National Indian Child Welfare Association


Child Welfare, Adoption Conference Schedule Impacted by Coronavirus Closures

March through May is generally one of the peak times to hold a child welfare conference. But the coronavirus pandemic that has cancelled schools, sporting events and even closed restaurants and non-essential businesses, has also put a halt to those events.


Federal Law Protecting Indian Children and Families Will Stand

Today a federal circuit court reversed a lower court’s ruling by affirming the validity of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), a law passed in 1978 to protect Native American families and children when nearly a third of Indian children were being removed from their parents and placed mostly with white families.


Federal Law Is Still in The Best Interests of Indian Children

The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) was a response to alarmingly high numbers of Indian children being unnecessarily removed from their families and communities. Congress understood the best interest of Indian children were not served by state and private agencies and state courts, and that led to exceedingly high numbers of out-of-home placements, many unnecessary, and inflicting long term damage to Indian children, families, and communities.


The Nation’s First Family Separation Policy

In the late 1960s, while employed by the Association on American Indian Affairs (AAIA), a New York-based attorney named Bertram Hirsch was sent to North Dakota to assist with a kinship dispute case on behalf of the Spirit Lake Tribe.


How New ICWA Guidelines, Regulations Support Native American Children

The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) came about because the federal government and states had a long history of treating Native American* parents as unfit just by their being Indian. As recently as the 1970s, mothers knew to hide their children when strange white sedans appeared on the reservation because social workers would scoop up children and quickly arrange for them to be adopted by white families, often in the Midwest or further east.