- The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), 25 U.S.C.
1901, et. seq., authorizes the state of Washington to enter into agreements
concerning the care and custody of Indian children and jurisdiction over
child custody proceedings involving Indian children.
- The department, as authorized in ICWA, has
offered an agreement to each Tribe in the state depending on the Tribe’s
status as an Exclusive Jurisdiction or Concurrent Jurisdiction Tribe. The
department and the Tribes have entered into these agreements to implement ICWA,
to supplement the Act’s requirements, and to apply any CA regulations,
directives, policies, or manual instructions consistently with the terms
of the agreements and the Act.
- This chapter provides placement for agreements
that Children’s Administration (CA) regional and local offices have negotiated
with the Tribes and off-reservation Indian organizations within their respective
service areas. CA expects its regional and local offices to enter into
procedural agreements with the Tribes and off-reservation Indian organizations
in the respective service areas that comply with and complement the agreement
between the Tribe or off-reservation Indian organization and the state.
The department has recognized the exclusive original jurisdiction of applicable
Tribes with respect to child welfare matters covered in the agreements with
those Tribes. This exclusive original jurisdiction applies to Indian
children who are resident or domiciled within the respective Tribe’s
reservation or who are wards of the tribal court. The agreements between
these Tribes and the state honor the Tribes’ status as possessing exclusive
jurisdiction over such children.
- DSHS recognizes that DSHS and some
Tribes have concurrent jurisdiction with respect to child welfare matters
arising within the Tribe’s reservation or that involve Indian children
resident or domiciled on the Tribe’s reservation. The department’s
agreements with these Tribes provide that CA will offer the Tribe with an
opportunity to exercise tribal jurisdiction before CA takes any action to
invoke state court jurisdiction, except as otherwise specified in the agreement
with the Tribe.
- CA recognizes that such Tribes, if they
choose, have exclusive civil jurisdiction over matters concerning Indian
children in circumstances involving termination of parental rights, involuntary
foster care placement and adoption proceedings, and application of dependency,
children in need of services, and child abuse and neglect laws.
CA staff will place all regional and local Tribal/State agreements applicable
to the service area of the Region and the local office in this section.