Category: Institute, Trainings

Date: August 05, 2023

Indicators for At-Risk Native American Children Training

Training – Indicators for At-Risk Native American Children

Training Description

Native American children can be at an increased risk of experiencing child abuse and neglect, depending on their environment and circle of care. Some commonly stated indicators help identify such risks. These include frequent absences from school, sudden changes in behavior, inappropriate sexual behavior, unexplained injuries or bruises, and self-harming behavior. Other indicators may include substance abuse, depression, anxiety, and aggression.

It is essential to differentiate between risk factors and risk indicators. Risk factors are the circumstances or conditions that increase the likelihood of child abuse or neglect, such as poverty, substance abuse, and domestic violence. On the other hand, risk indicators are the observable signs that suggest the possibility of abuse or neglect. Understanding these differences is crucial in identifying and responding to child abuse and neglect.

When identifying indicators specific to a community, it is necessary to involve community members and stakeholders. They have valuable insights into the cultural norms, practices, and beliefs that can affect the identification and reporting of child abuse and neglect. Developing a culturally sensitive and relevant approach is possible by working with the community.

To draft a child abuse and safety protocol that can assist with effective response systems, it is vital to consider the unique needs and circumstances of the community. The protocol should clearly outline the roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder, as well as the steps needed if child abuse or neglect is suspected. It should also emphasize the importance of cultural sensitivity and the need for ongoing education and training for all relevant parties. By doing so, we can help ensure the safety and well-being of Native American children in tribal communities.

Learning Objectives

  • Distinguish between risk factors and risk indicators
  • Define risk indicators for Native American children 
  • Discuss how risk indicators are typically used and guide community response to child welfare issues
  • Identify approaches to using indicators to develop safety protocols

Audience: This skills-based workshop is for beginner, intermediate, and advanced-level helping professionals.

Dates: Oct. 10th, 18th, 25th (4-hour training)

Location: TBD



Dr. Riley is an enrolled member of the Mescalero Apache Tribe of New Mexico. She has worked in the field of social work for over 23 years and is currently the Director of the Native American Social Work Studies Institute. Her passion is working with people and teaching and learning new things.


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