Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA)
The purpose of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) is "...to protect the best interest of Indian Children and to promote the stability and security of Indian tribes and families by the establishment of minimum Federal standards for the removal of Indian children and placement of such children in homes which will reflect the unique values of Indian culture... "(25 U.S. C. 1902). ICWA provides guidance to States regarding the handling of child abuse and neglect and adoption cases involving Native children and sets minimum standards for the handling of these cases.
ICWA Guidelines were published in 1979 to provide guidance to Statecourts on ICWA requirements. The Bureau of Indian Affairs recently conducted Listening Sessions for feedback on whether these Guidelines needs to be revised.
Current Events & News
2014 ICWA Listening Sessions
Recent developments have heightened the profile and confirmed the importance of the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). In response to the recent critical issues regarding ICWA, Indian Affairs has conducted a series of Listening Sessions to gather input from interested stakeholders in regard to their experiences with implementation of the law.
Listening Sessions were held on March 11, 2014 at the winter session of the National Conference of American Indians in Washington, D.C., April 15, 2014 at the National Indian Child Welfare Association Conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and on April 24, 2014 by conference call.
Comments from the Listening Sessions are currently under review.
Direct Questions to:
Rodina Cave, Senior Policy Advisor to the ASIA Ph: 202-208-7163, or email at email@example.com
Dear Tribal Leader letter - April 9, 2014
Dear Tribal Leader Letter - February 21, 2014
Comments Washington, DC / NCAI Session (pending)
Comments ICWA Conference, Ft. Lauderdale, FL session (pending)
Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978
Guidelines for State Courts; Indian Child Custody Proceedings, Federal Register Vol. 44, No. 228, November 26, 1979
List of Indian Child Welfare Act Designates
2014 Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) - Designated Tribal Agents for Service of Notice (Federal Register Vol 79. No.12)
2012 Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) - Designated Tribal Agents For Service of Notice (Federal Register Vol. 77, No. 148)
Child Protection Handbook: Protecting American Indian and Alaska Native Children, June 2006-
Request for Additional Funds Form
2013 Request for Additional Funds Form - March 15, 2013
2013 Request for Additional Funds Form - July 12, 2013
Frequently Asked Questions about ICWA
The National Indian Child Welfare Association is a national voice for American Indian children and families. They are a comprehensive source of information on American Indian child welfare and the only national American Indian organization focused specifically on the tribal capacity to prevent child abuse and neglect.
Indian Child Welfare Facts & Fiction ( December 23, 2013)
The Tribal Judicial Leadership Group, coordinated by the NCJFCJ and Casey Family Programs, and comprised of tribal and state court judges, identified the need to dispel common misconceptions and misunderstandings around the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). Included in this document are common misunderstandings, facts, recommended practices, and statutory references surrounding application, notice, membership, intervention, transfer, active efforts, best interests, qualified expert witnesses, and placement. This structure is meant to allow users to jump to issues of particular concern in their jurisdictions, but can also be reviewed as a whole. The goal of this publication is to improve compliance with ICWA and assist judges in fulfilling its mandates.
Measuring Compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act: An Assessment Toolkit - February 28, 2014
The NCJFCJ is committed to helping state courts achieve full ICWA compliance. A new resource is now available to the courts (or Court Improvement Programs) to help achieve this goal. Measuring Compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act: An Assessment Toolkit, provides concrete tools and recommendations for the state courts to assess their current compliance with ICWA. The Toolkit identifies strengths and weaknesses of different data collection approaches, provides sample tools or questions for the sites, and identifies resources and examples of putting this into practice. If you have any questions or would like additional information about measuring ICWA compliance in your jurisdiction, you can e-mail the research team at firstname.lastname@example.org.