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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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  •  Really ticks me off and Aji.. (1+ / 0-)
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    Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 12:24 PM EST.

    Indian Child Removal: Racism, "Perverse Financial Incentives," and Willful Violation of the ICWAby AjiUnfollow for Native American Netroots.
    HotlistRecommend149 Comments / 149 New.Two days ago, on January 31, the Lakota People's Law Project submitted a report to Congress documenting allegations first reported via an NPR investigation in 2011: that South Dakota's state child welfare officials were stealing Indian children from their homes and families and placing them in white foster care - in part for "perverse financial incentives," and all in direct and repeated violation of the federal Indian Child Welfare Act [ICWA].

    At the time the NPR story was released (October, 2011), Meteor Blades wrote a brutal, soul-searing report here at Daily Kos, documenting both the current outrages and this country's long and terrible history of stealing Indian children. In it, he made the point that what people regard as "history" isn't even past, telling the story of Kossack Carter Camp. In the diary and comments are other stories from other Indian families: those of Meteor Blades, of navajo, of myself, of Wings. Carter and Wings are both survivors of such programs themselves.

    But in 2011, we could hope that the worst abuses were at least now only in our pasts.

    In 2011, we had no idea how bad it still is.

    .
    THE INDIAN CHILD WELFARE ACT [ICWA]

    In adoption and foster care placement cases involving Indian children, the ICWA governs. It's a federal law, passed in 1978 after Congress became aware of the ongoing scandal of stolen Indian children. The point, as always, was assimilation: Kill the Indian; save the man - the foundation of federal Indian policy since before there was a federal government. At the time, evidence was presented to Congress that as many as 35% of all Indian children had been stripped from their families, homes, lands, and tribal ways by government agencies, "charitable" groups, and religious entities, to be assimilated into the dominant culture.

    In reality, the numbers were probably much higher.

    And stripping the children of their family and cultural ties had lethal results. At the time of the ICWA's passage, evidence showed that the majority of Indian children so removed suffered life-long ill effects: homelessness, addiction, imprisonment, early death.

    With that in mind, Congress drafted the ICWA with an over-arching goal in mind: keeping Indian children within their communities and cultures, and where possible, within their extended families.  As the Lakota People's Law Project [LPLP] describes it:

    Section 1915 of ICWA mandates that State Departments of Social Services (DSS) undertake all possible "active efforts" to keep Indian children with their parents before

    removing them from their homes. If those efforts fail, the state is obligated to provide for the "preferential placement" of children with their Indian relatives or tribe. Indeed, all such possible active efforts must be undertaken by DSS officials before any Indian child can lawfully be placed in a non-Indian child-care institution or with a non-Indian foster parent. Section 1916 of ICWA mandates that every State Department of Social Services and every State Court in our nation comply with these preferential placement provisions. Together, these two sections were intended by Congress to be central, remedial provisions of the Act.
    In Indian Country, this is known as "kinship placement," and in most - probably virtually all - cases, it's a viable option. Indian families traditionally encompass extended family members, and if parental placement is not an option, there are usually grandparents, uncles, aunts, or older cousins available who can and would take in child relatives in need.  But as the LPLP notes, in many places, little to nothing has changed
    They are breaking law big time as under Clinton's adoption law , the federal government mandated children who are in foster care are to come out after 18 months or so BUT kinship is to be considered first.   Always first.  I wil post the law here.  it was The Child Safe Act of 97.  Title IV E  and was started by Hillary.  If done right..a good thing.. https://www.childwelfare.gov/...

    Preserving the Family
    As grandparents we were helped to provide infamily placements for our kids.   Someone is making money off of abusing this law.  

    thanks for the diary

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 08:47:43 AM PST

    •  Kidnapping children in the name of the law (0+ / 0-)

      and I really don't know how you wrote that diary without breaking down and crying.   White men do not understand the Native way.  They are destroying those kids.   They are making money....under the very title 4E that was supposed to protect them

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 11:05:54 AM PST

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