Tribal STAR is a training and technical assistance program that focuses on building collaborations that improve outcomes for Native American children in the juvenile dependency system. “STAR” is an acronym for Successful Transitions for Adult Readiness, honoring the original program from which Tribal STAR evolved in 2003.
Our team provides training to child welfare social workers, legal advocates, Tribal Nations and Tribal Social Service agencies, and other ICWA advocates. We work with child welfare leadership and the tribal community to identify training priorities in San Diego, Imperial, Orange, San Bernardino, and Riverside Counties. Additionally, we host educational Forums to elevate social work practice and an annual Celebration to honor ICWA Champions and improvements in child welfare and ICWA compliance.
Tribal STAR believes that meaningful partnerships are the key to reducing disproportionality and creating lasting change to support Native American children and families. Tribal STAR is guided by a Community Leadership Team, comprised of Elders and experienced child welfare and legal professionals. We are a part of the Seventh Generation Workgroup, a community advisory workgroup comprised of Tribal Social Services, Tribal leadership, academics, county social services, probation, legal services, and other related resources. We work with state agencies including the California Department of Social Services, the Office of Tribal Affairs (OTA), California Social Work Education Center (CalSWEC), and the Judicial Council. We promote national efforts to improve outcomes for Indian children and families and are an official partner of the National Capacity Building Resource Center for Tribes (Children’s Bureau), and collaborate with the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.
Tribal STAR’s work is driven by the deep love and connection to our people, the belief that our purpose and destiny is to support the healing of generations past, present, and future, and to engage through our passion and vision, partners who can create long-term change.
This mission of Tribal STAR is to ensure culture, community, and resources for Indian children in child welfare and promote compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA 1978).
We envision the day when all Tribal foster youth have successfuly transitioned to adulthood, and are healthy contributing members of our community because they maintained connection to their Tribe, culture, and resources.
Kim Mettler (Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara)
Sunni Dominguez (Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel)
Assistant Program Coordinator
(Diné, Navajo Nation. Of the Red Bottom People clan, T ł ‘ááshchí’í; born for the Charcoal Streaked Division of the Red Running into the Water clan, Naaneesht’ ézhi Táchii’nii; the Creole People are my maternal grandfather and the Many Goats Clan, T ł ‘ízí lání are my paternal grandfather.)
Administrative Support Assistant
The Academy for Professional Excellence and Tribal Star is committed to creating an inclusive and welcoming environment that appreciates and builds on diversity. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, as amended, The Academy for Professional Excellence prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. To request accommodations, please contact your county’s Human Resources representative.