National Child Welfare Association


Sarah Wittmann Email

Events Coordinator

(503) 222-4044, ext. 124

NICWA Training Institutes

"I really appreciated all the participants and teachers from communities all across the country coming to share their knowledge. I loved seeing and learning how similar we are and the connections we share." –Past PIP Participant

Past institute attendees agree: NICWA's training institutes are cost-effective professional development opportunities that help you remain current in your knowledge of the ever-changing field of child welfare.

Join us for our upcoming training institutes. These interactive and energetic courses are taught by dynamic trainers who are experts in the field of Indian child welfare.

Led by those with an extensive experience working with tribal communities, participants will also enjoy the opportunity to network with other attendees from tribal, state, and national agencies located throughout the country. Contact Sarah Wittmann for registration information.

Upcoming Training Institute Dates & Locations:



August 23–25, 2016- Rapid City, South Dakota
-ICWA Basics with Regulations Updates
-Advanced ICWA
-Positive Indian Parenting

Register Online
Download registration forms
The training will be held at the Best Western Ramkota Hotel and Conference Center:
2111 N LaCrosse Street
Rapid City, SD 57701
Reservations by phone: (605) 343-8550 
Special event rate: $127 per night plus tax. Reservations must be made by phone, and you must mention “NICWA” to secure the special event rate. Guests of the hotel enjoy an indoor pool, fitness center, complementary parking, and WiFi. Free airport shuttle is available. Rooms at this rate will be available until July 22, 2016.


September 27–29, 2016 - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
-ICWA Basics with Regulations Updates
-Advanced ICWA
-Positive Indian Parenting

Register Online
Download registration forms

The training will be held at the Sheraton Oklahoma City Downtown Hotel:
1 N. Broadway Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
Reservations by phone: (405) 235-2780 
Special event rate: $98 per night. Mention you are with the “NICWA Training” when you call. Guests of the hotel enjoy an outdoor pool, fitness center, and complementary WiFi is available in all guest rooms and meeting spaces. Rooms at this rate will be available until September 1, 2016.


December 6–8, 2016- Portland, Oregon
-ICWA Basics with Regulations Updates
-Advanced ICWA
-Positive Indian Parenting

Register Online
Download registration forms

The training will be held at the Doubletree by Hilton Portland:
1000 NE Multnomah Street
Portland, OR 97232
Online reservations
Reservations by phone: (800) 906-0510 
Special event rate: $151 per night. You must mention that you are with the “December Training Institute” to receive the special event rate. Guests of the hotel enjoy a fitness center, on-site dining, and WiFi access. Complementary day parking and overnight parking is available for all hotel guests. Rooms at this rate will be available until November 14, 2016.


April 5–7, 2017- San Diego, California
-ICWA Basics with Regulations Updates
-Positive Indian Parenting

Registration coming fall of 2016.

The training will be held at the Harrah’s Resort Southern California:
777 S Resort Drive
Valley Center, CA 92082
Special event rate: $128

Institute Descriptions & Training Objectives

In-Home Services
This two-day training of tribal in-home services from a system of care strengths-based perspective is a set of family-centered services designed to keep families together. These services help families to improve their functionality and strengthen family values for vulnerable populations. Some topics include family preservation, family services, family support, prevention, and helping families access services. Family preservation services are based on the principle that the greatest priority for the protection of Indian children is to strengthen Indian families.

In-Home Services Objectives
In-Home Services Agenda Example

ICWA Basics with Regulations Update
This two-day training provides participants with information about the basic legal requirements of the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA) and the practice issues involved with its implementation. A brief history of Indian policy in general and as it relates to Indian children and families sets the stage for an examination of the specific elements of ICWA and practice tips for both tribal and state social workers. Through this training, information about the new BIA regulations will be explained and participants will have a better grasp of the new elements.

ICWA Basics Training Objectives
ICWA Basics Training Agenda (example)

Advanced ICWA
This option is offered as a third day of training allowing participants to stay on, or new participants to join. Advanced ICWA provides participants with advanced strategies for implementing ICWA. They will receive information on how to successfully integrate other federal and state policies that interface with ICWA—such as the Adoption and Safe Families Act and Fostering Connections and Increasing Adoptions Act—and supports for developing tribal and state agreements and other systems change.

Advanced ICWA Training Objectives
Advanced ICWA Training Agenda (example)

Positive Indian Parenting
Our most popular training, Positive Indian Parenting prepares tribal and non-tribal child welfare personnel to train American Indian and Alaska Native parents using a culturally specific approach. The materials presented during this two- or three-day training draw on the strengths of historic Indian child-rearing patterns and blend traditional values with modern skills. Storytelling, cradleboards, harmony, lessons of nature, behavior management, and the use of praise are discussed.

PIP Training Objectives
PIP Training Agenda (example)

Additional Information

Please note for all trainings, if registration does not meet the minimum number the training may be cancelled and registration will be refunded.

Registration fees cover workshop sessions, all materials, one lunch for trainings more than one day, and CEUs. All other meals, lodging, and travel are on your own.