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ACFS provides monitoring of child welfare cases throughout the United States involving children either enrolled in or eligible for membership in the tribe to ensure that the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) is followed.

The Indian Child Welfare Act is a federal law passed in 1978 that provides special protections for Indian children and families. ICWA applies to any state proceeding in which a child cannot be returned to the custody of the parent upon request. It applies to all proceedings in which a child has been removed from their parents’ care and placed in foster care, termination and adoption proceedings. ICWA gives the tribe the legal right to intervene in all state proceedings involving an Indian child other than parental custody situations. The Sault Tribe Child Welfare Committee (CWC) per Chapter 30 of the Tribal Code is the body that speaks on behalf of the tribe in these matters. ICWA does not apply to Tribal Court proceedings as the premises of ICWA are incorporated into our Tribal Code.

The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians monitors all child welfare cases under the jurisdiction of state courts. Through this action, the tribe becomes a legal party to the case and has access to all records regarding the cases. Anishnaabek Community and Family Services has been designated by the tribe to provide monitoring services and the Sault Tribe Child Welfare Committee has been designated by the tribe to make recommendations to the state courts on all cases relative to P.L. 95-608 (Indian Child Welfare Act). All cases are therefore reviewed to ensure compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act (P.L. 95-608).

 

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Photo by Ken Bosma / CC BY