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Published October 30, 2013, 08:24 PM

News Spirit Lake Nation leaders making an effort to repair the tribe's Social Services system

New leaders on the Spirit Lake Nation are making an effort to repair the tribe's Social Services system, after several children have been killed or injured in the last several years. Tuesday they met with state leaders to find out ways to get more funding for the social services program.

By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ

New leaders on the Spirit Lake Nation are making an effort to repair the tribe's Social Services system, after several children have been killed or injured in the last several years. Tuesday they met with state leaders to find out ways to get more funding for the social services program.

The new tribal leaders director says his top priority has been to re-build funding streams for social services programs on the reservation. Robert O'Keefe, the new social services director, took over just under two months ago. New tribal judge Jennifer Cross came on board a month earlier. They and other tribal leaders met with state officials to discuss Four-E funds, which help pay for foster care services. Shari Doe with the Department of Human Services says it's important for the state to joint tribal and federal agencies to help protect kids on the reservation.

Tribal Judge Jennifer Cross said, " One of the reasons we're here is we have a new social services director, and a new judge, and we want to make sure we're all talking the same language. The funds are very important because as many people know, raising children is very expensive, and we want to make sure the children receive their funding so they have their basic needs met."

Officials say the extra funding could result in more social workers being hired by the tribe. There are currently two tribal case workers working with foster children on the reservation. Social Services says ideally the tribe would be able to hire one more.

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