Title: Family Safety

The Family Safety Program offers child and adult protective services to the children and families in our Cherokee community. We work jointly with programs such as Analenisgi, Safe Babies, Transitional Housing, and other local Cherokee resources through services in the home and community.

We are instilling our Cherokee culture, beliefs, and traditions in our every day practice with our families to promote the preservation of Cherokee culture. Keeping our families together is our number one priority.

young girl in gardenOur foster parents
will provide a safe environment for our children while their families get back on their feet.

Foster parents will be licensed and trained through our program and will receive support from the program and foster parents.

Foster care applications are available and accepted at the Family Safety office.

"Foster the Dreams of Our Future, Our Tribe"
Click the video below to view our Foster Care Licensure Public Service Announcement.

poster for foster parenting

The Transitional Housing program is a short to medium term program to address those families of the EBCI who may have encountered economic hardship, displacement, over-crowding, and/or may be in a recovery process. The program staff provides support, a stable living environment, life skills instruction to its participants. Occupancy for units is six (6) months to give adequate time to clients to achieve self-sufficiency.



Principal chief with families in council chambers

We have an abundance of gently used clothes FREE to anyone who can use them.  Clothing sizes available are adults, children, and babies. All in good condition.

Clothing is available for pick up Monday – Friday from 7:45 am – 4:30 pm.

The Safe Babies Program for maltreated infants and toddlers is a systems change initiative, focused on improving how the court, child welfare agencies, and related child-serving organizations work together, share infornation, and expedite services for young children aged 0-5.

adult hand holding baby handThis includes increasing knowledge among all those who work with maltreated children about the needs of infants and toddlers. The Safe Babies Program Team is led by Associate Judges, Kirk Saunooke and Danny Davis; and child welfare agency representatives who collaborate with the Community Coordinator, Tina Saunooke, child development specialist, to create a team of child welfare and health professionals, advocates and community leaders. Together they provide services to abused and neglected infants and toddlers.

The overarching goal of the Safe Babies Program is to reach pennanency as early in the case as possible to prevent any further trauma to the child. Intense case work with families may include but are not limited to:

• Baby Face parenting

• Substance Abuse Therapy

• AA/NA group meetings

• Family counseling

• Child Parent Psychotherapy

• Inpatient treatment with her children

• Monthly staffing and court

Service coordination and tracking services received are equally important. Families may be referred to:


• Cherokee Pediatrics

• Child Support Enforcement

• Temporary Aid for Needly Families

• HOPE Center (Part C provider for developmental screening)

• Cherokee Transit

Items needed for Babies:

• Baby blankets

• Clothes / boggins (hats)

• Diapers

• Baby food

• Baby cribs

• Any baby related clothing or furniture items

Family Safety building

117 John Crowe Hill Dr.
Cherokee, NC 28719

Barbara Parker
Program Manager

828-359-1520 (Main)

Safe Babies Program828-359-6229
828-507-0830 (cell)

Transitional Housing
Tamara Jackson
Housing Program Coordinator
828-269-8158 (cell)

Monday - Friday
7:45 am - 4:30 pm

Emergency Contact
Cherokee Dispatch
(ask to page the Family Services Social Worker on call)

Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978
The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) is a federal law that seeks to keep American Indian children with American Indian families. Congress passed ICWA in 1978 in response to the alarmingly high number of Indian children being removed from their homes by both public and private agencies. The intent of Congress under ICWA was to "protect the best interests of Indian children and to promote the stability and security of Indian tribes and families" (25 U.S.C. § 1902). ICWA sets federal requirements that apply to state child custody proceedings involving an Indian child who is a member of or eligible for membership in a federally recognized tribe. ICWA is an integral policy framework on which tribal child welfare programs rely. It provides a structure and requirements for how public and private child welfare agencies and state courts view and conduct their work to serve tribal children and families. It also acknowledges and promotes the role that tribal governments play in supporting tribal families, both on and off tribal lands. However, as is the case with many laws, proper implementation of ICWA requires vigilance, resources, and advocacy. Learn more