Date of Award

6-2017

Document Type

Project

Degree Name

Master of Social Work

Department

School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Chang, Janet

Abstract

Native American women and children suffer from domestic violence at an alarming rate on and off Indian reservations in the United States. Often these families that are impacted by domestic violence are involved in the state/county child welfare system. This study was to gain knowledge about Native American tribal child social workers experiences and challenges with co-occurrences of domestic violence and child maltreatment cases. This study used an exploratory, qualitative design with a phenomenological approach by collecting data through face-to-face and over the phone interviews with four Native American tribal child social workers from four different tribes across the nation. This design allowed participants the opportunity to provide a more in-depth explanation from their own personal experiences regarding their experiences and challenges working with domestic violence and child maltreatment cases.

The study found that there is a need for state/county social workers to have a better understanding of the historic and current experiences of Native people from a cultural, spiritual, and socioeconomic perspective through effective and consistent training on the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). The study also found, that there is a need for state/county administration and social workers to build relationships with tribal child social workers in order to provide culturally competent and effective policies and services to serve Native American communities.