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Family Services

Family Services

If you are currently experiencing an emergency please call 911. If you are in need of urgent assistance with a mental health crisis call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988. If you are seeking shelter call the shelter hotline in Ramsey County at 612-248-2350 or in Hennepin County at 651-291-0211. For assistance with situations involving domestic violence call the Day 1 Crisis Lifeline at 866-223-1111 or visit

Family Services includes programs under three initiatives:

Program Descriptions

Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) Services

ICWA Court Monitor Program

The Court Monitor attends court hearings to observe and monitor for Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) law violations. They also provide training to judges, attorneys, and social workers on the act. The goal of the program is to increase ICWA compliance. The project provides a widely distributed ICWA Court Monitor Newsletter to state and national stakeholders.

Tribal Liaison Program

The Tribal Liaison project is unique as it’s the only program in the country providing services to out-of-state tribes and acting on behalf of tribes in court with their authorization. Tribal Liaisons gather information from all court parties and share it with the tribe so that the tribe can make informed recommendations. The goal is to increase tribal participation and promote family preservation, cultural connections, and reunification. The project has long-standing relationships with tribes throughout the United States. The Tribal Liaisons currently work directly with ICWA services for the following tribes:

  • Oglala Sioux Tribe
  • Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
  • Rosebud Sioux Tribe
  • Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate
  • Yankton Sioux Tribe
  • Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe
  • Three Affiliated Tribes
  • Spirit Lake
  • Omaha Tribe of Nebraska
  • Northern Cheyenne
  • Rocky Boy
  • Blackfeet Nation
  • Cherokee Nation
  • Eastern Band of Cherokee
  • Tohono O’odham Tribe
  • San Carlos Apache
  • Navajo Nation
  • Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe
  • Bad River Ojibwe
  • Hannahville
  • Sault Ste Marie
  • Iowa Tribe of Kansas
  • and others

Early Intervention Services

Early Intervention Program

The Early Intervention Program (EI) provides financial support and referrals to American Indian families in the metro area. To be eligible for EI clients must have children 18 or younger living in the home and can NOT currently have an open child protection case. Relatives of children can apply if they are the primary caregivers. Clients are referred to EI by community partners, MAIC staff, and county workers. We are always looking for additional referring partners. Financial assistance can be provided for back due rent, a deposit, past due bills, children’s clothing, and cultural activities. All applications are reviewed by the EI Coordinator and all funding distributed is at the discretion of the EI Program. Early Intervention Program funding also assists families in cultural activities, including field trips to cultural sites and activities through MAIC’s Culture Language Arts Network Family Fun Night.

Family Stability Program

As one of the longest-standing programs in Family Services, the goal of Family Stability is to prevent families experiencing crises from entering the child protection system. The project can provide case management, connection to resources, completing referrals, and assisting with limited emergency financial needs. Referrals to the program can be through self-referral, a Social Worker, a school professional, a Hennepin County worker, or a community agency. Families and individuals interested in the program need to be residing in Hennepin County.

Special Focus Program

The Special Focus Program works with families experiencing crises and provides case management, connection to resources, completes referrals, and assists with limited emergency financial needs. Special focus works to prevent families from entering the child protection system as well as families who are already involved in the child protection system.

Referrals to the program can be through:

  • self-referral
  • a social worker
  • a school professional
  • a county worker
  • a community agency
Bright Beginnings

Bright Beginnings works with Native American women who are or are at risk of abusing substances and are currently pregnant or have recently delivered. Intensive case management services and weekly group meetings provide parenting and cultural education to help women in their sobriety. Some of the cultural teachings the group regularly does are around ceremony teachings, women’s teachings, ribbon skirt making, creation stories, moccasin making, seasonal teachings, medicine gathering/sage picking, and more. Bright Beginnings assists moms and families with newborn and baby items, transportation to appointments, including connection to prenatal appointments, and any needed treatment or chemical health evaluation. Referrals to the program can be through self-referral, a social worker, a school professional, a county worker, or a community agency. BB has also launched a pilot program with Hennepin County to work with Child Protection and intervene in cases earlier with the goal of keeping babies with their mothers.

  • Bright Beginnings Whole Family Systems

    The Whole Family Systems Project involves Bright Beginnings working with the State of Minnesota to examine system barriers. The work is funded by a Minnesota Department of Human Services Supported Whole Family Systems five-year grant. Throughout the project, we have worked with current and former Bright Beginnings moms and other community teams to coordinate responses to child welfare administration, housing, and hospitals around specific policy and system change. The need for these changes has been identified by American Indian moms who have experienced the systems and who have witnessed the barriers, inequitable treatment, and disparities. A pilot project with Hennepin County is currently underway to support situations when Child Protection Services is involved. A Bright Beginnings case manager is contacted when Child Protection Services investigates cases at the hospital, and they work with the family to create a safety circle, plan, and arrange support so that newborn babies can remain at home.

Quilts created by women who are participating in the Bright Beginnings program.

Indigenous Women’s Life Net (IWLN) Program

IWLN Domestic Violence Housing Program

This program assists Native American women facing domestic violence and helps them obtain shelter, emergency services, and housing. We can also assist with technology to complete applications online. Referrals to the program can be through self-referral, shelter workers, a social worker, a school professional, a county worker, or a community agency.

IWLN Sexual Assault Case Management

Indigenous Women’s Life Net helps women who are survivors of sexual assault. We provide direct services such as resources and referrals for other programs. We offer transportation assistance, one-on-one, case management, court accompaniment, etc. to empower clients and assist with their wellbeing, self-sufficiency, and healing.

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Laura Newton

Program Director
Cell (612) 419-3522
Office (612) 879-1714

Kassidy Korbitz

Bright Beginnings Coordinator/Data Manager
Cell (612) 468-6940
Office (612) 879-1735

Lainey Connelly

Family Stability Worker
Cell (612) 364-0162
Office (612) 879-1704

Mikayla Maxwell

Tribal Liaison
Cell (612)760-6037
Office (612) 879-1724

Elise LaGarde

Tribal Liason
Cell (612) 431-5277
Office (612) 879-1741

Rachel LaRose

Indigenous Women’s Life Net Coordinator/Case Manager
Cell (952) 356-4011
Office (612) 879-1736

Rebecca Jackson

Indigenous Women’s Life Net Housing Case Manager
Cell (651) 392-1262