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     Module 1      Overview

Principles of the Indian Child Welfare Act

Related resource: Indian Child Welfare Act PowerPoint

Stemming Cultural and Family Breakdown

Research data in the 1970s showed that in states with large Indian populations, 25 to 35 percent of Indians were in out-of-home placements or adoptive homes at least one time in their lives. (H.R. Rep. No. 1386, 95th Cong., 2d Sess. (1978), reprinted in 1978 U.S. Code Cong. & Ad. News 7530 at p. 9.)

Of particular concern to Congress was the failure of social workers to appreciate the role of Indian extended families and understand the values, cultures, and child-rearing practices of Indian communities.

Also at play was the apparently widespread presumption that poverty in an Indian home translated to lack of fitness to care for children, whereas the same level of poverty in non-Indian homes did not.

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