The Indian Child Welfare Act: What Caseworkers Need to Know
In New York State and all across America, social services agencies at all levels must be aware of the importance of the federal Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). When enacting ICWA in 1978, Congress stated as it declaration of policy: “The Congress hereby declares that it is the policy of this Nation to protect the best interest of Indian children and to promote the stability and security of Indian tribes and families by the establishment of minimum federal standards for the removal of Indian children from their families and the placement of such children in foster or adoptive homes which will reflect the unique values of Indian culture, and by providing for assistance to Indian tribes in the operation of child and family programs.”
In this specific context, Indian child welfare practice is intended to achieve the following major goals: promoting the overall safety and well-being of Indian children, seeking that these children maintain the cultural connection to their unique family and tribal histories, and highlighting the means by which local district caseworkers maintain ICWA compliance.
This DVD guide is designed for caseworkers at the local level to accomplish these outcomes by defining specific expectations and delineating the individual steps necessary to monitor those expectations.
A Rationale for this Training Guide
- There are eight components on this training site, which reflect the eight chapters of the DVD. The DVD provides the historical context that made ICWA necessary and then outlines the series of steps caseworkers should take in complying with this unique law.
- In each section of the site, the caseworker will: 1) see a set of objectives and a list of pre-viewing questions which will provide context; 2) watch the specific chapter of the DVD; 3) explore links to websites and handouts that will give the caseworker concrete and practical materials that amplify the content of the DVD.
- Local District Social Services staff
- Voluntary Foster Care Agency staff
- Contract preventive and protective workers
Registration for this course is handled through STARS. You must first have your SDC or Training Coordinator nominate you before you can access the materials.