Contemporary policy challenges for indian child welfare

Ann E. MacEachron, Nora Gustavsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The federal policy context of the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) has changed over thtitle last 25 years. We examine ways in which four recent federal policies may challenge or alter ICWA outcomes. Our discussion of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 highlights the reemerging risk of poverty for more American Indian families. This may increase the removal rate of Indian children due to perceived child neglect. The Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980 and the Adoptions and Safe Families Act of 1997 present challenges to ICWA by ignoring both the rationale and protections of ICWA. In contrast, the Multiethnic Placement Act of 1994 explicitly exempts Indian children in recognition of ICWA goals and rationale. Yet noncompliance with this exemption may undermine the intent of ICWA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-61
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Poverty
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 11 2005


  • ASFA
  • Cultural competence
  • Foster care and adoption rates
  • ICWA
  • Indian child welfare
  • Indian poverty
  • Out-of-home placement
  • TANF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Sociology and Political Science


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