When Children’s Administration (CA) staff work with Indian children and their families, the agency staff must comply with the Indian Child Welfare Act, Washington State Indian Child Welfare Act, and with agreements made between the 29 federally recognized tribes of Washington and the State of Washington.  

The Indian Child Welfare (ICW) policies and procedures apply to all child welfare actions, taken by CA (or any CA licensed, certified, or contracted agencies), involving children and families who are subject to the state and federal Indian Child Welfare Acts.  An Indian child is defined as: 

any unmarried and unemancipated person who is under age eighteen and is either (a) a member or citizen of an Indian tribe or (b) is eligible for membership or citizenship in an Indian tribe and is the biological child of a member/citizen of an Indian tribe (25 U.S.C. § 1903 (4); 25 C.F.R. § 23.2).

CA caseworker’s must integrate the ICW policies and procedures into casework practice when assigned cases that involve an Indian child.  The CA caseworker must follow the ICW Policies and Procedures if conflict exists with the provisions of CA Practices and Procedures requirements. 

Each CA local office must create, and the assigned CA caseworker must maintain, a client case file for each child and the child’s family in accordance with the CA Operations Manual, chapter 13000, sections 13100 through 13900. The case file must include an Indian Child Welfare (ICW) section that contains all ICWA documentation by date (chronological order) except legal documentation (filed in Section III). 

A DCFS Regional Administrator or the DLR Administrator may waive certain policies and procedures that do not violate federal and state laws in accordance with the provisions of the CA Operations Manual, chapter 2000, section 2320.  Before granting waivers of these provisions, the Regional Administrator or DLR Administrator must consult on the need for, and decision to, provide a waiver with the affected tribes and Recognized American Indian Organizations.