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View Diary: Indian Child Removal: Racism, "Perverse Financial Incentives," and Willful Violation of the ICWA (156 comments)

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  •  Why not pull DCS into the tribes? (11+ / 0-)

    Sorry if this is a dumb question but why isn't there a tribal child welfare services function, especially if there's a history of noncompliance and racism and if there's suspicion of misallocation of foster care funding?

    Regarding kinship placements they're tricky because the neglect or abuse or missing parent that causes the foster case is very frequently a multi-generational problem. If the tribes had their own child protective service or foster facilities then the state can be out of the loop, albeit the common problem of finding suitable foster families would still hit them.


    •  A lot of them do, and it still doesn't matter. (14+ / 0-)

      IMO, what you have here is a rogue state that has decided that it's going to do what it damn well pleases.  But regardless, violations of ICWA are actually fairly common.  Most courts and judges frankly have nor understanding of (and care even less about) tribal law, much less tribal jurisdiction.  For a lot of them, they almost never deal with it; a lot of those that do shouldn't be.

      I can tell you unequivocally that kinship placements are, on the whole, far and way the best solution for Indian kids.  The dynamics are different from what you find in the white world, and the needs are VASTLY different in certain respects.  

      I can also tell you that on a lot of these rezes, you're dealing with financial and logistical constraints that the white world frankly can't even begin to imagine, much less comprehend.  What do you do when your child is forced to go to school on non-tribal land, and they're stolen from the school?  When it's 200 miles to the town where the court is, and your $3750 annual income won't cover gas money?  It's really basic, fundamental stuff that most people can't even conceive - and the state and its preferred private actors know that and exploit it.

      In the end, what is going on here is nothing more nor less than an attempt to usurp the tribes' own roles, to strip them of sovereignty, and ultimately, to dilute the children's cultural and family ties.  It is indeed about forced assimilation, all over again.  Again:  What applies in dominant-culture child welfare situations is a whole different thing from what we're talking about here.  

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      by Aji on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 12:43:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The topic of tribally-run foster care (14+ / 0-)

      kck you are correct to identify tribally-run foster care as the long term solution. Our law firm believes that tribes should be able to control their own foster care, without involvement by states like South Dakota who have shown disregard for ICWA. There is a process now by which tribes can apply for direct federal funding to run their own programs. There are a lot of hoops that tribes have to jump through to do this--some of which are good, because they are designed to ensure that tribally-run programs are well-run. The problem with this federal process, however, is that it is competitive. Why should tribes have to compete for a limited pot of federal dollars to run their own foster care programs, when states like SD don't have to compete for similar funding? This is one of the issues that we intend to raise at the Lakota foster care summit in South Dakota in mid April. We need to streamline the process by which tribes can be funded directly by the federal government to run their own foster care and adoption programs.

      •  Thanks. In the short term... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mollyd, nomandates, navajo, meralda

        ...use of non profit tribal foster family residential and placement agencies that are independent and non competitive (like this one I' know well) can be a conduit between a usually overburdened understaffed, and underfunded DCS and either tribal foster families or placement in the agency itself. I know that such agencies are great for the kids, local to the families, and are so easy to use that the DCS favors them as a first choice here in Ca. They subsist on private donations and funding that comes wit the children.

        It'd be good to post any such facilities that can use direct donations.

        Thanks and best of luck.

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