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THE INDIAN CHILD WELFARE ACT (ICWA)

THE INDIAN CHILD WELFARE ACT (ICWA)


There are special laws that protect
people with American Indian heritage. Hi my name is Vince Davis I’m an attorney
here in California and I represent people with CPS or DCFS cases. Come with me while I explain to you the special protections given to people with
American Indian ancestry. So here’s a story I get contacted by a client who’s
lost his parental rights through a juvenile dependency case and as we’re
talking he tells me just as an aside that he’s American Indian and I say to
him well you probably got the special protections under federal law under the
Indian Child Welfare Act and he said you know I don’t think we did I said well
did you tell the judge that you’re American Indian he said yes so well what
happened he said well the judge asked me at the very first hearing do I have an
American Indian ancestry I told him yes and my wife from another tribe told him
yes as well the problem was that the County Council allegedly stood up and
said oh those aren’t real American Indians from Alaska and the judge made a finding that the American Indian Child Welfare Act didn’t apply it’s known as
in ICWA. So the case proceeded and as fate would have it they lost their
parental rights and the children were adopted or and the children were about to be
adopted. So motions were filed and his appellate case and eventually the
California Court of Appeals ordered that the case be sent back to the trial court
and the case started all over because the federal law wasn’t complied with. But by that time the father and the mother had participated in all of their
services and they the county could not prove that the parents were still a
risk or a danger to the children. So they got the children back. The moral of the
story is if you have American Indian ancestry raise it early and raise it
often. There are special rules that apply in California if you’re a parent and
your child is taken away; The Welfare and Institutions Code applies but if your
child was taken away and you have American Indian ancestry and the tribe
wants to get involved the federal law the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) applies. It’s a totally different law and gives the family and the parents more
protection in trying to get their children back. You know if you’re
watching this video you probably have questions and I answer questions like this every day call me and I’ll answer your questions 888-888-6582 or you can email me at
[email protected] You know please subscribe to my channel like us
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