Protecting the future of indigenous children and nations: an examination of the Indian Child Welfare Act

J Health Soc Policy. 1999;10(4):35-50. doi: 10.1300/J045v10n04_03.

Abstract

The Indian Child Welfare Act is a landmark piece of legislation, passed in response to a long history of Native American children being alienated from their families and communities. The Act has far reaching implications for social workers and human service professionals who have any involvement with Native American children or families. Still, many professionals are either unaware of the Act all together or do not know how to effectively implement its provisions in their practice. This lack of awareness and other factors such as inadequate funding have meant that the Act has never realized its full potential to reduce the number of children in out-of-home care. In order to increase awareness about the Act and to make its implementation in day to day social services more practical, this article provides background information on the factors leading to the Act, information on the law itself, and recommendations for practitioners, administrators, and students in the human services.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Welfare / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Health Services, Indigenous / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American*
  • Inservice Training
  • New York
  • Social Work
  • State Government
  • United States
  • United States Indian Health Service