My family or a family member is being investigated by the department for a child welfare complaint; what can I do?
The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) of 1978 25 USC 1901 et. seq. was a law created to prevent the breakup of Indian families and to promote the stability and security of Indian tribes. There are culturally competent services available for you and/or your family.
- Native American Affairs (NAA) MDHHS policy pertaining to Indian child welfare cases is found on the MDHHS public website www.michigan.gov/mdhhs and NAA website www.michigan.gov/americanindians.
- The Native American Rights Fund (NARF) has an excellent resource for Indian families and caseworkers about ICWA and may be reviewed at http://www.narf.org/.
- The National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) has resources and training opportunities and may be contacted at http://www.nicwa.org/.
Michigan recently enacted Public Act 566, the Michigan Indian Family Preservation Act (MIFPA) MCL 712B. 1-41. which clarifies, enhances, and reaffirms ICWA implementation in Michigan child welfare services and courts. Information pertaining to MIFPA and ICWA are available on the NAA website at www.michigan.gov/americanindians or MDHHS NAA Policy Manual at https://dhhs.michigan.gov/olmweb/ex/html/.
Indian Outreach Workers (IOW) are available to assist Indian families in Michigan with social service complaints (See IOW contact information www.michigan.gov/americanindians).