Resources for Montana’s Local Programs
Online resources—tools and information—are available from several Montana and nation agencies and organizations to help local Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) programs understand specific topics and deliver their services.
Agencies and Organizations
- Child and Family Services Division - The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, Child and Family Services Division’s (CFSD) mission is to keep children safe and families strong. Information about adoption, foster care, and mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect in Montana.
- Child Support Enforcement Division - The mission of the Child Support Enforcement Division (CSED) of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services is to diligently pursue and ultimately achieve financial and medical support of children by establishing, enforcing, and increasing public awareness of parental obligations.
- District Courts - There are 56 District Courts in Montana. These courts are administratively structured into 22 judicial districts.
- Child Welfare Information Gateway - This site connects child welfare and related professionals to comprehensive information and resources to help protect children and strengthen families. It features the latest on topics from prevention to permanency, including child abuse and neglect, foster care, and adoption.
- Foster Care Month - This organization provides information on foster care, including statistics and facts, frequently asked questions, and resources about diverse groups within the foster care system. May is National Foster Care Month.
- National Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Association - The National CASA Association, together with its state and local members, supports and promotes court-appointed volunteer advocacy for abused and neglected children so that they can thrive in safe, permanent homes.
- National Indian Child Welfare Association – The National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) is a national voice for American Indian children and families. NICWA is the most comprehensive source of information on American Indian child welfare and the only national American Indian organization focused specifically on the tribal capacity to prevent child abuse and neglect.
- Native American Rights Fund – The Native American Rights Fund (NARF) is a nonprofit law firm dedicated to asserting and defending the rights of Indian tribes, organizations and individuals nationwide.
Laws and Legislation
- Major Federal Legislation Concerned With Child Protection, Child Welfare, and Adoption - To provide a framework for understanding the Federal legislation that has shaped the delivery of child welfare services, this factsheet presents a summary of Federal legislation since 1974 that has had a significant impact on the field. It provides an overview of each act and its major provisions, as well as links to the full text of each act.
- Montana Code Annotated, Title 41, Chapter 3: Child Abuse and Neglect - Montana’s statute on child abuse and neglect, which requires mandatory reporting.
- Domestic Violence
- Families Touched by Incarceration
- Family Members Behind Bars—A Caregiver’s Guide to Montana’s Criminal Justice System from Arrest to Release (PDF) – A toolkit with tips and guidance for how to talk with a child with an incarcerated family member. The Montana Alliance of Families Touched by Incarceration developed the guide with input from inmates with children, professionals working within the criminal justice system throughout Montana, and professionals working with Montana's child welfare system.
- Indian Child Welfare
- Advocating for Native American Children: A Cultural Literacy Guide for CASA Volunteers (PDF) – Compiled by CASA – Advocates for Kids as a guide to practicing culturally competent child advocacy, especially to when working to meet the needs of Native Americans.
- CASA & the Indian Child Welfare Act: Tips for Working With Native American Children (PDF) – A presentation for CASA volunteers to develop an understanding that Indian children must have advocates who zealously protect their rights as Indian children, not just as children. Prepared by Elrae Potts, MSW.
- The Indian Child Welfare Act and CASA/GAL Volunteers: Advocating for the Best Interests of Native Children (PDF) – This paper discusses the Indian Child Welfare Act and the CASA volunteer’s role in advocating for an Indian child's citizenship rights within their tribe while ensuring that the child's day-to-day needs for basic care are being met. Prepared by the Unified Family Court, San Francisco, California.
- Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) Compliance – ICWA is a federal law that seeks to keep American Indian children with American Indian families.
- Montana American Indian/Alaska Native Fact Sheet for the State of Montana (PDF) – Compiled by the National Indian Child Welfare Association.
- A Practical Guide to the Indian Child Welfare Act – Includes an introduction to the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), answers to frequently asked questions, and an appendix of resources—primary research documents (federal and state laws, regulations, court cases, and legislative materials) and secondary research documents (reports, guides, links, bibliographies, forms, and contact information). Provided by the Native American Rights Fund.