National Child Welfare Association

Government Affairs and Advocacy


July 2017: Latest Policy Update

May 2017: Latest Policy Update

May 2017: First Kids 1st Policy Agenda

April 2017: Latest Policy Update

January 2017: Latest Policy Update

October 2016: Latest Policy Update

July 2016: Latest Policy Update

June 2016: NICWA, NARF Release Summary of ICWA Regs

June 2016: Federal Register Publishes ICWA Regs

September 2015: Native Children's Policy Agenda Released

September 2015: Setting the Record Straight About ICWA

September 2015: NICWA Submits Comments on Wyden Child Welfare Legislation

April 2015: Testimony at Child Abuse Fatalities Hearing

April 2015: Comments on ICWA Compliance Data in AFCARS

March 2015: A major development in tribal child welfare policy was announced on February 25, 2015. The Bureau of Indian Affairs announced that it had revised—effective immediately—the Guidelines for State Courts and Agencies in Indian Child Custody Proceedings for the first time since 1979.

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 Alaska 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.

Partner Resources

The Association on American Indian Affairs published A Survey and Analysis of Select Title IV-E Tribal-State Agreements including Template of Promising Practices in March 2014.

Existing Law

Laws pertaining to Indian children, such as the Indian Child Welfare Act.

Administrative Regulations/Guidelines

Regulations or guidance from federal agencies regarding implementation of specific federal laws or programs.

Guiding Values

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.