Lakota Oyate Wakanyeja Owicakiyapi (LOWO) Transformation Report
Approximately 30 years ago, Casey Family Programs established a division in Rapid City, South Dakota, to provide direct foster care services in the region. From the beginning, the Rapid City Division made a commitment to follow the guidelines of the Indian Child Welfare Act in its work with Indian children and families. In 1986, Casey Family Programs opened its first office to serve the Pine Ridge Reservation.
Over time, Casey Family Programs worked to transform the Pine Ridge office from a Casey-led and -funded operation to a tribally chartered Indian child welfare program in its own right — Lakota Oyate Wakanyeja Owicakiyapi (LOWO).
2012 marked a new milestone in this work, when Casey Family Programs transferred ownership of the LOWO office to the tribe.
Read this report for the story of the 30-year transformation of Casey Family Programs’ work in Pine Ridge, and the growth of a culturally responsive, tribe-led child welfare agency.