Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA)

The History Indian Child Welfare Act

The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) is a centralized law that requests to keep Indian kids with their families. This law was approved in 1978 after a large number of Indian kids were being taken out from their families by both individually owned agencies and the public agencies and placed to families that were not Indian’s families. Before the approval of the ICWA law, there was an approximate of seventy eight percent of the Indian families living in the reserves that had lost at least one child to the advance care system. Child Welfare agencies were impolite to cultural differences in child’s bringing up and parenting performances. ICWA was passed to protect the interest of Indian kids and to encourage the strength and security of Indian tribes. In the outlook of the Child Welfare Law, defending the interest of a tribe in its kids is exceptional. An original principle of Indian Child Welfare Act is that Indian tribes have self-governing rights and authorized powers with respect to Indian kids and have a very important role to play in determining whether Indian kids should be separated from their families and culture. There is the recognition of the Act by the tribal and state courts to make decision concerning the welfare and control of Indian children. The Act also provides aid to Indian tribes in the process of tribal child and family service program. (Montana Dphhs, 2017)

Indian Child Welfare Act Provisions

The major provisions of the ICWA include the identification of ICWA Cases which applies in precise circumstances like execution of parental rights and adoptive placements. Another provision is jurisdiction where a local child lives in the ward of the tribal court, in this case only the tribal court can use jurisdiction. It states that placement cannot be made without vigorous efforts to protect the family through corrective and rehabilitative services which prevent breaking up of the Indian family.

Indian Child Welfare Act Requirements

Indian Child Welfare Act requirements ought to be met in every charitable and involuntary child custody procedures for American Indian children in the child welfare system. These requirements are relevant to children and families, tribes, child welfare workers and the courts. The major requirements are membership, notice, Active Efforts (AE), Qualified Expert Witness (QEW), Right to Intervene, Jurisdiction of Tribal Court and lastly Legal Standards. For membership the child must not be married and must be under the age of eighteen and also be a member of a centrally known tribe. A notice has to be sent through a registered email address to notify the parents or Indian custodians to return the receipt request. The notice defends tribal interest. Active Efforts gives culturally suitable services and programs to prevent division of families. Competent expert witness ensures that QWE has enough information to give answers to the questions as expected by Indian Child Welfare Act. The right to intervene sets up contact with the tribe with the shortest time possible. Jurisdiction of Tribal Court implies that the county that placed the child in and out of the home placement remains money-wise responsible for placement costs if the case is taken to the tribal court. Legal Standards comprises of active efforts to help parents or Indian guardians in order for child to be returned safely to their homes. (Jones, 2016).

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