Prevention. Intervention. Respect.
Tipis in a field

My Two Aunties

Background

Tribal Family Services (TFS) would like to continue its prevention and early intervention program efforts and develop a trauma-informed clinic with programming that provides guidance and draws in the community to seek help when they need or want it. TFS wants to move away from their current image as a “place that removes children” and toward being understood as a “place that works to better the community, where they can offer resources and provide guidance and training.” To accomplish that goal, TFS is proposing the My Two Aunties program, conceived “in the image of all the aunties out there that provide loving guidance with firm discussion when necessary.” My Two Aunties would be an intervention practice model for the Tribal community that addresses whatever a family needs, including training, prevention services, intervention during crisis, and follow-up. It would be created by the community and could use trained and trusted volunteers. Given historical and intergeneration trauma, families are fearful of asking for help and there exists the fear of being reported to child welfare; as a result, families often think it is easier to keep secrets of abuse, drinking, and neglect within the family. My Two Aunties could provide caring and trusted individuals who are seen by the people they help as there because they care about the community rather than as outsiders with no real connection to the community or family.

Goals and outcomes

Setting up, developing, and implementing the My Two Aunties program.

Spotlight

  • The My Two Aunties program is based in part on the Family Spirit curriculum and the American Indian Infant Health Initiative (AIIHI).
  • My Two Aunties is unique in that it builds on other home visiting programs (AIIHI program and Family Spirit model) by bringing the knowledge and experience of aunties (who traditionally played a central role in the rearing and teaching of children) as a source of community resilience in the face of maladaptive behaviors, including substance abuse and child maltreatment.