Indian Child Welfare

Services are provided to Indian children, consistent with the federal Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and Washington State Indian Child Welfare Act, in the areas of child protective services, foster care, dependency guardianship, termination of parental rights, and adoption proceedings.

In addition to direct services provided by the administration, additional services are funded through contracts with federally recognized Indian Tribes and other Indian organizations in the state enabling providers to serve their own Tribal members and off-reservation Indians.

DCYF monitors and provides technical assistance to its own staff and contracted Tribes and agencies on compliance with federal and state requirements related to the care of Indian children.

ICW Policy Revision

DCYF is committed to honoring the government-to-government relationship with federally recognized tribes. As part of our ongoing commitment, DCYF is revising the Indian Child Welfare (ICW) Policies and Procedures Manual, DCYF ICW forms, and ICW trainings to strengthen practice in alignment with the federal and state Indian Child Welfare Acts. 

Important Documents:


Department of Children, Youth, and Families

Program Manager Contact List

Native American Inquiry &  ICW Legal Contact information

Washington State Tribes

Tribal Indian Child Welfare Social Services Directors and Staff Contact Information 

Intake Referral and After Hours Field Response Staff Contact Information 

Tribal Contact and Coordination Guidelines - Coordinating intake referrals with Washington State federally recognized Tribes when a case involves a family that is or may be affiliated with a Tribe.

Policy Memos

February 14, 2024 - Requesting a Court Finding About a Child’s Indian Status in Guardianship and Termination Cases

April 2021 - Temporary Procedures for ICW Proceedings

April 2021 - Temporary Procedures for ICW Proceedings, Frequently Asked Questions

July 2016 - Addendum to CA Authority and Staff Role in Conducting Child Protective Services Investigations and the application of the Indian Child Welfare Act

June 2015 - CA Authority and Staff Role in Conducting CPS Investigation and the Application of ICWA