Indian Child Welfare Act Essay

1346 Words 6 Pages
The title of my policy is the Indian Child Welfare Act. The Indian Child Welfare Act was enacted by Congress in 1978 as a federal law. The policy has not change very much since it was first enacted. The biggest and most recent change happened in June 2016. This change was done to take care of any loopholes that have been used by State courts and public social workers. This change made updates to the definitions and provides nationwide uniformity and clarity of federal standards established by the Indian Child Welfare Act (Bureau of Indian Affairs, 2016). Congress supported the passing of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), but I was unable to find the democrat and republican support for the policy. The Indian Child Welfare Act is intended …show more content…
A short-term goal of ICWA is to keep Native children with their families or at least within their tribe and culture instead of in a non-Native home. This leads into the long-term goal of stopping forced cultural assimilation of Native American children. Native Americans have been forced to assimilate throughout history and children have been primarily used to achieve that by stopping the continuation of the culture with the younger generations. ICWA has allowed tribal courts to have power in custody matters of Native American children by preventing state agencies and courts, as well as church groups to distort Native families. When young Native children are removed from their culture, they may experience a severe identity crisis. This means that they are at risks for depressions, suicide, anti-social behavior, and more (Matheson, 1996). Before ICWA, state agencies and church groups removed Native children from their homes because they felt that many Native American parents were abusive and neglectful because their child rearing practices are different than their ethnocentric views (Strong, …show more content…
This federal policy provides guidelines that child welfare agencies and state courts must follow in accordance to the law (Turner, 2016). ICWA does not have any oversight assigned to a specific federal agency (Simmons, 2014). Tribes are given the right to nation sovereignty in the Constitution, federal law, treaties, Supreme Court decisions, and executive orders. The federal government provides resources to support development and operations of basic government services like child welfare (Simmons, 2014, p. 4). States are left to their own devices in interpreting the provisions and guidelines of the Indian Child Welfare Act. Since its implementation, the Supreme Court has only taken up ICWA twice, the last time being over the Adoptive Couple v .Baby Girl case. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the adoptive family, opening up ICWA to more attacks by anti-ICWA and anti-tribal advocates (Turner, 2016, p.

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