This course is an introductory overview of the Indian Child Welfare including but not limited to: the Indian Child Welfare Act policy and intent, Adoption and ICWA, Reporting procedures in Indian Country, State court & federal responsibilities regarding implementation of ICWA, preparing an ICWA case, Abuse and Neglect and the ICWA, identifying the Indian child, Active versus Reasonable Efforts, Customary Adoption, and Expert Witnesses.

This course was developed through coordination and support with Tribal STAR to adapt their existing ICWA training into an online format. The focus of the course includes: the historical, philosophical, and legal basis for the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA), the origins and legacies of historic distrust and trauma, issues of fairness, equity, and the disparities experienced by Indian/Native American children and their respective families within the child welfare system, and assist the participant in understanding the fundamental concepts of culture; understand how one’s own culture affects one’s perceptions, behavior, values; and know how cultural differences and unconscious bias can affect service delivery.

This course will discuss when to use an expert witness, how they can and should be used, and from what lists should be generated. The course would assist tribal representatives, advocates, community members etc, on the unique categories of expert witnesses and differentiate the various ways that Expert Witnesses can be utilized in an ICWA case. It is imperative that members of tribal councils, tribal court judges and child welfare service providers understand the application, requirements and interaction between these laws especially in developing the use of an Expert Witness. 


The ICWA: Active Efforts Online Course provides an introductory overview of Active versus Reasonable Efforts under ICWA including what are active efforts, responsibilities and requirements to provide active efforts, evidentiary standards and the impact of the revised guidelines, and how to implement active efforts in an ICWA case.

The ICWA: Mandatory Reporting Online Course provides an introductory overview of Mandatory Reporting under ICWA including California law governing mandatory reporting; mandatory reporters and reportable forms of abuse; filing a report & consequences of failing to report, and mandated reporters confidentiality rights.

The ICWA: Courtroom Decorum Online Course provides strategies, approaches and recommendations to effectively prepare for successful outcomes in court appearances, testifying in court, and all interactions with the court including basic training on how to relate and speak to the judge effectively.

This course will provide training in the understanding, use, and operation of commonly utilized computer programs, distance learning tools, and various online and other tools needed for distance learning and teleconferences.  Some examples may include how to develop teleconference/webinar training or conduct a teleconference meeting, using free sources like Skype, smart phones, Microsoft Office, and PDF’s to increase efficiency in work.