Exploring Self-Determination in Child Welfare Codes

05/11/15 02:51:am

National Child Welfare Association (NICWA), which analyzes 107 tribal child welfare codes to better understand tribes' efforts to exercise self-determination over child welfare practices, received positive reviews and supportive feedback at the 33rd Annual NICWA conference.

Research Analyst Mary Beth Jäger(Citizen Potawatomi) and Senior Researcher Rachel Starks (Zuni/Navajo) joined NICWA Government Affairs Associate Addie Smith in Portland, OR to share interim findings from their research. The interactive breakout session, attended by more than 75 child welfare practitioners, focused on inclusion of culture in tribal child welfare law, tribal regulations on reporting child abuse, and the standards tribes use to establish the legal relationship between parents and children (for example, standards for foster care, custody, adoption, and the termination of parental rights). In this lively discussion, conference attendees expressed a desire to learn more-particularly about incorporating culture into child welfare practices. A tribal leader guide and a project findings publication is forthcoming.

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