Nak-Nu-Wit System of Care

Project Dates: 10/1/2008 - 9/30/2014

The Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (NPAIHB) in partnership with the Native American Rehabilitation Association of the Northwest, Inc. (NARA NW) is developing an integrated, holistic and culturally-relevant system of care for urban American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) children and youth, ages 9-21, diagnosed as, or at risk of becoming, seriously emotionally or behaviorally disturbed (SEBD) and their families. This system of care project has been given the name of Nak-Nu-Wit (pronounced Nock-new-wit), which means "everything/all things are being taken care of for the people; the people are the project, our responsibility, our work."

Portland State University's Regional Research Institute for Human Services (RRI) is responsible for the Nak-Nu-Wit system of care project evaluation on a national and local level. The purpose of the ongoing system evaluation is to assess the extent to which the necessary collaboration and coordination is occurring, and the extent to which the structures, policies, and activities that support collaboration are being systematically institutionalized. Program evaluation will be focused on assessing the quality of the wraparound process that is being offered to children, youth, and their families.

The overall evaluation will be developed according to the following principles:

  • Integrate and build on the rich, informative, and culturally-specific findings from the Circles of Care Project.
  • Utilize a community-based participatory action process that includes all stakeholders in the design, implementation, utilization and dissemination of the local evaluation, and in the use of data gathered as part of the national evaluation.
  • Offer workforce development opportunities to family and youth partners as part of evaluation activities to build capacity for sustained community-based participatory action evaluation.
  • Make maximum use of the evaluation findings to improve outcomes at the child and family team, organizational, and system levels.
  • Strategic use of findings to promote a culture of continuous learning and improvement.
  • Regular dissemination of evaluation findings to all stakeholders, especially including the Steering Committee, the Operations Committee, the Nak-Nu-Wit Family and Youth Advisory Council, and the Evaluation Workgroup.
  • Link local evaluation activities to sustainability goals with respect to capacity, infrastructure, and resources.


Related Links

Native American Rehabilitation Association of the Northwest, Inc. (NARA NW)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association (SAMHSA)

Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (NPAIHB)

Circles of Care Project - ended 2008