Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) Services Available
For VOS Tribal Members
The Indian Child Welfare Act, 25 United States Code Sections 1901-1963. ICWA was passed in 1978 in response to the high number of Native children who were removed from their families and tribes by non-tribal public and private agencies, and placed in non-Native foster homes or made available for non-Native adoption.
The main goal of ICWA is the protection of Native children. This includes assisting in family reunification, adoptions, and alternative placement of children. The program also ensures that Tribal Councils are represented in Court proceedings. The Indian Child Welfare Act applies when a state court determines that a Native child is involved in a proceeding. This includes child custody proceedings, foster care placement, termination of parental rights, pre-adoptive and adoptive placements. A tribal court or tribe may properly exercise their rights in any and all of these types of proceedings.
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