Appendix A: Resources
A Guide to Compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act
This guide is designed to help individuals understand ICWA’s requirements and should be read in conjunction with the law (25 U.S.C. § 1901 et seq.) itself. The information contained in this handout cannot replace the legal advice of your AAG in Washington state.
Casey Family Programs Indian Child Welfare Programs
Technical assistance and resources for tribal child welfare systems and urban organizations serving Indian children, youth and families. Education, training and support to state and county-based child welfare systems to improve ICWA compliance and reduce the disproportionate number of American Indian and Alaska Native children receiving foster care services.
Provides names and addresses of federally recognized tribes or their designated agent for service of notice of proceedings subject to ICWA.
National Indian Child Welfare Association
NICWA improves the lives of American Indian children and families by helping tribes and other service providers implement services that are culturally competent, community-based, and focused on the strengths and assets of families. This work includes collaborating with tribal and urban Indian child welfare programs to increase their service capacity, enhancing tribal-state relationships, and providing training, technical assistance, information services and alliance building.
UW Alliance Indian Child Welfare
Provides training to CA caseworkers and tribal social service specialists on the requirements of ICWA and implementation in Washington State.
Washington State Federally Recognized Tribes
Addresses and contact information for the federally recognized tribes in Washington State
Appendix B: History of Washington State Indian Child Welfare
There is a rich history that spans over four decades in Washington State dedicated to improving the outcomes of Native American families involved in the child welfare system. In the late 1960s a coalition of Washington State tribes, off-reservation Indian groups, individuals concerned with the welfare of Indian children, representatives from the Office of the Attorney General, and staff of CA came together to address the separation of Indian children from their communities.
In 1972 DSHS created the Office of Indian Affairs, now called the Office of Indian Policy. This office is advisory to all DSHS Administrations. Personnel of Indian ancestry who are familiar with Indian communities staff the O.I.P. It provides an ear for the various tribal and off-reservation Indian communities and a voice for input into policy development. The O.I.P reports to the Assistant Secretary of Services and Enterprise Support Administration within DSHS and is responsible for coordinating efforts with Federally Recognized tribes of Washington State and the Recognized American Indian Organizations in order to address the collective service needs of individual American Indians and Alaska Natives in Washington State.
In 1976, CA implemented Washington Administrative Code Section 388-70-600 establishing regional Local Indian Child Welfare Advisory Committees (LICWAC). The LICWACs serve in an advisory capacity to CA caseworkers and supervisors recommending appropriate case plans and services for Indian Children when CA has not yet identified the children’s tribes, the tribe is unavailable or not involved or the children’s tribes have requested LICWAC participation on behalf of the tribe. The LICWAC may also serve as the Child Protection Team (CPT) for Indian children. LICWAC volunteers are active in every region in the state and provide a valuable service to CA and Indian families.
In 1978 the federal Indian Child Welfare Act, eleven years in the making, was enacted changing child welfare practice as it is applied to Indian children (and their families). This landmark law defines the rights of tribes to assume jurisdiction over children who are members of a tribe or are the biological child of a member and eligible for membership.
In 1987, the department adopted Administrative policy No. 7.01 to demonstrate the department’s commitment to planning and service delivery to Indian governments and communities. Through this policy, DSHS follows a government to government approach to establishing policies and procedures for working with Indian tribes.
In addition to federal and state laws, a historic 1987 Tribal-State Agreement previously set standards for notification, social work practice, equal access to services, and cooperative case planning in cases involving all Indian children. Subsequently, the State has negotiated and executed individual MOUs with some Washington state tribes. Those MOUs outline roles and responsibilities of CA and tribes when coordinating on cases that may or do involve an Indian child, and when working with a tribe CA caseworkers must always refer to any applicable signed MOU.
On August 4, 1989, the Centennial Accord was executed between the federally recognized Indian tribes of Washington and the State of Washington. The Accord establishes a government-to-government relationship between the State of Washington and the federally recognized Indian tribes in Washington State. The agreement introduces a framework to build more positive relationships in the resolution of disagreements and provides a process for working on issues of mutual concern.
Most recently, and continuing the legacy of their shared commitment to Indian children and families in the child welfare system, Washington State tribes came together with CA in 2011 and worked to encourage the legislature to pass the Washington State Indian Child Welfare Act (WICWA). This legislation protects 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.
Government to Government Relations
The state of Washington recognizes the unique cultural and legal status of American Indians and that tribes have the authority to, among other things, govern their people and their land; define their own tribal membership criteria; create tribal legislation, law enforcement, and court systems; and to impose taxes in certain situations as expressed in the Indian Self-Determination Act of 1964.
As part of our ongoing commitment to ensure consistent departmental compliance with the ICWA, WICWA, the Tribal-State Agreement and other state ICW-related laws, CA, to the extent it has resources, will:
- Provide ICW training to state agency and licensed or certified private child placing agencies, CA caseworkers, supervisors, administrators, and policy making staff. CA will train its staff to screen their cases for early identification of Indian status and to staff these cases immediately with the tribes or LICWAC;
- Make available training for tribal agencies at their request and when funds are available; and
- Provide to CA caseworkers resources to consult including the regional ICW program consultant, Office of Indian Policy Regional Manager, when available, the LICWAC liaison, or the CA headquarters ICW Program staff when they need additional information or clarification on Indian affairs or issues pertaining to the delivery of services to Indian clients.
The DSHS Administrative policy No. 7.01 provides further information CA caseworkers should familiarize themselves with, and (dependent on their work/role) use in their interactions with the federally recognized tribes in Washington State and the Recognized American Indian Organizations. The policy outlines duties and responsibilities for DSHS administrations including:
- Communication and consultation protocol with tribes and Recognized American Indian Organizations (RAIOs)
- Role of the Office of Indian Policy
- American Indian Policy 7.01 Implementation Plan Reporting Guidelines