National Child Welfare Association

Indian Child Welfare Act Online Training Course

Increase the depth of your understanding of the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978. Take NICWA’s online ICWA training course at your own pace. The provisions of ICWA are explained in non-legal language and presented in the order in which a child welfare worker might encounter them in an ICWA case.

Geared toward those who work in, or study, the out-of-home placement of Indian children, the course will resonate with social workers, tribal social service agency directors and boards, state and county social workers and supervisors, training personnel, professors, and students.

  • Learn what led to ICWA’s enactment and be equipped to explain ICWA to those unfamiliar with its purpose
  • Be confident in knowing principles of good social work, including how handle a case involving an Indian child in compliance with ICWA
  • Acquire the information needed to handle the out-of-home placement of an Indian child
  • Identify cultural factors to consider when handling cases involving Indian children and families
  • Upon successful completion of the course earn a certification of completion

Logging In

If you have come to this page to log on to the online course using the password provided to you in your confirmation e-mail, please click the link titled "Log In" in the upper right corner of this screen. If you have not received a confirmation e-mail for the online course, please email us.

Fees and Registration

Individuals - $50

Print and complete the ICWA Online Course Registration Form

Return your completed registration form with check to
National Indian Child Welfare Association
5100 SW Macadam Avenue, Suite 300
Portland, OR 97239

Fax your registration with credit card number to (503) 274-1645.

Once your payment has been received and processed, you will receive a confirmation e-mail with a login and password information. Please do not attempt to logon to NICWA's website before your receive your confirmation e-mail.

(Participants should allow for one to three business days between payment and confirmation.)

Group Contracts

Contact NICWA at (503) 222-4044 or by email to register and set up group payment and contract.

Contracts offer groups the opportunity to designate an administrator who will receive monthly reports on the status of their participants. Groups over with 26 or more participants also receive a discounted rate as indicated in the table below.

Note to groups with 25 participants or less: Entering into a contract is optional if your group contains less than 26 people. If you do not care to receive monthly reports on the status of your participants, simply register them using the method indicated for individuals above. If you choose to register your group of less than 26 participants as individual registrants, the administrative fee indicated in the table below will not apply to you.

Number of users Cost per user Administration fee
Less than 25 $50 $100
26-49 $44 $150
50-74 $38 $200
75-99 $32 $250
100-499 $25 $300
500-999 $15 $500
1000+ $10 $750

Course Description

Course Content and Format

This course presents the provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA) in the order a child welfare worker might encounter them in an ICWA case. The course provides an explanation of the law in non-legal language and outlines the recommended performance steps associated with effective social work practice. Information is provided both to support practice and to ensure appropriate case records.


The audience for this program is anyone involved in the out-of-home placement of American Indian children throughout the United States, including:

  • Social workers from tribal social service agencies, including staff social workers, executive directors, and members of boards of directors
  • State and county social workers, including staff social workers, supervisors, and training personnel
  • Social work professors and students

Course Objectives

After completing this course, learners should be able to:

  1. Explain the circumstances that have shaped American Indian child welfare policies
  2. Explain the purpose of ICWA
  3. Explain ICWA and the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) principles of good social work
  4. Use the ICWA performance path to handle a simulated case situation

By using this course material, learners should be able to:

  1. Explain how a child welfare worker should handle a case involving an American Indian child in compliance with ICWA
  2. Explain how to handle the out-of-home placement of an American Indian child in compliance with both ICWA and ASFA
  3. Identify a resource for additional information about integrating ICWA and ASFA
  4. Explain the optimum tribal response at various stages of an out-of-home placement of an American Indian child
  5. Explain cultural factors to consider when handling cases involving American Indian children and families
  6. Identify the rights of all parties when an American Indian child is placed outside the home

Length of Course

The course will take three to six hours to compete, including the test. It is divided into sections and can be completed in several sessions. Learners may log in to continue the course at any time.

Certification of Completion

This course can be used for both learning about ICWA and as a reference while handling an ICWA case. A Certificate of Completion is available for those who receive a score of at least 80% on the Certificate of Completion test. Learners who do not pass the test may retake it as many times as they wish.

The Certificate of Completion test may be taken at any time during the course to help learners gauge their knowledge of ICWA.

Technical Requirements

For this course to operate properly, your computer must have Firefox, or Internet Explorer version 6.0 or newer.