NVN Community Family Services Specialist Letter of Introduction

Cama-i Tribal Members of Napaimute!

As many may are aware, an Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) Community Family Specialist position became available for the Native Village of Napaimute in the late summer months of this year. After a tough interview against another highly qualified and good applicant, I was hired as our villages new Community Family Specialist. I have been an employee in this position since September 14, 2015, and would like to extend my hand out to our tribal members and make sure you are aware of the services Napaimute now offers with this new position. This is an exciting branch of growth for our village, and find myself privileged to be a part of this transition.

Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) is a federal law that seeks to keep American Indian and Alaska Native children with American Indian and Alaska Native families. The congress passed ICWA in 1978 in reaction to a disturbingly high number of Indian children being removed from their homes by both public and private agencies. The intent of Congress under ICWA was to “protect the best interests of Indian (and Eskimo) children and to promote the stability and security of Indian tribes and families.” ICWA sets federal requirements that apply to state child custody proceedings involving an Indian child who is a member of or eligible for membership in a federal recognized tribe. This is why it is vital for Napaimute’s enrollment to be current. As a Community Family Services Specialist, I am a representative for the Native Village of Napaimute. I am here to address any questions that may arise regarding the responsibilities I have as a Community Family Services Specialist for our tribe, as well as provide and coordinate the necessary services to help prevent the break up of Native families, promote outreach and awareness, and help ensure the safety of the relocation of our children. It is also my responsibility to assist in reunification of families, which have already experienced break-up, and act as a liaison to represent the interests and positions of the local Tribal Council in court proceedings involving all cases. I work closely with the Office of Child Services, as well as with the Association of Village Council Presidents, and am here to provide the finest services to our tribal members as needed.

I am currently in my last year as an undergraduate student at the University of Alaska Anchorage where I am pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in education with a minor in Alaska Native Studies with a policy emphasis. Due to the obligations I hold as a full-time student, I am only available for contact in regards to topics related to this position on Monday-Friday from 8:00a-12:00p. I can also be contacted in the afternoons on Saturday’s as needed. My position is part-time, and I am currently working out of Anchorage, Alaska. I can be reached either by phone at (907) 538.9428 or by email at audrey_leary@hotmail.com.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me!

Best wishes, and happy holidays!

Audrey E. Leary

Community Family Services Specialist

The Native Village of Napaimute

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