A photo of a smiling girl and boy

Stand Strong
for Native
And Families

Find resources related to the welfare of our youngest tribal citizens. This website includes information for tribal nations about tribal child welfare programs, the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), federal and state laws and regulations, Indian child welfare cases, along with our news blog, ICWA INFO, which provides the latest news for Indian child welfare practitioners.

Brackeen v. Haaland

For decades, ICWA has been recognized by child welfare experts as the gold standard in child welfare practice, and the law has helped tens of thousands of Indian children and families find fairness and healing in state child welfare systems. In the past several years, anti-tribal interests have launched a series of legal challenges against ICWA, with the goal of broadly undermining tribal sovereignty. The most prominent case and challenge to ICWA was Brackeen v. Haaland (formerly Brackeen v. Zinke and Brackeen v. Bernardt). In June 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Haaland v. Brackeen, and in a 7-2 opinion resoundingly affirmed the constitutionality of the Indian Child Welfare Act.

The Indian Child Welfare Act

The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) is a federal law enacted in 1978 to protect the well-being and best interests of Indian children and families. It upholds family integrity and stability and keeps Indian children connected to their communities and cultures. It is widely recognized as following best practices and being the gold standard in the field of child welfare.

ICWA also reaffirms the inherent rights of tribal nations to be involved in child welfare matters involving their citizens. It ensure tribes can advocate for the best interest of their tribal members.

Because of ICWA’s strong foundation, many states have enacted similar state legislation to protect Native American families in their community.

To learn more about the details of the law and how it is applied, check out NARF’s “A Practical Guide to the Indian Child Welfare Act.”

Learn more about how we are defending the law that defends our children in our Summer/Fall 2019 issue of the NARF Legal Review.

ICWA INFO: A Resource for Child Welfare Practitioners


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