The Foster Care Program provides foster care licensing for Native Families on and near the Leech Lake Reservation. The Foster Care Program seeks extended family members or other Native Families to care for children who need to be placed out of the home.
The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe places emphasis in honoring the integrity of Leech Lake families. To support this philosophy, the Leech Lake Child Welfare Program concentrates its efforts in providing supportive services for families to prevent out of home placement and to establish family reunification.
The Leech Lake Foster Care Program provides foster care services for Indian children under the age of 18 years of age, a child in special education, or a juvenile under the jurisdiction of a juvenile court who is under 22 years of age.
When a child(ren) is placed in a foster home, the Child Protection Case Manager will review the child’s case plan with the foster care parent. The foster care family cooperates and collaborates with the Case Manager to ensure that the child(ren)s needs are identified and addressed.
The Child(ren)s case manager visits the foster care home on a monthly basis to review any new developments in the child’s case plan and assess the relationship of the foster care family and the foster child.
Routine monthly visits will also take place by the Foster Care Specialist to determine any issues of noncompliance and establish needs for support.
As reunification plans are made, the case manger and the foster care family will work together to arrange supervised visits with the child(ren) family. If reunification cannot be established, the case manager informs the foster care family for permanency options.
To operate a foster care home
To operate a foster care home the applicant shall be the primary caregiver and shall be legally responsible for the operation of the residence. The applicant or the applicant's spouse must be an enrolled member of a federally recognized tribe and the residence must be located within the Leech Lake Reservation boundaries (60 mile radius) or within 5 miles outside of the Leech Lake boundaries - if off the reservation, Leech Lake enrollees only.
All foster care parents must be at least eighteen (18) years old at the time of licensure.
An applicant will not be issued a license until criminal and child protection background studies are completed and no disqualification factors have been found upon the applicant or any other persons living in the residence who have regular contact with the child(ren).
The applicant must cooperate with a Home Study conducted by the Leech Lake Foster Care Program that includes an interview with all foster care providers and household embers over the age of 7 years old.
All foster Care applicants seeking licensure will be submitted with recommendations present to the Leech Lake Child Welfare Commission for approval.
Step-by-Step Procedures to becoming a Leech Lake Foster Care Parent
- Obtain Information by visiting the Foster Care Licensing Coordinator at 213 2nd Street in Cass Lake.
- All household members 13 years of age or older will need background checks via Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), Adam Walsh Study, (Background check & finger prints), county check, and Leech Lake Human Servcies check. Once this paperwork is completed, it will take 7-10 days for background clearances to return to the Foster Care office.
- If all household members are cleard through the background checks, application paperwork must be completed and returned to the Licensing Coordinator or Foster Care Specialist.
- A home visit and interview will be conducted by a Foster Care Specialist.
- For relatives only: a 120-day temporary placement can be authorized once the initial home visit is approved.
- The administrative process will continue by doing other reference checks and reviews.
- The Child Welfare Commission will then grant an approval or denial of the application.
One application process will be used for all foster care license requests.
- Background Check, anyone older than 13 years of age
- Pass Substance Abuse Test
- Pass a Bureau of Criminal Apprehension background check
- Federal Bureau of Investigation background check
- Social Service Child Maltreatment background check
- Physical Exam
- Health & Safety Home Visit
The Leech Lake Child Welfare Program complies with the following:
- The Indian Child Welfare Act, Public Law 95-608
- The Minnesota Indian Family Preservation Act, Minnesota Statues Sections 260.751 to 260.835
- The Heritage Act, Minnesota Statues, Sections 259.29, 260C.193, Subdivision 3, and 260C.212 to 260C.215
- The Interstate compact on Placement on Children, Minnesota Statutes, Section 260.851