The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) program is a law passed by congress to protect Indian Children. The goal is give preference to placement in a native relative home, a native in the community and a non-native in the community with close ties to the family.
The Tribe, through the ICWA worker, represents the children with the Department of Office of Children Services (OCS) who generally remove children from homes during crisis. OCS presents their case to the court and at that point the NICWA worker will step in, or intervene on the child’s behalf to ensure that out of home placement meets the preference.
The ICWA is dedicated to the well-being of American Indian/Alaska Native children.
Every Indian child must have access to community-based, culturally appropriate services that help them grow up safe, healthy, and spiritually strong – free from abuse, neglect, sexual exploitation, and the damaging effects of substance abuse.