INDIAN CHILD WELFARE ACT: THE CODIFICATION OF THE INDIAN CHILD WELFARE ACT INTO WISCONSIN CHILDREN'S CODE STATUE
UW-Madison (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Conference name: 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2011
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:After the passage of the Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975 under President Richard Nixon, American Indian tribes seized the opportunity to enact policies that not only improved their well-being but also strengthened their sovereignty. The Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA), a subsequent product of the Self-Determination era, granted tribes the control of placement of tribal children. Prior to the enactment of ICWA, as many as 35-percent of all American Indian children were removed from their homes and placed into non-Indian homes for the presumed best interest of the American Indian children. With such a high-rate of removal of American Indian children from their homes, tribal survival and stability were threatened. After the enactment of ICWA, the tribes effectively reduced the percentage of displaced tribal children into the homes of non-tribal members. The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) completed a national study in 2005 to determine if the ICWA requirements caused unnecessary delays in the placement of American Indian children and poorer outcomes for Indian children. Although the GAO study found the ICWA requirements did not negatively affect the placement of American Indian children, a series of recommendations were proposed for individual states to address significant issues with ICWA implementation. Based on the GAO recommendations, Wisconsin codified the ICWA into the Wisconsin Children’s Code Statute with the Wisconsin Act 94 in 2009. Wisconsin, one of the six Public Law 280 states, remains a model for other states, which struggle to comply with ICWA requirements.
Keywords: Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, Wisconsin Children’s Code, Public Law 280, Government Accountability Office.