The ICWA Toolkit targets four issues:
- Issue #1: Proper Identification of Native American and Alaska Native Children
Many children who qualify for the provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act are not identified as Native American or Alaska Natives. The ICWA Toolkit explains how to improve identification of native children through culturally sensitive inquiry.
- Issue #2: Proper Placement of Native American and Alaska Native Children
Children who are properly identified may not necessarily be afforded placements that honor their native heritage. The ICWA Toolkit provides guidance for securing placements that are culturally appropriate for Native American and Alaska Native children.
- Issue #3: Disproportionate Participation of Native American children in California’s Child Welfare System
Native American children are present in California’s child welfare system at twice their proportion in California’s population (U.S. Census Bureau, 2009; Needell et al., 2010). The disproportionality of Native American children in California’s child welfare system is especially troubling since California has the largest American Indian population of any state in the nation, with an estimated 443,719 Tribal residents. The toolkit promotes appreciation of the history and culture of indigenous peoples that are foundational to promoting effective engagement and to achieving equitable outcomes.
- Issue #4: Disparities in Access to Culturally Relevant Services
Native American and Alaska Native children participating in California’s child welfare system often do not receive services that are responsive to their cultural identities and experiences. The toolkit explains how to collaborate effectively with Tribes to identify and access culturally appropriate services.