Present Judge David Reich, Acting Chair Shari Doe Robin Huseby Karen Kringlie via phone Connie Portscheller via phone Dale Rivard via IVN Bob Rutten Donna Wunderlich
Absent Judge Sonja Clapp Judge Todd Cresap Scott Davis Jay Schmitz
Staff Lee Ann Barnhardt Sally Holewa Lana Zimmerman, scribe
Judge Reich called the meeting to order. He asked if there were any comments or changes to the
July 12, 2013, meeting minutes. After no comment, a motion was made by Dale Rivard to
approve the July 12, 2013, minutes. The motion was seconded by Shari Doe, motion
Update on ICWA Audit Please refer to the handout Report of Findings regarding ICWA compliance from auditors,
Melanie Sage and Winonah Monette, of the University of North Dakota Department of Social
Connie Portscheller reported there was some complication getting started because orders are
different from county to county. The initial problems were trying to find where the information
is located. There are issues on defining term such as “reasonable” versus “active”. Three
counties were initially looked at and now there are 5 counties. Since it is primarily referee work,
they were involved in the process. A full report should be out in early Spring with all of the data
provided. There was good discussion on the Qualified Expert Witness and how they need to be
at every hearing or hearings where dispositions are made. There was also discussion on the
language and some consistency on where things are in the files. There will be ongoing review with judges and referees in terms of what is in the federal
guidelines to justify the QEW’s.
The auditors will present their findings to the ICWA sub-committee and the larger group during
the ICWA conference in February 2014.
Ms. Holewa asked how to proceed with the audit. She has a number of ideas on how to make
things easier to find and how to make them consistent.
Ms. Barnhardt’s recommendation would be to wait for the final audit report to get a better sense
of what the auditors recommendations will be. Some things are being handled differently already
compared to what was in the files. The goal under education after the ICWA audits will be the
basis for ongoing training.
The ICWA Audit Final Report will be added to the agenda for the Court Improvement Meeting,
Review CIP Self-Assessment Ms. Palsgraaf sent out a draft of the2013 CIP annual self-assessment for review. Ms. Barnhardt
explained the report is turned in at the end of the year. This is the first year reporting the timeline
data, which consists of time of disposition, and time in termination to adoption. The questions
were about collaboration, and data sharing. Mr. Rutten had made a recommendation to have
language included under the data sharing piece. The Department of Public Instruction is working
on some longitudinal data that can be tracked and to utilize the school data under the well being
piece for children.
Another area of interest is the Guardian ad-Litem project focusing on pieces evaluated, the
ICWA audit, and the Quality Assurance Pilot Project. Ms. Palsgraaf has attended meetings every
couple of weeks, which is about quality assurance.
The report will be submitted by the end of the year with the approval of this committee. The data
piece will be added in and if there are any other recommendations to be added, to let Ms.
Palsgraaf know before submission.
Mr. Rutten added this is related to data exchange between the child welfare agency and the
courts, the department of education or relative stakeholder. This is not just a DPI project. It is a
state of North Dakota project, which is crossing agencies and is a longitudinal data system that is
meant to ease sharing a range of relevant data through juveniles services, to education, to mental
health, child welfare and those types of entities that could benefit from understanding the big
picture in terms of children and youth. This also cuts through the University system. There is an
“SLDS 101" in-service in January. Mr. Rutten is inviting a person from the court system to
A motion was made by Donna Wunderlich to approve the CIP 2013 Annual Self-Assessment Report. The motion was seconded by Dale Rivard, motion approved.
Annual State CIP Program Review in New Orleans, LA Ms. Barnhardt reported part of the grant is to send a person per grant to the annual CIP meeting
in New Orleans. Three individuals per grant from this committee are able to attend. In the past,
Ms. Palsgraaf attends, but if anyone is interested in going, please email Ms. Barnhardt by mid
GAL Sub-Committee - Robin Huseby, chair.Please refer to the GAL sub-committee handout
on the Purpose of Recommendations of the GAL sub-committee. Ms. Huseby reported at the
April sub-committee meeting topics discussed were the manual for Guardian ad-Litems and the
survey to stakeholders on the quality of the GAL. It appears a survey was conducted in 2011.
Ms. Huseby had expressed to Ms. Palsgraaf she would like direction from the full CIP
committee of the ongoing work of the GAL sub-committee.
Ms. Barnhardt expressed there is a generated quarterly report from Youthworks in regards to
timeliness and cases. The assessment that should be covered are items that aren’t available yet,
because data needs to be collected. The direction of the sub-committee should be the oversight
over the types of data that is needed from Youthworks. The contract with Youthworks could be
reviewed on exactly what the RFP consists of. The contract is renewed each year in June.
Youthworks is to provide reports as requested. The goal is to use the reports to know how to
train the GAL’s.
Mr. Rivard asked if the sub-committee members could acquire a copy of the GAL manual to see
if there is needed adjustments or amendments. Ms. Barnhardt stated there was a rule in place
years ago along with a code of ethics and rule focus of the sub-committee. Another area the sub-committee could review is the initial training Youthworks provides for the GAL’s.
Mr. Rutten stated there is a number of children with disabilities who don’t have parent
representation in DPI. Under the law for special education, there has to be an individual in the
parent role. DPI provides guidance to the schools on identification of educational surrogate
parents that would be in compliance with the law. Any child with a disability must have
someone in the role functioning as a parent to advocate for the child in terms of school services.
The qualifications aren’t in the regulatory language for the idea of who can be in the role of the
parent if the biological parents are not available. It is specified but is potentially another
responsibility of the GAL. Could this be another cross system issue that needs to be addressed?
It was clarified in the most recent authorization that foster parents for sure can function in the
role of a parent.
ICWA Sub-Committee - Connie Portscheller, Chair. The ICWA sub-committee meeting
discussion pertained to the ongoing ICWA audit. Ms. Palsgraaf has been the liaison between the
auditors and the ICWA sub-Committee.
The list for the Qualified Expert Witnesses is being finalized. Scott Davis, the director of the
Indian Affairs Commission is a member of the sub-committee and is working to get the QEW list
posted to the Indian Affairs Commission website and link it to the ND Supreme Court web page.
Included will be all of the North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana reservations.
A hard card guide with case law and directives is being finalized and was intended to go in the
Bench Book, but will be better as a separate document. Ms. Barnhardt is working with Ms.
Palsgraaf on how to have the hard card published.
Next meeting is scheduled at the ICWA conference in February.
Education Sub-Committee - Judge Reich, Chair. Ms. Barnhardt reported the ICWA
conference is being held February 19-21, 2014, in Mandan. Registration will be distributed soon.
Grants funds are used for the registration fees for referees, judges, and court staff to attend. A
session will be conducted on the ICWA audit.
The Children’s Justice Symposium is being held July 22-24, 2014. Topics include informed
systems, which include education, the court, and DHS. There will be a trauma informed
investigations with the CPS worker and the attorney standpoint, as well. Safety in the field for
our CPS workers, specifically in the oil patch. How to prepare foster parents that are relatives,
versus non-relative foster care and placements. Our juvenile staff will conduct a session on the
role of the juvenile court and deprivation cases. Closing Plenary session is a former gold medal
Olympian Frank Shorter who will conduct a closing on his life as an abused child.
Data Collection Sub-Committee - Karen Kringlie, Chair. Ms. Kringlie reported the data
collection sub-committee met over the summer. The cancelled hearings were added by I.T. to the
report and an instructional sheet was developed by the sub-committee and emailed out to all
Odyssey users and schedulers this fall. Ms. Palsgraaf has run a sample report to verify the
cancelled hearings were being captured in the report. It was decided to allow at least 6 months of
data capture, since the instructions have been sent out to take a look at the data. The report will
be run and reviewed with the juvenile directors and unit court administration to verify accuracy.
At that point, if it works well, the Odyssey User Group will be asked to move the report from the
enterprise custom reports to the case analysis report so it would be available to other users. It
will be looked at locally to see if there is any causes of unnecessary delays that can be addressed.
In many ways, the first goal of the committee is close to completion and are ready to move on to
2014 Meeting Dates Friday, February 28 at 1:30pm - Bismarck Friday, May 16 at 10:00 am - Bismarck Friday, July 25 at 10:00 am - Bismarck Friday, November 7 at 10:00 am - Bismarck
A motion was made by Bob Rutten to adjourn the meeting, motion seconded by Shari Doe,