The goal of the Family Services Department is to promote the health, social, and emotional well-being of individual Poarch Band of Creek Indians (PBCI) Tribal Members and their families, and for members of other federally-recognized Tribes residing within the designated service area for PBCI. Programs such as day care assistance and protection for tribal children through the Indian Child Welfare Act provide much needed help for the Tribe and its members. Other services supported by grants and tribal funds are administered through six separate program areas currently managed under the Family Services Department: Abuse Prevention Program; Adult Services Program; Child Care Program; Child and Family Welfare Program; Community Services Program; and the Crisis Assistance Program.
The Abuse Prevention Program provides intervention services to victims of domestic violence, family violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. The Department maintains an Emergency Shelter to provide time-limited shelter for these victims. While the shelter is primarily used for victims of domestic violence and/or child abuse, it may be used for other people in emergency situations. Each occupant over eighteen (18) years of age must pass a criminal background check. The shelter is generally approved for 72 hours. Any extensions of stay must be approved by the Tribal Administrator and/or Tribal Chair. A time-limited transitional housing program is managed for victims on a time-limited basis per their individualized case plan.
The Adult Services Program provides assistance to adult PBCI Tribal Members and their families. These services include assisting with general welfare issues, family issues, and adult abuse and neglect investigations and protective services. The Adult Services Program administers three in-home programs including the Homemaker Case Aide program, the Respite Care Program, and the Attendant Care Program.
The Homemaker Aide Program provides direct homemaker aide services to Poarch Band of Creek Indian elderly and disabled Tribal Members who reside within the surrounding five-county service area. This is short-term in-home assisted living services, including general cleaning, meal preparation and planning, grocery shopping, and assisting with transportation to medical appointment through arrangements with the PBCI Health Department.
The Respite and Attendant Care Program provide in-home services for members of PBCI Tribal Member households who require twenty-four (24) hour care. The Respite program provides time-limited relief for the in-home caregivers providing care for those PBCI Tribal Member household residents who require twenty-four (24) hour care. The Attendant Care program provides time-limited in-home services for the PBCI Tribal Member household resident who is bed-ridden or has late-stage Alzheimer’s or late-stage Dementia and who requires twenty-four (24) hour care.
The Child Care program provides limited financial assistance to help parents cover the cost of child care. The Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) provides limited financial assistance for child care payments for eligible households. Eligible households include those with children who are members of federally-recognized Tribes and who live within PBCI’s designated service area. These households must also meet the financial guidelines for this program, and all adults nineteen (19) and older must be employed at least part-time (20 hours per week) or enrolled and attending college at least part-time (20 hours per week). PBCI Tribal Member children and PBCI 1st Generation Indian Descendant children whose household income is greater than guidelines for CCDF will be eligible to receive limited financial assistance through the PBCI Tribal Child Care Program. The adults, nineteen (19) years and older must also be employed at least part-time (20 hours per week) or enrolled and attending college at least part-time (20 hours per week)
Other services provided are for limited jurisdiction child enforcement petitions in Tribal Court to establish paternity, child support payments, or modification of previous child support orders. Court-ordered custody home studies are also provided by social services staff.
The Child and Family Welfare program operates under a Bureau of Indian Affairs 638 Contract which provides funding to operate a child welfare program and some emergency assistance for food, shelter, clothing, cleaning supplies, etc. The child welfare component is designed to assist children who are members of or are eligible for membership in federally-recognized Tribe during a family crisis created by abuse and/or neglectful issues. The Department has the responsibility for investigating abuse and neglect for children who are on the Poarch Band of Creek Indian’s reservation. If necessary to provide them with a safe and secure placement, social services staff will arrange a boarding arrangement with extended family or in a licensed tribal foster home. The Department also recruits, trains, and licenses tribal foster homes. Under the BIA contract, funds are provided to assist the Tribe in responding to the law under the Indian Child Welfare Act. It gives authority to the Tribe to petition for jurisdiction with State Courts in child welfare cases involving Tribal Member children or children eligible for tribal membership. When requested, the Tribe also intervenes in cases within our service area on behalf of the tribal children from other federally recognized tribes. Verification of tribal enrollment for social service agencies all over the country is also a function of the Child and Family Welfare Program.
Other services provided are for limited jurisdiction child enforcement petitions in Tribal Court to establish paternity, child support payments, or modification of previous child support orders. Court-ordered custody home studies are also provided by the staff.
The Community Services Program provides limited financial assistance according to program guidelines. Funds utilized under the Community Services Program include the Low Income Home Energy Program (LIHEAP), the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG), the Tribal Assistance Program (TAP), and the Tribal Crisis Fund (TCF). Members of federally-recognized Tribes who reside within the designated PBCI service area are eligible to participate in the income-based LIHEAP and CSBG programs. PBCI Tribal Member households are eligible to receive assistance from the TAP or TCF programs if their need meets the program criteria.
The Crisis Assessment Program provides assistance to PBCI Tribal Members who have a financial crisis. A thorough assessment of need is completed and a case plan is developed designed to address the identified needs. Financial counseling is provided to assist the PBCI Tribal Member develop and maintain a budget enabling them to successful obtain financial freedom.
Family Services Front Desk
(251) 368-9136, ext. 2600
Child Welfare, Family and Parenting issues, or for Foster Parenting or Adoption, please call Michealine Deese at
(251) 368-9136, ext. 2603
Adult Services or Adult Welfare, please call Wanda Fowler at
(251) 368-9136, ext. 2373
Family Services Director
(251) 368-9136 ext. 2024