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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Spotty reporting and compliance with #ICWA - why is that?

Chronicle of Social Change Article on Native Foster Home(s) in L.A.

Here.
In 1978, Congress passed the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), which was meant to keep Native American families together, after foster care and adoption practices had seen thousands of Native children taken from their families, ancestral lands and culture to be placed in non-native homes. That law created a system of “preferred placements” for Native children who enter care. The first choice is to place children with family members, followed by members of the same tribe and finally Native foster parents from other tribes. The last resort is placement in non-native homes.

But the federal government has never compelled states to share how well they satisfy that “preference,” leaving little or no data to indicate who is doing a good job placing Native children in Native homes.
The reporting that does exist is spotty at best.
In 2005, the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) surveyed all 50 states and Washington D.C. about their ability to identify Native children in the system who were subject to ICWA in 2003.
“Only five states—Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Washington—were able to provide these data,” according the GAO report.
It doesn’t appear that reporting on ICWA compliance improved much in the subsequent years.
In 2015, Casey Family Programs, one of the largest charitable foundations in all of child welfare, tried to ascertain ICWA compliance in a brief entitled “Measuring Compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act.”
“Although cross-jurisdictional and collaborative efforts are emerging, compliance measurement remains characterized by relatively small, idiosyncratic efforts,” the thin report reads. “Empirical study results are scattered, inconsistent, and highly specific to the state and jurisdiction being examined.”

[WHY? It's Indian people - the most disrespected and underserved population. Indian Child Welfare is low on the list of priorities in American courtrooms. The ICWA is federal law. Federal law is supposed to be enforced. You can see that isn't the case with our most precious children... If you notice in our blog sidebar (right), the list of federally recognized tribes - take a look. It's not taught in school. Ignorance about Indian people is rampant.  Trace]

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Thought-provoking and moving 11 October 2012
Two Worlds - Lost children of the Indian Adoption Projects

If you thought that ethnic cleansing was something for the history books, think again. This work tells the stories of Native American Indian adoptees "The Lost Birds" who continue to suffer the effects of successive US and Canadian government policies on adoption; policies that were in force as recently as the 1970's. Many of the contributors still bear the scars of their separation from their ancestral roots. What becomes apparent to the reader is the reality of a racial memory that lives in the DNA of adoptees and calls to them from the past.
The editors have let the contributors tell their own stories of their childhood and search for their blood relatives, allowing the reader to gain a true impression of their personalities. What becomes apparent is that nothing is straightforward; re-assimilation brings its own cultural and emotional problems. Not all of the stories are harrowing or sad; there are a number of heart-warming successes, and not all placements amongst white families had negative consequences. But with whom should the ultimate decision of adoption reside? Government authorities or the Indian people themselves? Read Two Worlds and decide for yourself.

ADOPTION TRUTH

As the single largest unregulated industry in the United States, adoption is viewed as a benevolent action that results in the formation of “forever families.”
The truth is that it is a very lucrative business with a known sales pitch. With profits last estimated at over $1.44 billion dollars a year, mothers who consider adoption for their babies need to be very aware that all of this promotion clouds the facts and only though independent research can they get an accurate account of what life might be like for both them and their child after signing the adoption paperwork.

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