How Can the ICWA Toolkit Benefit My County?

In addition to improving the services afforded to native children and families, implementation of the ICWA Toolkit can result in multiple benefits to the operations and staff of county child welfare agencies.

The benefits include:

1. Reduction of appeals and associated costs related to the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) by:

  • Strengthening culturally appropriate inquiry
  • Increasing proper identification of Indian children
  • Strengthening accurate noticing efforts

2. Reduction in overall costs to counties:

  • Culturally sensitive social work at the front end of a case can result in an overall reduction in cost over time, including reduction of foster care expenses and a decreased likelihood of re-entries.
  • Staff workload is reduced by improving partnerships for service provision.

3. Enhanced collaboration with stakeholders that improves client access to Tribal and Native American/Alaska Native services by:

  • Ensuring culturally appropriate services for ICWA cases, including Tribal TANF, health care, and Indian education programs
  • Strengthening relationships with Tribes and Native American/Alaska Native service providers
  • Supporting the ability to provide active efforts for ICWA cases

4. Alignment and support of federal and state goals and mandates by:

  • Increasing ICWA compliance
  • Expanding stakeholder involvement
  • Strengthening youth, family, and Tribal engagement

5. Enhanced integration with other initiatives and strategies that strengthens client engagement and reduces time to permanency, including:

  • Family Finding
  • Youth, Family, and Tribal Engagement
  • Signs of Safety
  • Active Efforts