Human Services

Our mission is to provide quality services within a culture of care that promotes the safety of children and self-sufficiency of families so they can thrive and achieve a healthier lifestyle. We embrace each individual’s uniqueness and abilities and make every attempt to build on and solidify their strengths.


  • Treat Clients with dignity, courtesy, and respect.
  • Provide services in a non-judgmental manner without personal biases.
  • Experienced, knowledgeable and skilled staff provide culturally appropriate services.
  • To support & promote accountability of staff to meet or exceed established standards.
  • To provide services with consistent patience, support and guidance.
  • To encourage high integrity in the delivery of services and honour the dignity of clients.
  • To incorporate compassion and empathy into services provided for community members.
  • To understand the emotional state and ideas of others.
  • To employ a client- centered approach in developing strong communication linkages.
  • To include a cultural team case management approach in which cultural values are important.

Winnebago Location:

  • 218 Industrial Road, P.O. Box 723
    Winnebago, NE 68071

  • (402) 878-2228

  • 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM

Sioux City Location:

  • 505 5th Street #320
    Sioux City, IA 51101

  • (712) 203-2353

  • 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM

Human Services Director
Miskoo Petite

Social Services Program Manager
Keri Bass

Office Manager
Vanna Rave

Deputy Director
Kayla Backer

Child & Family Services
Lauren Buchanan

Preserving Native Families Unit
Angie Walker

Early Childhood Program Manager
Sinai Carrillo 

Social Services - Program Overview

  • Social Services Program
    • Temporary Assistance For Needy Families (TANF)
    • General Assistance (GA)
    • Child Care
  • Support Services
    • Employment, Education, and Training Related services for individuals, working or non-working families
  • Emergency Assistance – Winnebago enrolled members only
  • Senior Heating – 55 and older
  • Senior Pilot – 55 and older employment
  • Summer Youth Employment - through Higher Ed department

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
Is a program that provides cash assistance to assist families with children under age 18, who are living with their parent(s) or relative, who meet specific criteria and whose taxable family income meets the federal poverty guidelines.

General Assistance (GA)
Is a program that provides temporary financial assistance for the following essential needs only: food, shelter, clothing, and basic necessary utilities. GA is only available when no other resources are available to you.

Support Services
Services that are used to effectively serve low-income, unemployed or underemployed people who reside in the Tribe’s service area; to reduce welfare dependency by providing education, employment and training related services.

Emergency Assistance
This program provides assistance that is utilized when applicants are not eligible for other services that our agency offers. Applicants must be enrolled Winnebago and meet the 200% poverty guidelines.

Senior Heating
This program provides assistance for Winnebago enrolled seniors ages 55 and over who reside on the Winnebago reservation.

Senior Pilot
This program assists Winnebago enrolled seniors ages 55 and over with part-time employment.

Poverty Guidelines 2023

Household/Family Size
1 $21,870 $36,450
2 $29,580 $49,300
3 $37,290 $62,150
4 $45,000 $75,000
5 $52,710 $87,850
6 $60,420 $100,700
7 $68,130 $113,550
8 $75,840 $126,400
9 $83,550 $139,250
10 $91,260 $152,100
11 $98,970 $164,950
12 $106,680 $177,800
13 $114,390 $190,650
14 $122,100 $203,500

Elder Abuse Program:
The Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska’s Human Service’s Department, Elder Abuse Program, participated in a project with the University of Nebraska Lincoln Center back in 2014- 2016, to bring awareness to elder abuse and present prevention education. Based on the results from the 2019 Nation-wide Needs Assessment and the Winnebago Senior Center, almost half of our elders who are living alone at home, are disabled due to an accident/injury, take care of grandchildren due to them being their primary caregivers and/or are going through some kind of abuse from other family members or a caregiver for them. This is a new program that was started in October 2021 and February of 2022 but was not up and running until the end of March 2022. This new program is to Review and update our current system to better identify and respond to cases of elder abuse and more expansively, serve to prevent and address financial exploitation of elders who reside on the Winnebago Reservation.
While services are available to all elders who reside on the Winnebago Reservation, we have identified service gaps that impede safety to elder victims of financial exploitation and abuse.
Together, we must all protect our Elders from Abuse and neglect. Call the 24-hour Nebraska toll-free Hotline at 1-800-652-1999. If you feel you're in immediate danger call your local police at 402-878-2245.

Child and Family Services Program Overview

  • Protective Services
  • Title IV-B
  • Independent Living
  • Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA)

Protective Services

  • Winnebago Child and Family Services is a tribally led organization responsible for protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse and neglect.
  • Winnebago Child Protection Services is funded primarily through a contract with the state of Nebraska. Our program serves all children and families residing within the exterior boundaries of the Winnebago Indian reservation. We provide child welfare services such as: investigations, safety planning, case planning, case management, supportive services, securing specialized services, supervision, and transportation.
  • Elder and vulnerable adult abuse/neglect cases are managed through a MOU with the state. Our workers provide assistance and support in every investigation.

Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA)

  • The ICWA program protects Winnebago children. It preserves and strengthens Indian Families, ensures permanency for Winnebago children, and protects the continued existence of the Winnebago culture and Tribe. This program ensures that the Winnebago Tribe exercises sovereign authority over child custody proceedings involving ICWA eligible Winnebago children.
  • The ICWA worker processes enrollment inquiries, legal notices, interventions, and case transfers. They also coordinate regular meetings of the ICWA committee. The ICWA worker’s primary duty is to monitor ICWA eligible children who are involved in child welfare proceedings in state or county courts. In addition to monitoring cases for ICWA compliance, the ICWA worker provides assistance and guidance to the families involved in state or county child welfare courts. This position is guided by the ICWA committee, whose members convene to provide guidance and to make decisions during various points in the life of the case.

Family Team Meetings

  • Coordinated efforts to assist clients with bringing family members together to come up with a plan of action and provide support to one another.

Financial Assistance

  • Community Response funds are utilized to prevent families from coming into the child welfare system. Eligibility requirements do apply. Must be enrolled Winnebago or have a Winnebago enrolled child.

Preserving Native Families Overview

  • The Preserving Native Families Unit is a multifaceted program within the Department of Human Services that uses a holistic approach to provide person-centered services to clients. Functions include, but are not limited to, family support services, foster care, independent living/youth services, family meetings, workforce and education, advocacy, prevention services and other resources and referrals as related. The Preserving Native Families Unit provides a variety of wrap around services to help better serve all clients within the Human Services.

Preserving Native Families Forms:

Title IV-B and Independent Living

  • The Title IV-B program focuses on permanency and reunification of Winnebago families. Some funds are used foster care support services. No specific staff is assigned to this program as it is offered to eligible clients as necessary.
  • The Independent Living Program exists to assist adolescents in developing the skills they will need as they enter adulthood and become self-sufficient. Caseworkers provide individualized assessments to tribal youth age 14-19 to develop a plan that reflects the unique needs of the child.

Family Support

  • In home services, guidance, support, transportation, check ins

Cultural Family Support

  • Provides more culturally relevant in-home services to clients that need it or request it (kinship, family search, family trees)

Licensing and Recruitment

  • Recruitments of foster homes, training and licensing those homes

Employment & Education

  • Resume building, career assessments, job searching, mock interviews, college readiness, GED Prep, support services