The issuances by the Department of the Interior of non-binding guidelines in 2015 and of legislative rules in 2016 are opportunities for states to promptly examine their current practices and standards and voluntarily adopt the guidelines and regulations as enforceable state requirements. New York State is an example of a state that has evidenced support for implementation of the [Indian Child Welfare] Act, but in a number of respects its current requirements fall short of the federal recommendations and rules. This Note urges states, with jurisdictions such as New York taking a leadership role, to act now to adopt the guidelines and regulations. Doing so will conform existing state practices to best practices and federal standards and, importantly, signal a strong commitment to the Act and to the best interests of Indian children, tribes, and families.
Read the full article from the Columbia Journal of Law and Social Problems website.