Utah Foster Care (UFC) is launching a Utah ICWA Alert – an urgent call for more Native American foster parents to come forward to care for Native children.
Currently, there are 145 Native children in foster care in Utah – and not enough foster families available with a similar cultural background.
“The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) is a federal law that protects our Native children and families,” says Stephanie Benally, UFC’s Native American foster-adoptive consultant.
“ICWA’s placement preference is to 1) place children with biological family, 2) place with a family from the child’s same tribe, or 3) place with a family from a different tribe,” she continues. “If none of those options are available, children are placed with a non-Native foster family.”
The potential Native American foster or kinship parents need to be enrolled members of a federally recognized tribe, able to pass a background check and be residents of Utah. For more information: please contact Stephanie Benally at 385-743-0617 (text) or Stephanie.Benally@Utahfostercare.org. To sign up to receive the ICWA alert, email Stephanie.Benally@Utahfostercare.org.
Dan Webster is Director of Foster Family Recruitment for Utah Foster Care.