Analysis of the Indian Child Welfare Act and its implementation within the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services
This study consisted of a policy analysis of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and its implementation by the Los Angeles County Department of Children Services (LACDCFS). Analysis of the ICWA included an overview of American Indian history prior to its enactment and passage in 1978. Some of the hardships American Indian families suffered during the Europeans' forced efforts to civilize the American Indian population were identified. Portions of David Gil's 1992 social policy analysis framework were utilized to analyze the act. Policies/procedures of the LACDCFS regarding ICWA mandates were examined.
Findings indicated the systematic destruction of American Indian families during the boarding school/outing systems. The LACDCFS's progress in policy implementation and staff training was described. Lack of resources for the LACDCFS American Indian Unit regarding foster homes to adequately service its clientele keeps LACDCFS from being in compliance with ICWA requirements.