ICWA Defense Litigation State Laws and State Compacting

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ICWA Defense: Litigation, State Laws and State Compacting Delia Carlyle, Ak-Chin Community Kate Fort,

ICWA Defense: Litigation, State Laws and State Compacting Delia Carlyle, Ak-Chin Community Kate Fort, Professor, MSU Law School Rebecca Patterson, Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Miller & Monkman

Federal Litigation post-Baby Girl – ICWA: Litigation Update and State Enforcement Kathryn (Kate) Fort

Federal Litigation post-Baby Girl – ICWA: Litigation Update and State Enforcement Kathryn (Kate) Fort

ICWA Appellate Project (MSU) – Tracks appellate cases nationwide – Provides limited representation for

ICWA Appellate Project (MSU) – Tracks appellate cases nationwide – Provides limited representation for tribes in ICWA appeals – Provides technical assistance and research for tribes – Provides training for jurists and other legal professionals on ICWA All Case Documents (and other information) Available at: https: //turtletalk. wordpress. com/icwa/

State Compacting: the Alaska example – Background: – Tribal/State Collaboration Group—met for 23 years

State Compacting: the Alaska example – Background: – Tribal/State Collaboration Group—met for 23 years – Goal: reduce disproportionality, ICWA compliance – Outcome: shared relationships, information and strategy but no significant change in results – Tribal Title IV-E Agreements – 11 Tribes/TOs receive federal reimbursement for administrative and short-term training – 2 of the 11 also include maintenance (foster care, adoption and guardianship payments)

State Compacting: an Alaska example – An opportunity appears – Lots of litigation against

State Compacting: an Alaska example – An opportunity appears – Lots of litigation against the State for violating ICWA – 2014: new coalition administration elected – Ending Violence so Children Can Thrive Report – First Alaska Native female Commissioner (Valerie Davidson) – 2016: new 5 -year strategic plan for OCS with new priorities – (1) respectful government-to-government collaboration and partnership; – (2) self-governance; – (3) embrace and implement the spirit of ICWA; – (4) state government alignment; – (5) community engagement; – (6) continuum of culturally specific services and supports

State Compacting: an Alaska example – The Compact – Early 2017: Compact meetings start

State Compacting: an Alaska example – The Compact – Early 2017: Compact meetings start – October 19, 2017: Compact signed by 18 Co-Signers representing 161 Tribes (70% of Alaska’s tribal membership) – December 15, 2017: Compact became effective – 14 Co-Signers entered into funding agreements for FY 2018 – 13 Co-Signers entered into funding agreements for FY 2019

State Compacting: an Alaska example – Year 1 Outcomes – 94 Tribes are now

State Compacting: an Alaska example – Year 1 Outcomes – 94 Tribes are now receiving copies of screened in and screened out Protective Services Reports – T/TO’s are assisting in initial relative diligent searches and home safety checks for relatives to help ensure and expedite the same placement of children with relatives whenever possible – This work is already increasing the overall numbers of children in ICWA preferred placements

State Compacting: an Alaska example – Lingering Issues – Funding: preserving available funding and

State Compacting: an Alaska example – Lingering Issues – Funding: preserving available funding and increasing funding – New Co-Signers – New administration and new priorities – Goals moving forward – Outcomes for all Alaska children will be improved. – Families will be served closest to home, in their own communities in a way reflective of their culture and traditions. – Families will be more receptive and engaged in changing behavior which will mean over time that the number of Alaska Native children in foster care will decline as does the rate of maltreatment. – More Tribes accessing Title IV-E funding to operate programs autonomously with both the state and federal funding required to be successful.