Child & Family Services


CFS provides culturally appropriate services focused on successful safety, well-being, and permanency outcomes for children and families. To achieve this vision, CFS engages community members so that they may take positive initiative in supporting one another with respect by living with traditional values and teachings of the Winnebago/HoChunk culture. Every Winnebago child must have access to community-based, culturally appropriate services that help them grow up safe, healthy, and spiritually strong – free from abuse, neglect, sexual exploitation, and the damaging effects  of substance abuse.


  • Investigations –  In collaboration with Law Enforcement, CFS investigates allegations of child abuse and neglect on the reservation to assess risks, develop safety plans, offer services, and – when appropriate – initiate  Tribal Court involvement.
  • Oversight and Removal Prevention – When children can be safely maintained in their parental home with services, CFS provides assessment, referral, and oversight to prevent out of home placement.
  • Placements –  In some cases, out-of-home placement for children is the only way to ensure their safety. CFS utilizes the Tribal Code placement preferences to place children first with appropriate immediate family members on the reservation. When immediate family is not available we coordinate placement next with (in order of preference) extended family members, a traditional Tribal custodian, other Tribal member, a family from another Tribe, a licensed Indian foster home, or a foster home licensed by any other licensing authority.
  • Reunification --  Our goal is to heal families so that they can remain intact, so we provide services and supports to reunify families where out-of-home placement has occurred.
  • ICWA — With guidance and oversight provided by and ICWA Committee appointed by the Tribal Council, we provide intervention, transfer of jurisdiction, and/or case oversight for enrolled tribal children who are the subject of child welfare cases that originate in jurisdictions outside the reservation.
  • Independent Living --  For older children expected to age out of the foster care system, or for youth 18 to 21 who were formerly in foster care (and who reside on the reservation) we provide a range of educational, vocational, and basic life skills preparatory services to assist in their transition to adult independence.
  • FGDM-Family Group Decision Making is a referred service offered by Child & Family Services as an alternative process to engage families (household and extended network of care) in decision making for their children to help identify and/or support a family plan for their child/youths permanency. For more information on FGDM @ Winnebago please visit the following sites:

For any question please contact FGDM Coordinators:
Candace Payer - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Salena Snake - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 402-878-2063
Fax: 402-878-2087 

Phone (402) 257-5450

Contact CFS

Human Services Department
218 Industrial Road
PO Box 723
Winnebago, NE 68071
Toll Free (833) 568-7882
Phone (402) 257-5586
Fax (402) 878-2228

To report suspected abuse and neglect call the hotline at 1-800-652-1999. If there are immediate safety concerns, call 9-1-1