Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA)

Indian Child Welfare Act

The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) (25 U.S.C. §§ 1901 et seq.) is federal legislation which establishes minimum federal standards for state court child welfare proceedings and many other “child custody” proceedings involving Indian children.  This legislation affects California dependency, delinquency, guardianship and some family proceedings involving Indian children.


Learn about the new federal regulations governing ICWA.


The Tribal/State Programs Unit of the Center for Families Children and the Courts has developed the resources on this webpage to assist those involved in these kinds of proceedings understand their legal obligations under ICWA and comply with those requirements.

Find the list of Indian Child Welfare Act; Designated Tribal Agents for Service of Notice Published in the Federal Register on March 22, 2023 here.

Featured Brochure:

S.T.E.P.S to Justice—Child Welfare: State/Tribal Education, Partnerships, and Services—Information for Tribal Court and State Court Judges. The brochure describes local educational services and other technical assistance for tribal and state court judges.

S.T.E.P.S to Justice—Tribal Customary Adoption in California: ICWA Education and ICWA Tribal Customary Adoption

S.T.E.P.S. to Justice—Child Welfare (AB 12/212) & American Indian/ Alaskan Native Youth

ICWA Information Sheet - NOTICE (DEPENDENCY)

ICWA Job Aids

View job aids and fact sheets for ICWA.


ICWA laws, Rules & Regulations

Find a centralized section for ICWA related state and federal documents, ICWA-related California Rules of Court, and ICWA-related Judicial Council forms.


ICWA Expert Witness

See the ICWA expert witness list throughout California.


ICWA Education

Learn about the curriculum developed for Indian Child Welfare Act and other distance learning tools available.


Statewide Directory of Services for Native American Families

Search the directory on services to assist Indian children and families in California.


Tribal Customary Adoption

Tribal Customary Adoption is a permanency option for Indian children who are dependents of the California Courts.