Care for Native American Children

Cultural awareness is a crucial element in Social Workers' developing successful outcomes, nowhere more so than in dealing with Native American children, where the history and traditions of the Tribe, and involvement of the extended family play a key role in the emotional wellbeing and development of children.

Native American Child

The Indian Child Welfare Act was put in place in 1978 to help ensure the involvement of a child's Tribe in deciding appropriate care and services, however this can only happen if the Tribe has an opportunity to intervene, that opportunity is often borne out of effective and timely ICWA noticing.

Ineffective noticing increases the probability of a poor outcomes in ICWA related cases including:
  • Delays in resolving placement
  • Loss of cultural heritage for the child
  • Extended instability due to potential Tribal intervention at any point in the case

However, Tribal heritage claims are often of a historical Tribe, not a Federally recognized Tribe, and this causes an exponential increase in required noticing, or results in significantly reduced compliance. Neither are in the best interests of the child

Ayazuta helps ensure that:
  • Effective, accurate and timely noticing happens in every ICWA related case
  • That Tribal responses can be processed quickly and effectively
  • That a full audit trail for all Noticing activity is maintained

Supports Federal, State and Tribal Law

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ICWA noticing has proved complex and difficult to implement effectively, but remains crucial to the effective care of Native American children. It is robustly supported by Federal and Tribal Law and in State Appeals Courts.

In a 2008 opinion the Second Appellate District Court of California commented "We are growing weary of appeals in which the only error is the Department's failure to comply with ICWA." This followed 14 published opinions in 2002 through 2005, and 72 unpublished cases statewide in 2005 alone reversing in whole or in part for noncompliance with ICWA.

Ayazuta supports the Social and Case Worker, implementing Federal Law to accurately notify Indian Tribes in compliance with ICWA, helping significantly reduce the cost and incidence of failure and overturn on Appeal.

Ayazuta is the constructive tool to help care organizations, Courts, and Tribes resolve jurisdictional responsibility in a cost effective manner for the benefit of the Native American child.



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Reducing Agency Costs

The process of ICWA Noticing can be burdensome for the Case and Social Worker and costly for the Services organization in terms of:
  • The extent of research and record keeping required
  • The time involved in form preparation and production
  • The requirement to keep a full audit trail of all Notices and responses
  • The lack of support systems and automation
  • The cost of guaranteed delivery mail, and receipt handling
  • The extensive costs of errors leading to appeal

Ayazuta can support and automate all of these activities, significantly reducing operating costs and leaving case Workers to concentrate on the best outcome for the child.

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Ayazuta functions support the Case Worker at every step of the ICWA investigation and noticing process, and record and present all activities for use in Court:
  • ICWA specific record and document management
  • 'Enter once and done' supporting information
  • Up to date mapping of historical Tribes, Federally recognized Tribes and common 'keywords' for Tribes
  • Up to date State specific forms for ICWA activities
  • Automated form completion and production
  • Automated tracking of outbound notices, delivery receipts and Tribal responses
  • Automated generation of a full case audit covering noticing and responses for multiple hearings