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Native American foster care and the struggle to find indigenous carers in LA




Lisa Smith at her home.
Lisa Smith at her home.
Isabel Avila
Lisa Smith at her home.
Lisa Smith at her home in Diamond Bar.
Isabel Avila
Lisa Smith at her home.
Robert Rodriguez (left) and David White run DCFS’ ‘American Indian Unit.’
Isabel Avila


Back in March, a six-year-old girl named Lexi was removed from her foster home in Santa Clarita. Her story made national headlines; a video of her being handed over to social workers went viral.

At issue? Lexi's Native American heritage and a long standing piece of legislation designed to keep indigenous families together. But here in Los Angeles, finding Native American foster carers is a struggle.

Daniel Heimpel has written about efforts to change this for the Chronicle of Social Change. It covers child welfare and juvenile justice issues. He joined hos A Martinez to discuss the issue.

More information can be found here or by calling 888-811-1121

For more on the recruitment of Native American foster carers in Los Angeles, Take Two host A Martinez spoke with David White, he's the Assistant Regional Administrator overseeing the Department of Child and Family Services American Indian Units and Robert Rodriguez, Supervising Children's Social Worker overseeing one of the two American Indian Units in Covina. He's also Native American himself. 

Audio coming soon.