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1 © H7 interactive, llc 2008 Automated ICWA Compliance An Introduction To: Webinar, 19 th November 2009, 12.00pm to 1.15pm PST
2 © H7 interactive, llc 2008 Introduction ICWA History Practical impact of ICWA on States Business Problem Impact Introducing Ayazuta Automated ICWA Noticing Benefits System Structure Ayazuta Demonstration Current Status Ayazuta Future Content
3 © H7 interactive, llc 2008 Introduction – ICWA History The 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), responded to an alarmingly high percentage of Indian families being broken up. Senate oversight hearings in 1974 yielded: Conservatively, 20% of Indian children has been in a foster or adoptive home, with 97.5% of adoptions to non-Indian families. Indian children were removed from their parents by non-tribal authorities who dont understand the cultural and social context of Indian home life and child rearing, particularly the role of the extended family. Federal policies undermined family life, e.g. in 1971, 17% of Indian children where sent to Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) boarding schools. Indian adolescents who are raised in non-Indian homes typically have difficulty coping in white society, particularly in adolescence, they are subject to ethnic confusion and a pervasive sense of abandonment. Based upon this and similar evidence, Congress found:...that the States, ……..have often failed to recognize the essential tribal relations of Indian people and the cultural and social standards prevailing in Indian ……families.
4 © H7 interactive, llc 2008 Introduction – ICWA History ICWA addresses the crisis in Indian placement in three ways. – In any involuntary proceeding in a State court, where the court knows or has reason to know that an Indian child is involved, the party seeking the foster care placement of, or termination of parental rights to, an Indian child shall notify the parent or Indian custodian and the Indian child's tribe, by registered mail with return receipt requested, of the pending proceedings and of their right of intervention. – Any party seeking to effect a foster care placement of, or termination of parental rights to, an Indian child under State law shall satisfy the court that active efforts have been made to provide remedial services and rehabilitative programs designed to prevent the breakup of the Indian family and that these efforts have proved unsuccessful. – In any adoptive placement of an Indian child under State law, a preference shall be given, in the absence of good cause to the contrary, to a placement with (1) a member of the child's extended family; (2) other members of the Indian child's tribe; or (3) other Indian families. Fundamentally, ICWA recognizes a Tribes procedural right to intervene at any stage in a case, including immediately prior to Appeal Any inadequate notice makes the process invalid, and any failure to notice will impact the outcome of the case The biggest impact on the child is uncertainty; as long as 3 years. Notice Active Efforts Placement Preferences
5 © H7 interactive, llc 2008 Introduction – Practical Impact on States and Counties States/Counties are required to inquire and investigate claims of Indian heritage – Investigate Indian heritage claims – Notice to all appropriate Tribes – Documented trail of notice activities – New cases with the same child require repeated notice (Tribal membership rules may have evolved) That sounds easy….except: – Claims are mostly of historical Tribe membership rather than a Federally recognized tribal government, further many Tribes are not Federally recognized – There is poor Federal mapping of Historical to Federally recognized tribes – States may require all possible Tribes receive notice of all hearings, and one historical tribe could have 20 federally recognized tribal governments. – The Tribal ICWA contact address published in the Federal Register can be out of date, but notice is still required to be sent there, as well as the real new contact address This generates the bureaucratic nightmare of Case and Social Worker time spent administering Notices rather than supporting children Appeals Courts are consistently supporting the requirement to effectively notice in ICWA cases, but beware variable precedents
6 © H7 interactive, llc 2008 Impact The number of people who can claim some Native American ancestry is 4,315,865 (per the 2000 census). 33% of that population is under the age of 18 There are 564 Federally recognized tribes, the Navajo having over 200,000 members to a number of small bands with fewer than 100 members The Courts of California ordered ICWA notice in approx 2000 cases in 2006 BIA reports receiving 20,000 notices per year It takes about 8 hours to notice a hearing, with 4-6 hearings per case per year, this amounts to over 90,000 hours Countless hours and costs in appeals from failed noticing Poor noticing impacts the Child
7 © H7 interactive, llc 2008 Some of ICWAs main problems with Notice Variable quality of contact information Incomplete mapping of historical Tribes to Federally recognized tribal governments Variable, and in some cases, poor compliance Social Worker time consumed in paperwork Variable relationship between Tribes, States and Counties All of these issues work against the best interests of the Indian child Problems
8 © H7 interactive, llc 2008 Business Problem The notice process, as is: Difficult or impossible to comply – Heavily paper based – Poor audit trail Largely manual – Few if any supportive systems at a State or County level – Time consuming, expensive, and fraught with the potential for error – 8 hours average to produce notices for 1 hearing Partial support from Federal Government – Variable Federal to Historical Tribe mapping – Aging of contact information – Not responsible for noticing Distrust between States, Counties and Tribes – Poor statistics, measurement, analysis – History The process needs to be: Compliant and Self Auditing – Meeting Court and Tribe reporting requirements Supportive of the Case and Social Worker – All available information in one place and easy to use – Fully Automated, with a target production time of 8 minutes – Fast, accurate, repeatable, with little potential for error Nationally Available, up to Date Data – Maintained Federal Tribes to Historical Tribes, keyword and State mapping – 6 Month review cycle Trust based on Verification – Statistics, Process measurement – Consistent verifiable compliance
9 © H7 interactive, llc 2008 Introducing Ayazuta
10 © H7 interactive, llc 2008 Automated ICWA Noticing – Maps Historical Tribes to Federally recognized Tribal governments Name, keyword, and State mapping of multiple sources in a single database – Keeps Tribal contact data up to date Maintains the address published in the Federal Register Multiple contact points if appropriate, and ongoing validation of information – Allows storage of the relevant case information Tribal Claims related to a child Investigation information Notice information Tribal responses Notice/Response audit trails and Court documents – Automates production of notices Relating claims of historical tribal membership to appropriate Federally Recognized Tribes Automated prompting and production of notices Automated update of responses from Tribes – Nationwide Coverage Up to date Judicial Council forms from all customer states Updates of contact information from all entities – Audit Trail All access and changes to records recorded
11 © H7 interactive, llc 2008 System Demonstration
12 © H7 interactive, llc 2008 Historical to Federal Tribe Mapping Problem – Mapping Historical Tribes to Federally recognized Tribal governments Ayazuta Solution – Public and free mapping of Historical Tribes and Keywords to Federally Recognized Tribes, available on the internet 24/7
13 © H7 interactive, llc 2008 Compliance Problem – Variable, and in some cases, poor compliance Ayazuta Solution – Full audit trail of all activities, changes and Notices
14 © H7 interactive, llc 2008 Social Worker Time Problem – Social Services time consumed in paperwork Ayazuta Solution – Automated Notice, more time to concentrate on the Outcome
15 © H7 interactive, llc 2008 Relationship Between Tribes, States and Counties Problem – Variable relationships Ayazuta Solution – Collaborative implementation of a structured solution increases trust Court Federally Recognized Tribe - Receiving clearer communication from States and Counties - Tribe has data to exercise jurisdiction - Easy notice response Bureau of Indian Affairs -Updates Tribal ICWA contacts -Facilitates ICWA notice oversight - Retains ICWA Case Information - Maintains map of Federal to Historical Tribes - Maintains up to date ICWA related Forms - Prompts Notice and Hearings - Produces Declarations and Notices - Stores responses to Notices and Investigation - Produces an Audit Trail of Notices and all changes - Keeps Federal Tribal Information Current - Reduces costs at every stage of an ICWA enquiry - Reduces tribal workload - Benefits from more accurate Notice - Higher probability of being reconnected with the tribe - Higher probability of being dealt with in a culturally sensitive way Child Social / Case Worker - Enters Case Informaion - Investigates Heritage Claims - Enters Results of investigation - Retrieves/Updates hearing details - Receives compliant notice audit trail - Potential for Court notice - Fewer notice based Appeals
16 © H7 interactive, llc 2008 System Structure - Business Context Diagram
17 © H7 interactive, llc 2008 Benefits Cost Benefits – Reduced cost of maintaining accurate Tribal ICWA contact information – Fewer Case and Social Worker hours in Notice, Administration and Hearing Preparation. – Reduced hours preparing for Appeals – Reduced cost of Notice production, postage, USPS confirmations – More effective tracking and responses from tribes Social Benefits – Better relationships between Tribes and States – Better handling of the childs welfare through more accurate notice – Indian Heritage children are more likely to be identified and reconnected – More people, focused more of the time, on better outcomes
18 © H7 interactive, llc 2008 Current Status Tribal database is built and usable now – Containing Historical Tribes Names, Keywords, and Federally recognized Tribal governments ICWA contact addresses from the 2009 BIA list and California DSS List – Validation process continues, all Tribes contact information will be validated every 6 months. – Early returns show that there is significant scope for improvement in the contact data – Fee based service for State, County and Commercial organizations to download the database and get updates monthly Community driven design – Ayazuta to be developed by the community of users through a collaborative process that builds positive relationships between courts, social services, tribes, and Indian supportive services. – Tribes and tribal support groups will have free access to system Looking for interested organizations who want to be involved Evolving the design, development and implementation Great reaction from all interested parties including Tribal Support Groups, DSS Plan for system to be completed and rolled out to initial customer Q1/Q2, 2010
19 © H7 interactive, llc 2008 Ayazuta Future Capabilities to support Phase 1 – Tribal Contacts Database Phase 2 – Automated Notice production Demo produced to drive the design Getting the system delivered Tribal ICWA worker access BIA access Phase 3 – Active Efforts support Phase 4 – Placement Preferences Technology to support Print production and distribution of notices Digital confirmations and responses to digital notices Integration with Case Management Systems Closer integration with Bureau of Indian Affairs Closer Integration with Tribes Incrementally reduced cost of ICWA compliance
20 © H7 interactive, llc 2008 Thank You Invitation to a talk – Let us add you to our keep us updated list – Let us contact you about the Tribal Contacts Database – Think about ICWA Notice in your jurisdiction, would Ayazuta help – Lets keep talking about automated ICWA Compliance Visit the site – – Try out the Tribal Mapping, and contact details, and give us feedback if there is a problem – Take a run through of the demo (more demos coming soon) – Visit the Cal-ICWA blogCal-ICWA blog Get in touch – Kevin Hughes, Principal, H7 interactive, LLC (310) – Heather Zenone, Director, Indian Child Welfare, Indian Dispute Resolution Services – Adam Freid, Business development, H7 interactive, LLC (805)
21 © H7 interactive, llc 2008 Next Steps Questions & Answers
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