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ICWA Compliance: Issues & Solutions
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ICWA Compliance: Issues & Solutions

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Research, findings, policy, and solutions for implementing the Indian Child Welfare Act in California.

Research, findings, policy, and solutions for implementing the Indian Child Welfare Act in California.

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  • Self Introduction, Cal-ICWA Introduction (IDRS).
  • We don’t have a good idea of the numbers or experiences of Indian foster youth.
  • Youth under the age of 18 must have social worker or guardian consent to participate. If under 18, the social worker of guardian must contact Cal-ICWA or UCSF. We cannot take inquiries from minor foster youth directly.

ICWA Compliance: Issues & Solutions ICWA Compliance: Issues & Solutions Presentation Transcript

  • Cal-ICWA Indian Dispute Resolution Services “ Working things out by talking things through” Indiandispute.com http://calicwa.wordpress.com Facebook : caindianchildwelfareassoc
  • Summary
    • Background on foster care and Indian foster youth in California
    • About Cal-ICWA
      • IDRS Research on health services available to transition-age Indian foster youth in CA.
    • About the Indian Child Welfare Act in CA
    • ICWA Compliance & Policy Solutions
      • ICWA & Tribal TANF
      • ICWA Implementation & Data solution
    • Youth Engagement
  • American Indians in CA
    • Of approximately 4.5 million American Indians 689,120 are Californians (2008).
    • That’s almost the Indian population of Oklahoma and Arizona combined .
    • American Indians are 1.9% of CA pop.
    • 9.9M Californian’s are under 18yo.**
    • 46,522, or <.5% are American Indian.**
    • * Source: http://www.census.gov/Press Release/www/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/012782.html
    • ** Source: http://www.kidsdata.org 2009
  • Foster Care in California
    • About 75,000 children in foster care
    • About 5000 young people age-out of foster care each year.
      • 1 in 4 are incarcerated within 2 years
      • Less than 50% graduate high school
      • 1 in 5 experience homelessness within 1.5 years of aging out.
  • American Indians in CA Foster Care
    • There are about 1500 identified Indian foster care cases (2008)
      • 2% of CA foster care cases are ICWA
      • That’s est. 3.2% of the CA Indian youth in foster care!
      • Grossly under-reported; not identified
      • Does not include juvenile detention or probation placements
      • Does not include Indian children who are not eligible for tribal membership.
      • * Child Welfare Dynamic Report System: http://cssr.berkeley.edu/ucb_childwelfare
  • American Indians EXITING foster care in CA
    • 450-500 American Indian youth exit foster care each year.
      • Exits can be reunifications, kinship placements, guardianships, adoptions, emancipation or aging-out.
      • END Background
      • NEXT About Cal-ICWA
      • Back to Summary
  • Cal-ICWA Mission
    • … strengthen tribes to ensure that American Indian children and families in the California juvenile dependency and juvenile delinquency system receive the protections, services and rights recognized by the federally enacted Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA) and California Senate Bill 678 (2006).
  • What Does Cal-ICWA Do?
    • Strengthen tribal governments with process for resolving challenges and creating solutions to ICW concerns.
    • Training in cross-cultural communication, leadership, negotiation, and ICWA in CA.
    • Convene tribal ICW workers, decision makers, and youth.
    • Identify and engage local, state, and federal partners.
    • Mobilize technical and financial resources.
    • Support other states in replicating appropriate solutions.
    • Advocate for state and federal legislation and policy change.
  • How Cal-ICWA?
    • Strategy 1 : Regional Research & Policy
    • Strategy 2 : Engagement
            • Community
            • Youth
    • Strategy 3 : Communication
      • Cal-ICWA Next Steps
      • Next Strategy 1: Research
      • Back to Summary
  • Strategy 1
    • UCSF & NIH Supported Research
    • ICW Service Provider Focus Groups
    • Indian Foster Youth Focus Groups
    • Policy Reforms
    • Information Resource
      • NEXT Research detail On to Preliminary Findings On to Strategy 1: Policy On to Strategy 2
      • Back to Strategies Back to Summary
  • Cal-ICWA/UCSF Research
    • 1) Collect information about the few programs in California that have responded programmatically to Native American youth aging out of the foster care system, and to identify barriers to care that have not been addressed by current or previous programmatic efforts
    • 2) Increase the visibility of and urgency concerning the needs of foster youth among the Indian community and non-Indian social services agencies community
    • 3) To convene tribes and other organizations that can make a difference to discuss the associated problems, “best practices,” and gaps identified by the project.
  • Cal-ICWA/UCSF Research
    • The ultimate goal of this project is to gather and disseminate information that will encourage Indian and non-Indian communities and services to work together to develop strategies to reduce the mental and physical health burden often experienced by Indian youth transitioning out of foster care.
  • Research Methods
    • Qualitative Research
      • Because lack of quantitative data
      • Because relatively small number of Indian foster care cases
    • Focus Groups
      • Service Providers; county, tribal, non-profit
      • Youth; current and former foster youth
    • Regions
      • Humboldt (high percentage of Indian cases, rural)
      • Bay Area (urban)
      • San Diego (rural and urban)
  • Preliminary Findings
    • Few services
    • Little coordination
      • Tribal/local in urban areas
      • County/tribal in rural areas
    • Inaccurate data and no tracking
    • CA is out of compliance with ICWA
    • NEXT: Service Gaps ON TO: Strategy 2 ON TO: Policy Implications
    • Back to Strategies Back to Summary
  • Largest Service Gaps
    • Prevention Services
    • Culturally appropriate mental health and reunification services
      • Particularly for youth in detention & probation
    • No tracking of youth exited from system
    • Transportation
    • And…..
  • Largest Service Gaps
    • Housing
    • 65% of youth leaving foster care do so without a place to live
    • 50% of former foster/probation youth become homeless within the first 18 months of emancipation
    • 27% of the homeless population spent time in foster care
    • 58% of all young adults accessing federally funded youth shelters in 1997 had previously been in foster care.
  • Research Next Steps
    • Recruiting Indian foster youth, and former foster youth, to participate in focus groups
      • Humboldt, Bay Area, San Diego
      • Confidential, private
      • No questions about the reasons for foster care
      • Questions: age, gender, services used, barriers to services, gaps in services, what works & why.
      • Questions about post-foster care education, housing, transportation, children.
      • Contact: Heather Zenone, Cal-ICWA, 916-482-5800, [email_address]
      • Next: Potential Policy Solutions On to Strategy 2 Return to Strategies Back to Summary
  • Potential Solutions
    • Enhance Coordination & Support Services
    • 1. Develop and replicate other statewide Indian Child Welfare advocacy orgs.
    • 2. Fund Prevention Programs & Services
    • 3.  TANF Reauthorization
    • 4.  Engaging Youth, Tribes, Counties, and the State
    • organizing and building capacity around community-driven solutions
        • Fund existing County-based ICWA Roundtables
        • Local feasibility of CPS Indian Units
        • AYAZUTA - system of care, accurate data
        • Youth Academy – leadership development
    • 5.  ICWA amendments (legislative/regulatory)     a.  attorney's fees for appointed counsel     b.  digital USPS notification     c.  reproductive health/rights of tribe     d.  SACWIS (ACF/HHS limits on statewide child welfare technology systems: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/systems/sacwis/about.htm )
    • **Individual right of action for preferred placement (NCAI sub-cmt).
      • NEXT Strategy 2 Back to Strategies Back to Summary
  • Strategy 2: Engagement
    • Community
      • Ayazuta , community-developed system of care
      • ICWA Roundtables , local problem-solving
      • CA-DSS ICWA Meetings
      • Division 31 Regulations
    • Youth
      • Five-day Indian Foster Youth Training Academy
      • Direct Youth Advocacy to tribes, counties, and state.
      • NEXT Strategy 3 Back to Strategies Back to Summary
  • Strategy 3: Communicate
    • Present to local, state, and national partners
    • Blog, facebook, listserve
    • Constituency-specific resources
    • State and national conferences
      • NEXT: Cal-ICWA Next Steps Back to Strategies Back to Summary
  • Cal-ICWA Next Steps…
    • Cal-ICWA/UCSF Transition-age Indian Foster Youth Focus Groups
    • TTANF Policies & Procedures
      • Model policies
      • Modification of Tribal Plans (if necessary)
      • TANF Reauthorization 2010
    • Ayazuta ICWA Notice & Data system
    • END Cal-ICWA
    • NEXT: ICWA Basics SKIP TO: CA & ICWA Back to Summary
  • What is ICWA?
    • The Indian Child Welfare Act (1978)
    • United States legislation which protects the jurisdiction of tribes over member children and provides for specific procedures, when any non-tribal court removes an Indian child from the care and custody of their parent.
    • Among other purposes, to respect tribal sovereignty and its jurisdiction over members, and to prevent the break-up of Indian families.
  • When ICWA Applies
    • Indian Child (tribal member or eligible)
    • Federally recognized tribe (unrecognized tribes permissive participation in CA)
    • CPS (dependency/child welfare court)
    • Juvenile court (detention & placement)
    • Probate court
  • ICWA Basics
    • Duty to inquire whether a child is a tribal member or eligible for membership.
    • Notice to tribe (federally recognized tribes). Tribe decides who is a member.
    • Notice to family.
    • Tribes have concurrent jurisdiction in CA; if the tribe has a court they can chose to “exercise jurisdiction” -- to remove the child from state court-- or continue to allow the state courts and CPS to handle the case. If the tribe allows California to keep the case, the state has to notify the tribe of every proceeding and the tribe can make recommendations about the case.
    • “ Active efforts ” the state must make and demonstrate “active efforts” to prevent the break up of the Indian family. “Active efforts” most often means referrals to culturally appropriate resources for the child and the family.
    • Placement : Indian children are preferentially placed with extended family, tribal members, or other Indian families.
    • NEXT: CA & ICWA Skip to: Indian Foster Youth in CA Skip to: Policy Solutions Back to Summary
  • California & ICWA
    • California has adopted all the provisions of ICWA into the relevant state code sections (SB-678-2006).
    • CA is currently modifying Div.31 Child Welfare Services regulations to comply with SB-678.
    • In California, tribes that are not federally recognized may be permitted to participate in court proceedings and make recommendations.
    • NEXT: ICWA Compliance Solutions
    • Skip to: Indian Foster Youth in CA Skip to: Policy Solutions Back to Summary
  • ICWA Compliance Solutions
    • Automated notices to tribes, reports.
    • Accurate and comprehensive data system
    • Improve communication with local Indian-serving agencies to meet “active efforts” requirements.
    • Recruit culturally appropriate placements
    • Supporting mental health and self-sufficiency needs of families.
    • END ICWA & CA NEXT: TTANF SKIP TO: Policy Solutions Back to Summary
  • 4 Purposes of TTANF
    • 1. Assisting needy families so that children can be cared for in their own homes
    • 2. Reducing the dependency of needy parents by promoting job preparation, work and marriage
    • 3. Preventing out-of-wedlock pregnancies
    • 4. Encouraging the formation and maintenance of two-parent families.
    • NEXT: Role for TTANF in ICWA
  • Role for TTANF in ICWA
    • Indian child nexus
    • Child-only cases
      • TANF Purpose 1
      • ICWA : active efforts, foster care recruitment, placement
    • Parents with a history of foster care are almost twice as likely as parents with no such history to see their own children placed in foster care or become homeless.
      • TANF Purpose 1
      • ICWA : preventing break up of Indian families
    • Non-custodial parents
      • employment training so non-custodial parents can achieve self-sufficiency for reunification or to pay child support to kinship caregiver or custodial parent.
      • TANF Purpose 1, ICWA active efforts
    • And….
  • Role for TTANF in ICWA
    • Pregnancy Planning
      • 60% of female foster youth become pregnant within 4 years of aging out of foster care.
      • Girls in foster care are six times more likely to give birth before the age of 21 than the general population.
      • College and career aspirations encourage women to delay pregnancy. Youth in foster care are 44% less likely to graduate from high school and after emancipation, 40 – 50 percent never complete high school.
      • TANF Purpose 3
    • Educational incentives; grade incentives, books and school expenses
      • TANF Purpose 2 & 3
      • Only 3% of former foster youth earn a college degree.
    • Diversion; training to assist foster youth and former foster youth develop employable skills.
      • Employment skills are necessary for self-sufficiency as former foster youth work toward college degrees and living-wage careers.
      • NEXT: TANF Reauthorization
  • TANF Reauthorization
    • Extend scope of Tribal TANF programs to meet ICWA needs:
    • a.  Tribal option to provide education incentives and employment skills training to non-TANF eligible ICWA youth .  (ICWA youth could be T-IV-E funded, KinGap, tribal out of home placements, Guardianship... any removal of the child from parents at any point in child's life.)   (TANF Purpose #3)
    • b.  Tribal option to provide non-TANF eligible, non-custodial parents of ICWA children with education incentives and employment services to meet ICWA &quot;active efforts&quot; requirements.  (TANF Purpose #1)
    • c.  Definition of an &quot;Indian child&quot; to include youth over age 18 who are still receiving services pursuant to Fostering Connections.
    • NEXT: AYAZUTA Back To Policy Back to Summary
  • ICWA Roundtables
    • What : County-based monthly meetings
    • Who : Tribal ICWA workers, Indian service providers, county DSS workers, county ed, law enforcement, etc.
    • Local Solutions : MOU’s, Coalitions, complaint resolution, develop protocols.
    • Participation in these effective meetings are UNFUNDED! Sonoma, Lake, Mendocino, Sacramento, Bay Area.
    • Back to Strategy 2 Engagement Back to Strategies
  • Ayazuta: ICWA Implementation
    • A community-developed system of care
    • FREE searchable ICWA Tribal Contacts Database
    • Automated notices to tribes, tracking, alerts, & court reports.
    • Simple tribal response mechanisms
    • Accurate and comprehensive data system
      • Real numbers + real costs = appropriate allocation of resources and enables evaluation.
    • Improve communication with local Indian-serving agencies to meet “active efforts” requirements.
    • Recruit culturally appropriate placements
    • http://www.ayazuta.com/
    • Back to Strategies Back to Compliance Solutions Back to Policy Solutions Back to Summary
  • Indian Foster Youth Academy
    • IDRS will host the Indian Foster Youth Summer Academy
    • Train 15-25 youth in presentation and advocacy skills in order to bring their case for culture and health directly to tribes, counties, and California policymakers.
    • Focused on training transition-age American Indian foster youth in negotiation and presentation in order to cast them in the lead role of advocating for significant reforms that directly address their cultural and health needs.
    • In Sacramento over seven days during the Summer of 2010.
    • No cost to youth or families; all travel, accommodations, and meals are covered.
    • Youth will identify a minimum of 3 Direct Advocacy opportunities (2 local and 1 state). After the Academy youth will travel to the advocacy sites and accommodations (where necessary) will be covered.
    • Back to Strategy 2 Back to Strategies Back to Summary
  • Thank You!
    • National Institutes of Health
    • UCSF Pediatrics
    • The California Endowment
    • The California Wellness Foundation