*This project was in effect 10/2003 to 12/2007
Please contact NATI for lessons learned.

What is the Medicine Moon Initiative (MMI)?

The Medicine Moon Initiative is a five-year cooperative agreement between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF) and the Native American Training Institute (NATI), in partnership with the four tribal child welfare agencies of North Dakota (Spirit Lake, Standing Rock, Turtle Mountain and Three Affiliated Tribes).

The project will enhance the emerging tribal systems of care by focusing on improved outcomes for North Dakota tribal children in state and tribal foster care. 

Formal linkages will be established through the state and tribal systems of care so Native American children and families can get their needs met in a culturally-appropriate and strength-based manner.  MMI and the four tribal social service/child welfare agencies will assist the state to implement the state Program Improvement Plan as a result of the child and family service reviews.  Tribal child welfare outcomes will be improved by training child welfare workers in child and family service reviews (CFSR), wraparound and fidelity monitors for implementing wraparound.  The MMI, in partnership with other entities, will provide technical assistance to tribal sites in maximizing Medicaid resources, researching and informing tribal social services/child welfare of best child welfare practice models and assisting the tribes in developing an MIS system so outcomes can be better tracked.

By the end of the cooperative agreement in 2008, what are the goals and objectives that will be accomplished?

Goal I: A system of care for all Indian children utilizing the wraparound process with integration of child and family service review initiatives will be implemented in North Dakota through improved partnering between tribes and state.

Objective A: The four tribes in North Dakota will be trained in child and family service review and will receive technical assistance in implementation and interface with State initiatives.

Objective B: There will be an institutionalized planning process and systems development between state and tribal professionals in the systems of care movement.

Goal II: The North Dakota tribes will demonstrate the increased capacity to collect, maintain and utilize data toward improved outcomes for children and families including single plans of care.

Objective A: The four tribes will have an adequate management information system hardware and system of care software with training in Medicaid reporting, data entry and system of care utilization.

Objective B: The four tribes will bill Medicaid and will have a system of care improvement plan utilizing Medicaid.

Objective C: Tribes will utilize a culturally competent assessment process utilizing appropriate instruments and will be able to capture information on extent and outcomes of cultural and natural supports and cross systems information.

Goal III: The North Dakota tribes will improve safety, permanency and well being of Indian children through demonstration of outcome-based partnerships with families through system of care – wraparound integrating child and family service review.

Objective A: Four tribes will institute quality assurance monitors utilizing systems of care, child and family service review and wraparound fidelity monitors.

What are the results and benefits of this project?

(1) A Strategic Plan for a ND Tribal Child Welfare System of Care will be developed

(2) Tribes will increase Tribal Child WelfareFunding

(3) There will be improved outcomes for all Indian children in North Dakota by tribes gaining skills in evaluating child and family services by examining critical CFSR elements as they apply to child welfare practice.

(4) There will be improved outcomes for all Indian children in North Dakota by tribes developing ways to monitor the fidelity of the wraparound process.

(5) There will be improved outcomes for all Indian children in North Dakota by tribes interfacing with state initiatives in planned and meaningful ways.

(6) A Management Information System will be used by all ND Tribal Child Welfare agencies.

(7) ND Tribal Child Welfare will have a Quality Assurance process in place.

Who are the participating partners of the Medicine Moon Initiative?

The Medicine Moon Initiative will also be working closely with staff of the American Humane, a non-profit organization renowned for its work with child welfare, the state of North Dakota Children and Family Services and the Casey Family Program at Fort Berthold.

A working partnership is also being explored with VROON & Associates, who are pioneers of establishing a national wraparound certification and wraparound fidelity monitors.  The partnership will result in internationally-known wraparound experts providing direct technical assistance, training, coaching and mentoring to tribal workers facilitating wraparound.

In loving memory…

The Medicine Moon Initiative takes its name from G. Janet “Gertsy” Gunderson, whose traditional Mandan name is Istuminage Tanishgeda (Medicine Moon).  Gertsy was the Tribal Social Services Director for the Three Affiliated Tribes and seeing all children cared for was her vision.

G. Janet Gunderson

July 14, 1942 – July 14, 2003

Medicine Moon Initiative
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