WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The US Department of Health and Human Services must improve assistance to Indian tribes running foster programs in order to overcome resource shortages, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in a report on Wednesday.
“Indian tribes developing title IV-E foster care programs faced resource constraints and reported challenges adopting some program requirements,” the report said, calling on officials to “improve the timeliness of assistance provided to tribes.”
Moreover, the US Department of Health and Human Services often failed to provide timely and consistent feedback to tribes operating foster care programs, according to the GAO, which called on officials to standardize its guidance and respond to tribal proposals in a timely manner.
Almost 3 million people exclusively identified as American Indian and Alaska Native in the latest population survey, according to the US Census Bureau. There are 561 federally recognized Indian tribes in the US, according to the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
The GAO is a US federal agency that monitors government bodies on behalf of US Congress.