One of the key tools for the MDT is an interview room specially designed for interviewing children. Approximately 3 years ago ICW Director LuAnn Kolumbus wrote a grant to the Department of Justice for audio-visual equipment to be utilized when for forensic interviews of children that may have been physically or sexually abused. Recently this equipment was relocated to a room located in the Social Services wing at the Tribal Office. Jane Flygstad, Children’s Justice Act Grant Coordinator contacted Slumberland Furniture in Hayward and they were very generous in donating 2 chairs and a table for the interview room! LCO children and/or Sawyer County kids will now be interviewed in a neutral, child friendly, non-threatening atmosphere by highly trained personnel and they will not have to travel to Duluth or Eau Claire for this service. Currently, LCO employees Tibissum Rice, Dianne Sullivan, Lisa Martin, Jane Flygstad, Officer Joel Valentin, Officer Eric Swan, Officer Twilah Daily and Officer Mike Sanchez have received training in basic and advanced child forensic interviewing skills.
On November 15th LCO staff (Police Officers, ICW Workers, AODA-Mental Health & Medical Personnel and Oakwood Haven Victim Advocate), Hayward Hospital Staff, as well as members of the Sawyer County Human Services Department, Sawyer County Sheriff’s Department, Hayward City Police and the District Attorney’s office participated in Child Abuse/Neglect Multi-disciplinary Team Training. Team Members present were: LuAnn Kolumbus, LCO Indian Child Welfare(ICW) Director; Lisa Martin, LCO ICW; Tiffiny Leach, LCO ICW; Tibissum Rice, LCO ICW; Dianne Sullivan, LCO ICW; Jane Flygstad, US Dept of Justice, Project Coordinator, LCO ICW; Lisa Perry, LCO Health Clinic; John Yackel, Sawyer County Assistant District Attorney; Courtney Allensworth, LCO Tribal Attorney; Paul Grahovac, Sawyer County Health and Human Services Director; Eric Swan, Sensitive Crimes Investigator, LCO Police Department; Tracy Martin, LCO Mental Health; Mark Kelsey, Sawyer County Sheriff; Brigettte Kornbroke, Sawyer County Sheriff’s Dept. Chief Deputy; Sara Ross-Poquette, Sawyer County Health and Human Services; Melinda Taylor, Oakwook Haven, Victim Advocate; Carrie Feck, Sawyer County Health and Human Services; Joel Clapero, City of Hayward, Police Chief; Dan Ross, Sawyer County Sheriff’s Dept. Investigator; J.T. Wohling, City of Hayward Police Dept. Investigator/Patrolman
Our Trainers were: Ann Hraychuck, Nationally Certified Drug Endangered Children (DEC) Program; Doreen Wehmas, Intake and Assessment Unit Supervisor, Douglas County Department of Health and Human Services; Joan Wilson, Family Services Supervisor, Washburn County Health and Human Services; Tom Fallon, Deputy DA Dane County; Sheriff Terry Dryden, Washburn County; Chief Depty. Mike Richter, Washburn County
In the next two years the team will participate in more specialized training including: Drug Endangered Children, Trauma Informed Care, Forensic Interviewing and Team Development.
The LCO Indian Child Welfare & Family Services Departments offer an array of services for families either through court ordered conditions or on a volunteer basis. The ICW staff attempt to provide services to prevent the removal of children from their homes and this is only done if it is determined that the children are at significant risk of abuse and/or neglect.
Char Lynk offers Positive Indian Parenting classes, anyone interested can contact her at (715) 634-8934, ext. 293 for more information. Tibissum Rice, Tiffany Leach and Lisa Martin provide services to families whose children have been taken into protective custody as well as intensive services to prevent the removal of children. Tibissum licenses foster homes which we are always in dire need of in cases where children are placed out of the home. Please contact her if you are interested in becoming a foster parent!
Dianne Sullivan, licensed AODA Counselor is the Prevention Education Specialist and offers educational counseling to children that are referred through the LCO Tribal Court. She also teaches prevention classes at the LCO K-12 with Patti Quaderer, Youth Prevention Coordinator 3 days per week. Patti provides alcohol & drug free activities for youth including trips to amusement parks, skiing & snow tubing, the Ballet classes which have been quite successful and college tours among other activities.
Lisa Yost is a newly hired MSW and is Coordinator for the DOJ Grant. Lisa will be working on implementing policies and procedures in addition to formalizing and training a fully functional Multi-Dysciplinary Team which will improve child abuse and neglect investigations at LCO. Forest Rose Hamilton pretty much holds everything together in the department! She oversees the Kinship Care Program as well as accepts Judicare applications. For more information on services please contact LuAnn or any of the above mentioned staff who will be able to locate services if they are not offered within our departments.
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