DIFRC | Denver Indian Family Resource Center

About Us

Denver Indian Family Resource Center (DIFRC) was founded in early 2000 as a child welfare agency dedicated to meeting the diverse and emerging needs of American Indian children and families in the Denver metropolitan area. Our goal is to assist families to avoid involvement with the child welfare system and to support and advocate for families already involved. We provide a variety of services that build up the strengths of Native families and that help children thrive.

Our definition of family reflects the reality for most American Indian and Alaska Native families and includes relatives and close friends. When families have already encountered child abuse or neglect charges, our approach is to actively advocate for and refer to culturally-appropriate services, and to provide intensive case management and active effects for family reunification. When families are at risk for involvement with the child welfare system, we provide comprehensive services to assist the family in avoiding the need for systems-level intervention. Additionally, we work with the broader American Indian and Alaska Native community by providing services to strengthen cultural and social connections while gaining practical, real-life skills. Our services are strength-based and empowerment oriented. We work together with our families and other agencies to help promote responsible healing by restoring balance, nurturing pride, and recognizing the extended family and community.

Read more about the history of child removal and why DIFRC came to be.

If you would like to receive services from DIFRC, please call us at 720-500-1020.

Board
Marsha Whiting (Sicangu Lakota), Chairperson
Associate Director of Programs, American Indian Science and Engineering Society

Adrianne Maddux (Hopi), Vice Chairperson
Executive Director, Denver Indian Health and Family Services

Laura Jones (Cherokee Nation), Treasurer
Associate, Native Affairs Practice Group, Van Ness Feldman, LLP

Madonna Rogers (Standing Rock Sioux), Secretary
Administrative Assistant, Denver Indian Center

Denise Edwards (Tuscarora)
Branch Chief, Office of Family Assistance-Division of Tribal TANF, US Department of Health and Human Services

Taylor Kingsberry (Chickasaw)
Graduate Student

Rick Waters (Kiowa/Cherokee Nation)
Co-Executive Director, Denver Indian Center, Inc.

Alicia Mitchell (Cherokee Nation)
Senior Development Office, American Indian Science and Engineering Society

Kristina M. Bergsten, Esq. (Lakota)
Owner/Attorney, Bergsten Law Offices

Staff
Tara McLain Manthey
(Osage)
Executive Director

Lucille Echohawk
(Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma)
Senior Advisor

Chad Avery
(Navajo/Shawnee/Rosebud)
Resource and Referral Specialist

Verla Howell
(Pawnee/Flandreau Santee Sioux)
Senior Family Enagement Specialist

Treisa Kennedy
(Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa)
Receptionist

Johnny McCraigie
(Colville Confederated Tribes)
Native American Housing Circle Coordinator

Caroline Rapp, LSW
Program Manager

Alyssa Willie
(Oklahoma Choctaw/Florida Seminole)
Family Engagement Specialist