Oct. 21 from 1:30-2:30 p.m. CT

  • Free

Webinar Description

Tribal nations have been historically left out of conversations and efforts to improve data management and technology in human services, thus missing out on a key opportunity to promote equitable systems in child welfare. This also has the effect of minimizing the effectiveness of systems that can help ensure children with tribal heritage are supported and cared for in a way that recognizes, respects, and preserves their unique identities.

This presentation will highlight the disparity in child welfare practice between federal/state governments and tribes, an issue influenced by biased policy, lack of investment, and an ignorance of tribal customs and practices. The diverse panel will examine tribal equity in child welfare from different angles, tackling tough conversations including the history of racist policies, tribal sovereignty of data, and recent efforts in child welfare to help promote equity and access for tribes. 

The panelists will discuss their effort in transforming New Mexico’s foster and adoptive family approvals and matching system, which includes a historic partnership with the child welfare software company Binti to provide modern tools to local tribal nations, including Taos Pueblo, for use in their sovereign tribal child welfare systems. While the state and each tribal nation operate independently, Binti allows them to stay aligned in supporting the youth and families they each serve. The technology also supports the state and tribes in meeting the requirements of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), which ensures that every effort is made to keep tribal youth in their community of origin.

Participants will have opportunities to contribute to the discussion through the workshop’s interactive elements (e.g., virtual polls, discussion questions, Q&A, and next steps). This session aims to create dialogue, share ideas, and encourage action to promote tribal equity and inclusion in human services practice, policy, and research.

This webinar is offered in partnership with SPARK 2021 sponsor, Binti. Learn more about Binti online.

View full event details and register now for SPARK 2021, a virtual learning experience to be held Oct. 12-14.

What You'll Take Away

  • Learn about the cultural importance of tribal child welfare systems
  • Understand the role that data and technology play in promoting effective equitable child welfare practice
  • Identify specific steps that professionals and organizations can take to help promote tribal equity and inclusion

Who Should Join

  • Those interested in tribal equity
  • Those interested in innovation, data, and technology in the human services sector, specifically for child welfare 


Donalyn Sarracino, LMSW/NCGC-II
Director of Tribal Affairs
New Mexico Children, Youth & Families Department

Donalyn Sarracino is from the Pueblo of Acoma, New Mexico, and is a Licensed Masters Social Worker (LMSW). She has spent part of her career as a mental health clinician serving individuals with substance abuse and problem gambling disorders as a program coordinator at The Evolution Group in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and as a Mental Health Clinician at the New Mexico Women’s Correctional Facility in Grants, New Mexico. Donalyn has spent the last eight years as a child welfare practitioner in the capacity of Tribal Director of Social Services. She has been an agent for change and founded the New Mexico Indian Child Welfare Consortium to address the disparities of the child welfare system as it relates to Indian Child Welfare; and most recently serves as the Director of Tribal Affairs for NM-CYFD in Santa Fe, New Mexico She began her partnership with Binti and the Pueblos, Nations and Tribes in New Mexico in the fall of 2019. She sees the partnership as an opportunity to strengthen tribal-state relationships to better serve and address the needs of native children and families, living on and off tribal land; as well as to help support tribal capacity and infrastructure.

Christina Olsen, LMSW
Social Services Manager
Taos Pueblo

Christy Olsen is the social services Manager at Taos Pueblo, where she uses holistic and culturally appropriate methodology within the native community for family preservation and family-centered social work practice. She has over two decades of experience working in the field of social work but finds herself again a student of the Red Willow people. Her focus is to gain an understanding of the intergenerational trauma and internalized oppression facing native communities to develop programs and support services that honor their traditions and values. Olsen’s mantra throughout her career has been “We are in the business of HOPE.”

Headshot of Barrett JohnsonBarrett Johnson, MSW, LCSW
Director of Business Development

Barrett Johnson, MSW, LCSW is the director of business development at Binti. Barrett has spent his career in child welfare as a practitioner and agent for change and innovation. He started as a child welfare worker in San Francisco, serving children and families for five years. From there, he spent about 15 years at California Social Work Education Center (CalSWEC) at UC Berkeley School of Social Welfare as the director of a project to develop and coordinate the statewide child welfare training system in California. Returning to San Francisco in 2014, Barrett served as program director with a wide portfolio that included leadership for new program development/implementation, data/continuous quality improvement, policy, workforce development, contract oversight, budget coordination, foster care eligibility and support services. Barrett began his partnership with Binti early on, working with the Binti team to develop and implement their first module in San Francisco. He joined Binti shortly after, and he has been working to help improve child welfare practice and policy with modern tools and technology.