Services

Katie has 11 years of child welfare experience, which includes two years working in a residential setting. Katie oversees policy and procedures as it relates to permanency and wellbeing outcomes for children in out of home care, kinship care services, and foster care services. Katie is responsible for interpreting child welfare laws and policies with staff and stakeholders, participating in leadership and management meetings, analyzing data and preparing reports, managing contracts with foster and kinship care providers, and providing training to staff in the areas of permanency and wellbeing.

Joseph Ashley, ICWA Program Specialist, SD Department of Social Services, Child Protection Services

Joseph has 15 years of child welfare experience. Joseph is responsible for overseeing the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) compliance for the department. He provides training on ICWA and working with Native American families. Joseph works with the 9 tribes in South Dakota. Joseph also oversees the State Tribal Child Welfare Consultation workgroup and maintains close working relationships with the tribes involved. Joseph is a member of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe and also has affiliation with the Rosebud Sioux Tribe with Irish and French ancestry mixed in. His Indian name is Tasunke Hota or His Grey Horses.