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Fall 2011 - National Indian Child Welfare Association

Fall 2011 - National Indian Child Welfare Association

(continued from previous

(continued from previous page) Departures Lorraine Brave, director of information and training, who was a NICWA board member and consultant before joining us as an employee in 2009, is now a consultant again. Lorraine’s areas at NICWA were the fee-for-service work and the Leadership Academy for Middle Managers (LAMM). Her first project as a consultant was the September ICW Training Institute in Portland, where she presented on the topic of Basic ICWA. We appreciate the work she did out in the field, and her cheerful presence in the office will be missed. Zack Tollman, our intern from the Washington State University, was working on his PhD in clinical psychology. He was encouraged by his clinical internship supervisor, who knows Terry Cross, to have an internship at NICWA as part of his diversity training. Zack completed projects primarily in the membership area, and his work was greatly appreciated while he was here. His internship ended in July. Adrian (“Addie”) Smith was an intern in the Government Affairs and Advocacy Department from mid-May through the end of August. She worked full-time during the summer months and was a great asset to NICWA, doing a great deal of research and writing for the department. Addie was a JD/MSW candidate at the Washington University School of Law and the George Warren Brown School of Social Work, both in St. Louis, Missouri. She received her bachelor of arts degree in psychology and graduated magna cum laude in 2006 from Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. Internships Richard Sames is our library sciences intern and is currently writing his thesis for an English degree at Lewis and Clark College. His skills in reading, writing, analyzing, organizing, and multitasking have all been put to great use in the library digitization project. During the spring semester of 2011, he had an opportunity for a term abroad and studied in Morocco prior to arriving at NICWA in May. This summer, he was able to spend three full days a week on the library project and is now here two half-days per week, since beginning his senior year in September. We sincerely appreciate his contribution to NICWA. Katherine Paul (Swinomish) is concluding an internship in the Membership Department and recently graduated from Lewis & Clark College. She plans to attend Law School for Indian Law and told us she would like some experience with tribal leaders and Native communities. Katherine’s outstanding work in member recruitment and retention has helped to support the growth of NICWA’s membership network. She also conducted an analysis of the hundreds of requests for information NICWA receives and responds to every year. Her analysis will be used to help improve NICWA’s capacity to meet the information needs of AI/AN children and families and the ICW professionals who serve them. Tess Abrahamson-Richards (Spokane) interviewed with Development Manager Eddie Sherman in early June for a development internship. She was then teaching on the Navajo reservation as part of the Teach for America Program. She received her bachelor of arts and science degree, with majors in sociology, anthropology, and gender studies from Lewis & Clark College. Tess was quite active during her college years with Native and multicultural organizations. While at NICWA this past summer, she worked with Eddie on updating the donor files. TECHNOLOGY NICWA has contracted with Polar Systems, Inc., to provide technical support on all network, laptop, and desktop computer systems. DEPARTMENTAL STAFF Current staff members in the operations department are Fannie Black, director of operations; April Ybarra, project support; Valorie Gaede, project support; Kim Barber, fiscal support specialist/project support; Laurie Evans, event manager; Tia Begay, financial services coordinator; Matthew Scott, executive assistant; and Carmen Farmer, operations specialist. Article submitted by Carmen Farmer, NICWA Operations Specialist 8

Member survey results indicate NICWA is on track, sees opportunities to increase member engagement This September, NICWA conducted its first annual membership survey, and, thanks to member participation, we were able to gather valuable feedback on how we are doing. By conducting an annual member satisfaction survey, we hope to stay tuned to members’ needs and incorporate their input as we plan programs and services. NICWA was happy to hear that 91.4% of survey respondents plan to renew their NICWA memberships next year. The ongoing support of members means NICWA can continue to advance our mission to improve the well-being of American Indian/Alaska Native children and families. In addition to overall satisfaction with membership, members expressed their interest in and ideas for expanding networking opportunities, improving online resources, and engaging members in NICWA’s work. There was a large interest in volunteer roles with 61.7% of respondents indicating they would be willing to volunteer an hour per month to participate in an affinity group or ad hoc committee. NICWA has had a positive Highest-rated NICWA online membership resources* 1. Policy briefings and current legislation 2. Downloadable brochures, toolkits, and resources I can share i n my community 3. Online repository for sample child welfare policies and procedures, forms, etc. 4. Sample data collection templates and information on collecting data in my community *source: NICWA membership survey start with the ICWA Directors Caucus and is excited to expand the affinity groups and volunteer roles. Respondents also proposed ideas for a number of additional affinity groups, including groups for attorneys, judges and advocates, educators and researchers, ICWA workers who are not program directors, media and outreach, and many more. When it comes to providing valuable online membership resources, the following four resources stood out with the highest rankings from survey respondents: 1. Policy briefings and current legislation 2. Downloadable brochures, toolkits, and resources I can share in my community 3. Online repository for sample child welfare policies and procedures, forms, etc. 4. Sample data collection templates and information on collecting data in my community Fifty-nine percent of all survey respondents said they had participated in NICWA trainings, events, or technical assistance in the last year. According to this survey, conferences and events provided the best venues for members to connect with one another, and more than half of respondents have met a fellow NICWA member at an event. One challenge raised by respondents was the need to improve the accessibility of member benefits to ensure that all members are able to participate in membership services and activities. It was suggested, for example, that NICWA incorporate more online trainings and resources for those unable to travel to conferences, and that affinity groups be recorded as webinars and be made available for those whose schedules did not allow them the time to participate. These highlights, along with the complete survey results, will provide valuable guidance in shaping NICWA’s membership priorities for the coming year. The online survey is now closed, but if you have any additional feedback you would like to share regarding membership, please contact Margie Sarna, member relations manager, at (503) 222-4044, ext. 127 or at margaret@nicwa.org. Once again, thank you to everyone who participated in the survey for sharing your input and helping us to continue improving our membership services. Article submitted by Margaret Sarna-Wojcicki, NICWA Member Relations Manager 9

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