Indian Affairs | Indian Child Welfare Act
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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.­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ 


Current Events & News

Dear Tribal Leader Letter- Announcement of Trainings on New ICWA Rule- Please click here.

 Webinars on the New ICWA Rule

Date                                           Time                               Type               Registration              Password

 Monday August 15, 2016        2 pm to 4 pm EDT         Webinar           Register here            Password- ICWA   

 Tuesday August 16, 2016        2 pm to 4 pm  EDT        Webinar           Register here            Password -ICWA            

The password for registration is ICWA and is a required field. Once registered, you will receive a Confirmation, Link, and Password (ICWA) for the Webinar.

Please register for the on-site trainings by sending a RSVP to the email address comments@bia.gov and submitting your name and location . Details and locations available here.
To ensure we can accommodate your registration, please register as soon as possible, but no later than one week before the session you would like to attend.   

 


 Topic: ICWA WEBINAR 
Host: Martin Abeyta 
Date: Tuesday, November 15, 2016 
Time: 2:00 pm, Eastern Time 
Session number: Not Available 
Registration password: ICWA 
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To register for this session 
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Go to 
https://doilearn.webex.com/doilearn/k2/j.php?MTID=tf7875c715a2b6973fe73908c9de47755 and register. 

Once the host approves your registration, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions for joining the session. 

Note: If you have already registered for this session, you do not need to register again. 


Topic: ICWA WEBINAR 
Host: Martin Abeyta 
Date: Thursday, November 17, 2016 
Time: 2:00 pm, Eastern Time 
Session number: Not Available 
Registration password: ICWA 
------------------------------------------------------- 
To register for this session 
------------------------------------------------------- 
Go
to:  https://doilearn.webex.com/doilearn/k2/j.php?MTID=t170accfa22201b5736b8c80d4bec53a1 and register. 

Once the host approves your registration, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions for joining the session. 

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For assistance 
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You can contact Martin Abeyta at: 
martin.abeyta@bia.gov 
1-505-563-3536 

https://www.webex.com 


 

BIA ICWA Rule - On-Demand Training Slides (By Module)
 
     Training -Short Version- (Link)

     Module 1: Overview of the New Rule – (Click link)
 Module 2: Determining Whether ICWA Applies and Jurisdiction (Link)
 Module 3: Notice (Link)
 Module 4: Handling Requests to Transfer Jurisdiction(Link)
 Module 5: Adjudication of Involuntary Proceedings (Link)
 Module 6: Emergency Proceedings (Link)
 Module 7: Voluntary Proceedings (Link)
 Module 8: Placement Preferences (Link)
 Module 9: Access (Link)
 Module 10: Ongoing Obligations (Link)
 Module 11: Consequences of Violating ICWA (Link)

 
Acronyms used in this training:
– ICWA: Indian Child Welfare Act
– TPR: Termination of parental rights
– BIA: Bureau of Indian Affairs
– U.S.C.: United States Code (statutes passed by Congress)
– CFR: Code of Federal Regulations (regulations or rules passed by BIA or other Federal agencies)

Implementation Questions:
– Debra Burton, ICWA Specialist, BIA, Debra.burton@bia.gov (202) 513-7610


Regulation Questions:
– Elizabeth Appel, Office of Regulatory Affairs – Indian Affairs, Elizabeth.appel@bia.gov (202) 273-4680


 
ICWA Quick Reference Guides


• Quick Reference Sheet for Voluntary Proceedings (Click Link)
• Quick Reference Sheet for Tribes (Link)
• Quick Reference Sheet for State Agencies (Link)
• Quick Reference Sheet for State Courts (Link)
• Quick Reference Sheet on Active Efforts (Link)


 On February 25, 2015, the Bureau of Indian Affairs published updated guidelines to provide guidance to State courts and child welfare agencies implementing the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) provisions in light of written and oral comments received during a review of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Guidelines for State Courts in Indian Custody Proceedings published in 1979. The updated guidelines also reflect recommendations made by the Attorney Generals Advisory Committee on Americna Indian/Alaska Native Children Exposed to Violence and significant developments in jurisprudence since ICWA's inception. The updated BIA Guidelines for State Courts and Agencies in Indian Child Custory Proceedings promote compliance with ICWA's stated goals and provisions.

On March 20, 2015, the Bureau of Indian Affairs published proposed regulations to the Indian Child Welfare Act. The proposed regulations would add a new subpart to the existing 25 CFR 23 regulations which implement the Indian Child Welfare Act. The purpose of the proposed regulations is to improve ICWA implementation by State courts and child welfare agencies.These regulations complement recently published Guidelines for State Courts and Agencies in Indian Child Custody, reflect recommendations made by the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee on American Indian/Alaska Native Children Exposed to Violence, and address significant developments in jurisprudence since ICWA’s inception. Comments were received at tribal consultation sessions and public meetings and through written, including email, submission. All comments were due on or before May 19, 2015. The comments are currently under review. 

FINAL RULE: ICWA REGULATIONS

Final Rule: Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) Proceedings - PDF, June 17, 2016

Final Rule: Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) Frequently Asked Questions - PDF, June 17, 2016

Dear Tribal Leader Letter - PDF, June 8, 2016

Dear State Governor Letter - PDF, June 8, 2016

 

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Interagency Collaboration Regarding the Indian Child Welfare Act -  April 2016. - PDF

News Release - Interior Announces Interagency Partnership with Justice and HHS to Strengthen ICWA Implementation and Compliance - April 4, 2016 - PDF

Indian Child Welfare Act; Designated Tribal Agents for Service of Notice, Federal Register Notice, March 2, 2016, please click here. 

Indian Child Welfare Act; Designated Tribal Agents for Service of Notice - Listing of Tribes by Historical Affiliation, please click here.

Power Point/PDF - Proposed Regulations for State Courts and Agencies in Indian Child Custody Proceedings - March, 2015

Federal Register - Proposed Regulations for State Courts and Agencies in Indian Child Custody Proceedings  - March, 2015

Dear Tribal Leader Letter - March 16, 2015 

Federal Register - Guidelines for State Courts and Agencies in Indian Child Custody Proceedings - February 25, 2015


Please see links below for some Upcoming Child Welfare related funding opportunities available to Tribes!

Tribal Court Improvement Program. HHS-2015-ACF-ACYF-CS-0973 Link

Tribal Title IV-E Plan Development Grants HHS-2014-ACF-ACYF-CS-0800 Link

Building the Evidence for Family Group Decision-Making in Child Welfare HHS-2015-ACF-ACYF-CF-1008 Link


Documents

IAM Part 70 Chapter 6 Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA)

Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978                 

http://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/comp2/F095-608.html 

Child Protection Handbook: Protecting American Indian and Alaska Native Children, June 2006-

 Cover - (.pdf) - 1.3 MB
 
Inside page - (.pdf) - 2 MB 


Resources

Frequently Asked Questions about ICWA      

http://www.nicwa.org/Indian_Child_Welfare_Act/faq/index.asp

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. 

 
 

 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 research@ncjfcj.org.

 Measuring Compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act: An Assessment Toolkit - February 28, 2014