The right of a parent to decide how to raise their children is considered a fundamental right, which means that government interference with that right must be for a compelling reason such as child abuse or neglect. In the case of Native American children, children were often removed from their tribal homes and placed in child welfare systems throughout the nation that were not culturally similar. In response to this, the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) was passed in 1978.
As the CPS investigator you have learned that Anne may possibly have Native American ancestry. This is your first case regarding a child from a Native American ancestry, so you will need to research the provisions of ICWA to ensure you are well informed. You are asked by your supervisor to write a 2-3 page paper outlining your knowledge of the following:
- the history of ICWA
- ICWA provisions
- ICWA requirements
Answer the following questions:
- As an investigator of alleged abuse/neglect, what does ICWA require you to do first?
- How would Anne’s lineage be determined?
- Can Anne be removed from her home and placed in foster care if she is of Native American descent?