Law | National

Nebraska measure seeks to improve Indian Child Welfare Act

Native American children make up 2 percent of the population in Nebraska but 5 percent of out-of-home placements. Source: 2014 report from Foster Care Review Office

A bill in the Nebraska Legislature aims to improve compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act.

LB566 is due for a vote by the Judiciary Committee tomorrow. The measure creates stronger guidelines to ensure tribes and Indian families are notified and are given every opportunity to keep Indian children in their communities.

"The state has a responsibility to not only provide for safety, but to keep the cultural connections," Sen. Colby Coash, the sponsor of the bill, told the Associate Press.

American Indian and Alaska Native children represent 2 percent of the population in Nebraska. Yet they account for 5 percent of out-of-home-placements, according to the 2014 report from the Foster Care Review Office.

"When compared to the Nebraska population, there are disproportionately more Native American and Black children in out-of-home care and disproportionately fewer White children in out-of-home care," the report stated.

Get the Story:
Bill aims to keep American Indian children with families (AP 4/5)

Federal Register Notices:
Regulations for State Courts and Agencies in Indian Child Custody Proceedings (March 30, 2015)
Guidelines for State Courts and Agencies in Indian Child Custody Proceedings (February 25, 2015)

Related Stories:
Non-Indian adoption group disputes BIA's new ICWA guidelines (3/31)
BIA schedules consultations and meetings for ICWA regulation (03/18)
Updates from National Congress of American Indians winter session (02/25)

Join the Conversation