Rita Hart

Tribal Child Welfare Specialist

  • Staff
  • Butler Institute for Families


child welfare, tribal child welfare

Professional Biography

Rita is a citizen of the Jicarilla Apache Nation and descendant of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. She serves as the director of the National Capacity Building Center for Tribes. Previously, she was the tribal training project coordinator for the University of Oklahoma. Her positions have focused on providing program training, technical assistance, capacity building and guidance for tribal child welfare programs. Her experience includes 29 years in state child welfare and Indian child welfare, including as a tribal programs social worker for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Rita serves on the conference and training committees for the Oklahoma Indian Child Welfare Association. Her awards include the Oklahoma State Service Award Native American Heritage, County Director Leadership Award, CASA Distinguished Community Servant, OU Native American Student Award, OU State Leadership Award, and National Social Work Honor Society Award. Rita has many years of experience in training and presentation at the local, state and national levels.

She enjoys time with her family, designing creative and traditional regalia, and antique finding.


MSW, University of Oklahoma

BSW, East Central University

Associate in Business, Murray State College

Licensure / Accreditations