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Indian Child Welfare Act – Michigan Indian Family Preservation Act  (ICWA/MIFPA)

 ​In 1978, Congress enacted the Indian Child Welfare Act, 25 USC 1901-1963, (ICWA) in recognition of the fact that Indian children were being removed from their homes at a much higher rate than non-Indian children. ICWA is the federal law that governs the removal and out of home placement of Indian children.  ICWA established minimum federal requirements that apply to state agency and court proceedings involving Indian children who are members, or eligible for membership, in a federally-recognized tribe. 
2012 Public Act 565, which created the Michigan Indian Family Preservation Act (MIFPA), took effect on January 2, 2013. MIFPA codifies the federal Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) into state law and clarifies the court proceedings subject to the Act.  MIFPA amended the Juvenile Code by adding section MCL 712B.1 – 712B.41.

ICWA and MIFPA apply to the following proceedings:

  1. Foster care placements
  2. Termination of parental rights
  3. Guardianship
  4. Pre-adoptive placement
  5. Adoptive placements
  6. Status offenses by an Indian child
 Although ICWA and MIFPA refer to these as “child custody proceedings,” the Acts do not apply to Michigan domestic relations child custody proceedings between parents, or juvenile delinquency proceedings other than status offenses, such as truancy.

ICWA/MIFPA Webcast Series 

In 2013, SCAO-CWS has produced a ICWA/MIFPA webcast series.  The webinars include:
  1. Introductory Webinar: Why We Need ICWA and MIFPA 
  2. Webinar: A Tribal Elder’s Perspective/Personal Perspective of a Tribal Elder
    PowerPoint: Personal Perspective of a Tribal Elder PowerPoint
  3. Webinar: ICWA/MIFPA Notice Requirements
    PowerPoint: Notice Requirements of the ICWA/MIFPA Act PowerPoint
  4. Webinar: ICWA-MIFPA Placement Preferences 
    PowerPoint: Placement Options/Requirements under MIFPA PowerPoint
  5. Webinar: Tribal Intervention & Jurisdiction in ICWA/MIFPA Cases
    PowerPoint: Tribal Intervention and Jurisdiction in ICWA/MIFPA PowerPoint
  6. Webinar: ​Active Efforts
    PowerPoint: Active Efforts PowerPoint
  7. Webinar: ICWA’s Serious Damage Standard and Qualified Expert Witness Testimony
    PowerPoint: ICWA's Serious Damage Standard and Qualified Expert Witness Testimony PowerPoint
  8. Webinar: Good cause not to transfer or not to follow placement preferences under ICWA/ MIFPA
    PowerPoint: Good Cause Not to Transfer or Not to Follow Placement Preferences Under ICWA/ MIFPA PowerPoint 
  9. Webinar: ​Office of Native American Affairs: An Overview of Services
    PowerPoint: Office of Native American Affairs: An Overview of Services PowerPoint

To view all of the webinars, please visit: