Native Children Overrepresented in Foster Care, Report Finds

Publication: Indian Country Today


12/03/2007 - American Indian children are overrepresented in the nation's foster care system at more than 1.6 times the expected level, according to a new report by the National Indian Child Welfare Association and the national, nonpartisan Kids Are Waiting campaign, a project of The Pew Charitable Trusts. The report was released Nov. 20 at the annual national convention of the National Congress of American Indians in Denver. NCAI has been a partner with NICWA on several child welfare initiatives.

The report, ''Time for Reform: A Matter of Justice for American Indian and Alaska Native Children,'' details how Congress created the mechanisms for foster care funding that excluded Indian children who are receiving case management from tribal social services. States receive about $7 billion from the Title IV-E fund in 2006, which accounts for 50 percent of the federal child welfare funds provided to state-administrated foster care.

David Simmons, NICWA director of government affairs and advocacy, spoke at the event at which the report was released and said that state governments can access up to seven different federal programs to provide foster care programs. Tribal governments, who carry approximately 15,000 foster child caseloads every year, can only access up to five federal programs and are excluded from directly accessing the largest source of federal child welfare funding in meeting the needs of the children and families in their care.

Read the full article Native Children Overrepresented in Foster Care, Report Finds on Indian Country Today Web site.

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