It’s a well known fact in child welfare that Native Alaskan and American Indian children are overrepresented in the foster care system, which is why upholding the principles and requirements of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) is so important.

ICWA requires that with any foster care or pre-adoptive placement, a preference shall be given, in the absence of good cause to the contrary, to a placement with—

(i) a member of the Indian child’s extended family;

(ii) a foster home licensed, approved, or specified by the Indian child’s tribe;

(iii) an Indian foster home licensed or approved by an authorized non-Indian licensing authority; or

(iv) an institution for children approved by an Indian tribe or operated by an Indian organization which has a program suitable to meet the Indian child’s needs.

SAM comes out of the box with ICWA reporting fields and workflow to help track and enforce ICWA regulations, and find suitable placements when ICWA applies.

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Of course, the success of ICWA is dependant largely on recruitment of NA and AI families. Without eligible and suitable families available, the intent to maintain Indian children within their tribal culture and community cannot be fulfilled. SAM’s online recruitment tools - such as web forms and easier document collection online for faster licensing - make recruiting and maintaining a community of ICWA families easier than ever.

If ICWA is a concern for your agency and programs, ask for a free SAM demo to see how our child welfare tools can help.