The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) of 1978 is Federal law that governs the removal and out-of-home placement of American Indian children. The law was enacted after recognition by the Federal Government that American Indian children were being removed from their homes and communities at a much higher rate than non-Native children. ICWA established standards for the placement of Indian children in foster and adoptive homes and enabled Tribes and families to be involved in child welfare cases. Find resources related to ICWA.
ICWA Active Efforts as Prevention: Working Together for Better Outcomes for Native Children and Families [Webinar]
Capacity Building Center for Tribes (2020)
Provides information on the importance and benefits of active efforts in relationship to ICWA. The webinar also details States' and Tribes' respective roles in active efforts as well as best practices for ICWA efforts.
Guidelines for Implementing the Indian Child Welfare Act (PDF - 631 KB)
U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs (2016)
Provides guidance on applying the Indian Child Welfare Act throughout the process of a child welfare placement.
The History and Spirit of ICWA [Video]
National Council of Juvenile and Family court Judges (2012)
Outlines the historical precedent that shapes Indian Child Welfare Act legislation.
ICWA Guide for Tribal Governments and Leaders: Our Children, Our Sovereignty, Our Culture, Our Choice
Capacity Building Center for Tribes
Explains Tribal leaders' role in understanding and implementing the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) in child welfare practice.
Indian Child Welfare Act
Tribal Court Clearinghouse
Includes the Government Accountability Office's study on the implementation of ICWA.
Indian Child Welfare Act Online Course
Provides training modules that explain the implementation and practice of the Indian Child Welfare Act. This website requires a free login to access this resource.
Measuring Compliance With the Indian Child Welfare Act
Casey Family Programs (2015)
Describes various approaches for measuring compliance with ICWA and offers recommendations that support and develop training tools for child protective services and judicial staff.
A Practical Guide to the Indian Child Welfare Act
National Indian Law Library
Explains various components of the Indian Child Welfare Act and its effect on child welfare practice, including emergency removal, the role of Tribal courts, and foster care placement.
Setting the Record Straight: The Indian Child Welfare Act (PDF - 447 KB)
National Indian Child Welfare Association (2015)
Focuses on the purpose and implementation of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). This factsheet discusses the historical precedent and legal implications associated with ICWA.
State-Tribal Partnerships: Coaching to ICWA Compliance
Capacity Building Center for States (2017)
Provides resources for State and Tribal cofacilitators to conduct a three-day in-person training designed to build collective understanding of Tribal experiences. Facilitators will model and cultivate collaborative relationships between State and Tribal participants to promote sustainable partnerships and increase Indian Child Welfare Act compliance through collective action planning. This learning experience provides training guidelines, a full curriculum, a presentation, handouts, and a test/evaluation guide to promote an active, culturally responsive training environment adaptable to jurisdictional needs. Registration is required to access this learning experience.