Government Affairs and Advocacy
September/October 2013: "Understanding ICWA's Importance" Published in Fostering Families Magazine
The National Indian Child Welfare Association's (NICWA) Government Affairs and Advocacy activities are designed to provide advocates with the opportunity, skills, and information needed to improve policies and increase funding for services for American Indian and Alaskan Native children and their families.
We inform advocates and policymakers, facilitate public discussion of the needs of American Indian and Alaskan Native Children and bring together diverse people and institutions to develop the necessary policy solutions. Most recently we have been working to support changes in the federal child welfare funding system to give tribal governments more secure access to federal child welfare programs and make these programs respond better to the needs of tribal communities.
Legislative bills pending in Congress that have implications for Indian children.
Laws pertaining to Indian children, such as the Indian Child Welfare Act.
Regulations or guidance from federal agencies regarding implementation of specific federal laws or programs.
The values that guide our work include respect for tribal sovereignty and self-determination, promoting child-centered and family-focused solutions, advocating for social justice and equal access to resources, and honoring cultural and traditional practices. We do this work in partnership with American Indian and Alaskan Native communities, tribal leaders, tribal human service agencies, urban Indian programs, mainstream child advocacy groups, foundations and state and federal agencies.