The overall goal of the Social Services Department is to provide quality social service programs that are sensitive and responsive to the cultural values of Indian clients.
 
The services offered will emphasize the promotion of a healthy lifestyle by helping the client search for wellness, through prevention/intervention activities and maintenance techniques to promote the restoration of family systems.

LICENSING

Child Care Assistance Program
The Child Care Assistance Program provides eligible parents with financial assistance in order to continue an approved plan in a productive activity such as employment or education and training.
 
Limited funds (sliding fee scale) are available for American Indian people who reside on the Fond du Lac Reservation and are not eligible for other childcare assistance programs or funding through Carlton or St. Louis County Human Services.
 
Day Care Licensing
Day Care Licensing is available to qualified applicants living on the Fond du Lac Reservation. The Fond du Lac Reservation Business Committee has adopted an Ordinance of Standards and Licensing Procedures that determines applicant eligibility.
 
On – Reservation Foster Care
The Fond du Lac On-Reservation Foster Care Licensing Program recruits Indian families residing within the Fond du Lac Reservation boundaries. The agency assists in the licensing process supported by the Fond du Lac ordinance and provides support, training, and monitoring to its foster parents.
 
Off – Reservation Foster Care
The Fond du Lac Off-Reservation Foster Care Licensing & Placement Agency recruits Indian families residing outside of northern Minnesota reservation boundaries. The agency assists in the state licensing process and provides support, training, and monitoring to its foster parents.

ADVOCACY PROGRAM

The Fond du Lac Advocates provide caring, culturally sensitive advocacy for clients.  The Advocates are available to assist community members in times of crisis and can advocate for them during court appearances. The police or sheriff’s department will contact the Advocates as needed or requested by the client.
 
Domestic Abuse/Sexual Assault and General Crime
Advocates assist Indian women with support, education, networking, court advocacy, self-help groups, information and referral.  The Advocates and their trained volunteers assist community members by:

  • Receiving crisis calls
  • Reporting crime to law enforcement
  • Providing Orders for Protection, and Harassment Orders
  • Seek and obtain available community resources
  • Seek reparations
  • Providing court advocacy
  • Facilitating support groups
  • Providing group support at county jails
  • Providing school prevention presentations

The Advocates are available to assist community members in times of crisis and can advocate for them during court appearances. The police or sheriff’s department will contact the Advocates as needed or requested by the client.

Community Advocate
This program focuses on meeting the needs of male and female offenders, adult and/or adolescent and their family members who are released from correctional facilities and other placements who live on or near the Reservation. Social, cultural and recreational events are held. Other services include:

  • Pre and post release activities
  •  Advocacy
  •  Mentoring
  •  Restorative justice
  •  Job placement
  •  Housing and life skills
  •  Jail groups
  •  Individual service plan development
  •  Collaboration with correctional and other agencies
  •  Information and referral
  •  Support groups
  •  Court attendance & advocacy

Mediation Program
The Alternative Dispute Resolution program is an effort to address the needs of community members by offering a safe and private setting for participants to voluntarily come together with a trained mediator to resolve their dispute.

Mediation is not for everyone, but for many it can be an alternative to court action or having their disputes settled in a public forum. Mediation is a voluntary program and all parties must be willing to come together to work out their differences. The participants must rely on mutual cooperation and respect to meet their goals.

Mediation benefits everyone that is directly and indirectly involved in a dispute. It is an opportunity for people to be directly involved in the decision-making process that affects their lives. Mediation is informal and less time-consuming than legal proceedings. Family Group Decision – Making conferences, Youth In Transition conferences and Parallel Protection Process (PPP) are also scheduled as needed.

Homelessness Program
Through education, advocacy, outreach, referral, and support; staff assists clients to end their long-term homelessness.  Clients may self-refer or be referred by others.

Supportive Housing
Fond du Lac provides 24 – units of quality housing with supportive services for eligible people moving from homelessness to independence. Supportive Housing helps homeless people to be able to live in an affordable stable home and gain more control over the decision that affect their lives.

Veterans Supportive Housing
Fond du Lac provides 10 – units of quality housing with supportive services for eligible people moving from homelessness to independence. Supportive Housing helps homeless people to be able to live in an affordable stable home and gain more control over the decision that affect their lives.

For both types of Supportive Housing, monthly activities and events are coordinated.

Adult Service Workers
Serve adults and families in the community in an effort to provide protection services, court advocacy, crisis intervention, case management, referral services and needs of the clients. Family Court / Child Custody will be referred to appropriate resources.

Emergency Assistance
Provides assistance in the area of medical appointments out of the service area for lodging, meals, medical mileage reimbursement for enrolled Fond du Lac Band member obtaining medical services and referrals through either the Min No Aya Win (MNAW) or CAIR sites. Medical mileage will be approved for pre – arranged and confirmed appointment at a distance of more than 200 miles round trip at the medical mileage reimbursement rate.

FAMILY FIRST PROGRAM

Resolving family issues and keeping families together, according to the Federal Indian Child Welfare Act, are major goals for the Fond du Lac Social Services department. Fond du Lac Social Workers provide services to protect the best interests of Indian children.  Child protection services include:

  • Crisis intervention
  •  Case management
  •  Out-of-home placement supervision
  •  Referral services
  •  Assistance in obtaining available resources
  •  Court advocacy
  •  ICWA compliance
  •  Transportation
  •  Networking with available resources

Indian Child Welfare Social Workers
The Indian Child Welfare social workers serve high-risk families and provide child protection services in an effort to protect the best interest of Indian children. Child protection services include crisis intervention, case management, out of home placement supervision, referral services, and networking with available resources.  The child protection staff assists county social workers in serving Indian children who have been victims of abuse and/or neglect. They also help the court understand the unique characteristics of Indian clients so that the Court can make sound decisions about Indian children.

Indian Child Welfare Act Case Aides provide clerical assistance to social services workers.

Families First
Social Workers provide intensive, short-term, in-home crisis intervention and family education services in order to preserve Indian families and avoid children being placed out of the home. Staff is on-call twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week to work with eligible families. Services include:

  • Individual problem-solving skills
  •  Communication and negotiation skills
  •  Parenting education
  •  Child development training
  •  Homemakers
  •  Advocacy
  •  Job-readiness training
  •  Developing helping relationships with community resources

Involvement is usually no longer than four (4) to six (6) weeks as families are expected to become increasingly self-reliant.

SELF Program: Support for Emancipation and Living Functionally
This program offers support groups for independent living skills development for youth ages 14-21.  Group education and recreational activities are planned and carried out to help youth learn about healthy lifestyles.

Community Resources Specialist
Works with youth within the Arrowhead Regional Corrections system that reside within St. Louis County.