Washington State Implements New Indian Child Welfare Act

The State of Washington has passed into law its own Indian Child Welfare Act, designed to better protect the rights and preserve the cultural heritage of the state’s Native American children who are not able to live with their biological parents.

In the preamble to the new Act, the state declares:

The legislature finds that the state is committed to protecting the essential tribal relations and best interests of Indian children by promoting practices designed to prevent out-of-home placement of Indian children that is inconsistent with the rights of the parents, the health, safety, or welfare of the children, or the interests of their tribe. Whenever out-of-home placement of an Indian child is necessary in a proceeding subject to the terms of the federal Indian child welfare act and in this chapter, the best interests of the Indian child may be served by placing the Indian child in accordance with the placement priorities expressed in this chapter. The legislature further finds that where placement away from the parent or Indian custodian is necessary for the child's safety, the state is committed to a placement that reflects and honors the unique values of the child's tribal culture and is best able to assist the Indian child in establishing, developing, and maintaining a political, cultural, social, and spiritual relationship with the child's tribe and tribal community.

The full text of Washington’s new ICWA can be accessed HERE.
 

Improving Native Child Welfare Services - Your Input Is Needed

The new National Child Welfare Resource Center for Tribes has joined the federal Children's Bureau Training and Technical Assistance (T/TA) Network to assure that Tribal child welfare systems have access to the free assistance provided by the T/TA Network. The NRC4Tribes invites your input in a national Tribal Child Welfare TA Needs Assessment survey, which will help improve the quality and accessibility of child welfare services for Native communities.

You can complete this needs assessment survey online HERE, or through the NRC4Tribes website: www.NRC4Tribes.org.  Please note that the deadline to complete the NRC4Tribes TA Needs Assessment has been extended to September 7th.

We encourage you to submit your comments and forward this survey to anyone in your community who has an interest in child and family services for Native communities, including:

* Tribal leaders
* Tribal child welfare staff
* Tribal law enforcement personnel
* Tribal court personnel, health service agency staff
* Tribal community program staff
* Tribal families involved in the child welfare system
* Tribal foster parents, kinship providers, youth, community members,
* Anyone interested in Tribal child welfare services

For more information concerning the NRC4Tribes and/or the NRC4Tribes TA needs assessment, please see www.NRC4Tribes.org.