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Monday, April 13, 2015

No statistical data required on Indian children from State or Tribal child and family care?

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By Trace

I tweeted today that adoptees are the biggest threat to the adoption industry! It's true.
WHY? We watch the news, watch legislation, watch ICWA and we watch and pray for future generations.
Years ago I interviewed musician Brule (Paul LaRoche) who is a late discovery adoptee and a member of the Lower Brule Band of Lakota.  He told me, "Our grandparents prayed for us to be born, even before our parents had the idea. WE STAND IN THE CIRCLE. We are all related."
The circle includes you and me. We stand together as relatives. Future generations are our responsibility!

NEWS:

Measuring Compliance with ICWA

Here is a Casey Family Programs publication, “Measuring Compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act”
At present, no federal agency is tasked with ensuring state compliance with the protections mandated by ICWA. Without federal oversight, state legislatures, public child welfare authorities and courts are left to interpret ICWA provisions and definitions of “active efforts.”22, 23 Despite overall decreases in rates of out-of-home placements, Indian children remain disproportionately represented in the foster care system, at more than twice the rate of the general population,24 though this varies among states.25
Related, here is a copy of the law professors comments to the original AFCARS proposed rule on collecting data.
There is no statistical data required on Indian children from State or Tribal child and family care agencies. There is also no data on State compliance with ICWA. Under § 429(c), the ACF already possess and exercises the requisite authority to collect ICWA data. 42 U.S.C. 479(c)(3)(A)-(D).
The AFCARS regulations should follow the same requirements for Title IV-B Agencies in ICWA data reporting, as seen in the  PIs released by HHS. [ACYF-CB-PI-14-03 (2014)]. HHS has defined “Title IV-E Agency” “as the State or Tribal agency administering or supervising the administration of the title IV-B and title IV-E plans.” 77 F.R. 896. Under this definition, Title IV-B Agencies may also be Title IV-E Agencies. Due to this, ACF should also include similar ICWA data requirements in AFCARS.
In addition, the SSA also requires AFCARS to “provide comprehensive national information” regarding “the extent and nature of assistance provided by Federal, State, and local adoption and foster care programs and the characteristics of the children with respect to whom such assistance is provided.” 42 U.S.C. 479(c)(3)(d). Not only does this encompass Title IV-B Agencies, but also Title IV-E Agencies, which HHS provides direct Title IV-E funding to Tribes and Tribal child and family service programs under the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoption Act of 2008. The American Indian / Alaska Native children in these Title IV-B or Title IV-E Agencies are ICWA children, and that data should also be collected in order to “ensure that the [AFCARS] system functions reliably throughout the United States.” 42 U.S.C. 479(c)(4).
Under this legal and policy background, and as recommended by HHS, we recommend ACF add the following data elements and questions to the AFCARS in order to comply with ICWA.

From the report:
Although the Indian Adoption Project ended in 1967, it was succeeded by the Adoption Resource Exchange of North America, which continued to promote the adoption of Indian children into non-Indian families until the enactment of ICWA in 1978. During this time, approximately 25 percent to 35 percent of all Indian children were separated from their families, tribes, and culture and were placed in non-Indian foster homes, adoptive homes, or institutions. In 1974, the Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs heard testimony documenting the long-term detrimental impact of these policies and practices on Indian children’s and families’ well-being.

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What our Nations are up against!

What our Nations are up against!

Help in available!

Help in available!
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Please support NARF

Indian Country is under attack. Native tribes and people are fighting hard for justice. There is need for legal assistance across Indian Country, and NARF is doing as much as we can. With your help, we have fought for 48 years and we continue to fight.

It is hard to understand the extent of the attacks on Indian Country. We are sending a short series of emails this month with a few examples of attacks that are happening across Indian Country and how we are standing firm for justice.

Today, we look at recent effort to undo laws put in place to protect Native American children and families. All children deserve to be raised by loving families and communities. In the 1970s, Congress realized that state agencies and courts were disproportionately removing American Indian and Alaska Native children from their families. Often these devastating removals were due to an inability or unwillingness to understand Native cultures, where family is defined broadly and raising children is a shared responsibility. To stop these destructive practices, Congress passed the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).

After forty years, ICWA has proven to be largely successful and many states have passed their own ICWAs. This success, however, is now being challenged by large, well-financed opponents who are actively and aggressively seeking to undermine ICWA’s protections for Native children. We are seeing lawsuits across the United States that challenge ICWA’s protections. NARF is working with partners to defend the rights of Native children and families.

Indian Country is under attack. We need you. Please join the ranks of Modern Day Warriors. Please donate today to help Native people protect their rights.

where were you adopted?

where were you adopted?