There are 574 Federally recognized Tribes in the United States. As sovereign nations, Tribes manage their own child welfare systems to support American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) families and honor Tribal values and priorities.  

AI/AN children and youth are overrepresented in child welfare systems nationwide. Tribes also have experienced generational trauma related to child removal, including the forced placement of AI/AN children in boarding schools designed to strip them of their culture. To effectively engage Tribal families and communities, child welfare professionals must be aware of this history of violence, displacement, and forced assimilation. The Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA) is a major piece of Federal legislation that protects the rights of Native communities and governs child welfare practice involving Native families. 

In this section, find resources to help you build an understanding of key topics related to Tribal child welfare, including the history of policies and practices that harmed Native families and led to them experiencing historical trauma, ICWA, and how States can work in partnership with Tribes on various child welfare issues.  

Adjust the filters below to refine your list of resources.

Can’t find what you need in the filtered results? Try searching our Library catalog to access a large selection of peer-reviewed journal articles, evaluation reports, Children’s Bureau grant materials, research studies, and more.