18 National Child Welfare Organizations Join Supreme Court Amicus Brief in Support of Indian Child Welfare Act

SEATTLE -- Casey Family Programs with the support of 17 other national child welfare organizations has filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). The case of Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl , now before the Supreme Court, calls into question the constitutionality of the Indian Child Welfare Act.

The coalition of philanthropic and nonprofit organizations represents decades of frontline experience working to improve the lives of vulnerable children and their families. The group supports ICWA because it has helped establish the values and practices that have become central to effective child welfare practice. In particular, this law reinforces the important role that families and communities play when determining the best interests of children in their care.

“The Indian Child Welfare Act reflects the best practices in child welfare,” says David Sanders, Casey Family Programs’ Executive Vice President of Systems Improvement. “It works to prevent the unnecessary breakup of families and helps keep children connected to their communities.”

“The same values and best practices found in the Indian Child Welfare Act are reflected in federal legislation that applies to all children and families. The federal government emphasizes three goals for child welfare: keeping children safe from abuse and neglect; ensuring a stable and permanent family; and improving the wellbeing of vulnerable children. We see these goals reflected in recent legislation, including the Adoption and Safe Families Act and the Fostering Connections Act,” said Sanders.

Casey Family Programs is joined in this amicus brief by other leaders in child welfare including the Children’s Defense Fund, Child Welfare League of America, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Donaldson Adoption Institute, North American Council on Adoptable Children, Voice for Adoption, Black Administrators in Child Welfare, Inc., Children and Family Justice Center, Family Defense Center, First Focus Campaign for Children, Foster Care Alumni of America, FosterClub, National Alliance of Children’s Trust and Prevention Funds, National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators, National Association of Social Workers, National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association, and National Crittenton Foundation.

Adoptions are an important permanency option for children when placement with their own family is not possible. Ensuring successful adoptions requires a consistent and transparent process. And that is why is it is important to note that national adoption organizations are supporting the brief. They recognize that the protections and safeguards included in ICWA support successful adoptions and are reflective of the best practices for children.

Anita Fineday, Casey Family Programs’ Managing Director of Indian Child Welfare Programs says, “For more than 35 years, ICWA has helped to establish important principles for strengthening families and encouraging community engagement to produce the best results for children. That is why we are committed to helping others understand the important role this law continues to play for both Native American families and in shaping broader policies that support the rights of families to raise and care for their children within their own cultures and communities.”

Casey Family Programs has provided direct services to children and families involved in public and tribal foster care systems for more than 40 years.

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Casey Family Programs is the nation’s largest operating foundation whose work is focused on safely reducing the need for foster care and building communities of hope for all of America’s children and families. We work in partnership with child welfare systems, families and communities across the nation to prevent child abuse and neglect and to find safe, permanent and loving families for all children. We believe every child deserves a family of their own and a community of hope. Visit www.casey.org for more information.

Hear what Casey Family Programs and other child welfare experts had to say during an Indian Child Welfare Act press briefing regarding the case of Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl.

Sarah Fridovich
Public Relations Manager
Office: 206-378-4613
Email: sfridovich@casey.org

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