Family Service agencies on the Wind River Indian Reservation were recognized in December for being among the first tribal organizations in the United States to manage their own child support enforcement programs and for other notable social service improvements. Wyoming Department of Family Services Director Steve Corsi presided at the occasion with Northern Arapaho DFS Director James Trosper.
“We think the notable improvements and progress made by both tribal DFS offices are notable and worthy of recognition,” Corsi said, "and we are fortunate in Wyoming to have developed strong government-to-government relationships with both tribes on the Wind River Reservation."
State DFS Tribal Liaison Tom Kennah said he was proud both tribes have made a substantial improvement in child protection and juvenile probation and have greatly increased their face to face contact with children and families. He said the Northern Arapaho DFS have steadily increased their face-to-face numbers by 10 percent, helping them to get over the 90 percent mark. The Eastern Shoshone DFS also went up to 85 percent.
In other areas beyond child protection, Corsi said in the child support enforcement area, tribal programs are currently working to come online with the state's tax intercept program. He said the State of Wyoming and the two tribes also became the first state to work out sharing levels between state and tribal TANF programs.
Corsi noted the tribes now also receive direct federal funding to operate the Low Income Energy Assistance Program. Both tribal DFS offices administer the weatherization program that also helps low-income families reduce their energy bills.
"It really is the staff and the hard work that they put into and the commitment that they have to the department and the community," said Northern Arapaho DFS director James Trosper.