Well-being

Supreme Court listens to Lived Experience Leaders & upholds ICWA

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In a noteworthy legal ruling today, the Supreme Court upheld the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) in the case of Haaland v. Brackeen. This 7-2 decision confirms ICWA's constitutional validity, ensuring that state agencies and child welfare organizations are bound by its provisions. The full details of the opinion can be accessed here.

It's with immense pride that we acknowledge the invaluable input of our Lived Experience Leaders. Their personal stories, shared with the Supreme Court Justices, underscored the pivotal role ICWA has played in preserving their family bonds, tribal and cultural identities.

“Connection to culture has been a huge portion of my success. My brother and I lived in a multigenerational home where my grandmother taught us the Yakama language, history and traditions.”

- Autumn Adams, former foster youth, current kinship caregiver, 2021 Casey Excellence for Children Awardee, citizen of Yakama Nation

FosterClub also had the privilege of participating in a brief orchestrated by Casey Family Programs, which emphasized ICWA's role in setting the gold standard of care within the child welfare sector.

We recognize that the path to ensuring optimal protection for Native children, youth, and families is still unfolding. We reiterate our pledge to support Native LEx leaders, championing their voices and informed suggestions. Today, the FosterClub team along with LEx leaders celebrate this significant legal milestone with enthusiasm and hope.

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For background information on this case and what Lived Experience Leaders have shared, check out these resources:

LEx Leaders tell the United States Supreme Court to #ProtectICWA in Amicus Brief

What LEx Leaders Say about ICWA

Statement from National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA)

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