Indian Child Welfare Program

About Indian Child Welfare in North Carolina

About Indian Child Welfare in North Carolina

The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) of 1978 was passed in response to previous federal assimilation policies to ensure the unity of American Indian/Alaskan Native (AI/AN) families. ICWA regulations must be followed when working with any child enrolled or eligible for enrollment in a federally-recognized tribe. Such work means: Indian children are placed with Indian families; tribes are given jurisdiction over adoptions and foster care cases, and there are active efforts when working with AI/AN families. (Learn more at National Indian Child Welfare Association.)

Although state-recognized tribes are not covered by ICWA, historically they have encountered similar issues when working with state agencies in child welfare cases.  Legislation (NCGS§143B-139.5A) was enacted to facilitate better outcomes for North Carolina’s Native children, and has led to improved collaboration with the NCDHHS Division of Social Services and county departments of Social Services (DSS), including changes in state policy and training for DSS social workers. North Carolina policy requires that county DSS workers notify:
1) tribal authorities when taking custody of a tribal child or earlier with parental permission, and
2) adult relatives of tribal children being placed in foster care for possible placement preferences. 

Mission of the Standing Committee on NC Indian Child Welfare 

Mission of the Standing Committee on NC Indian Child Welfare 

The Standing Committee will advocate for the rights of Indian families, Indian tribes, and Indian children with regard to suitable and culturally relevant foster care and adoption placement consistent with principles set forth for federally recognized Indian tribes in the federal Indian Child Welfare Act. It will carry out that mission by serving as a liaison between the North Carolina Division of Social Services of the State Department of Health and Human Services, local county offices of Social Services, tribal governments of the seven state-recognized tribes and governing bodies of the four state-recognized urban Indian organizations in North Carolina. It will gather and disseminate information among all levels of government and will be a resource on issues of Indian child welfare.

Contacts for Tribal Verification Contact Contact Information
Coharie Tribe JaNella Williams,
Tribal Enrollment Officer
Phone: 919.564-6909 ext. 1
cohariegurl@hotmail.com
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Barbara Jones,
Director of Family Services
Phone: 828-497-6092
barbjones@nc-cherokee.com
Haliwa-Saponi Indian Tribe Tosha Silver,
Enrollment Clerk
Phone: 252-586-4017 ext. 240
toshasilver@haliwa-saponi.com
Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina Reena Locklear,
Enrollment Director
Phone: 910-522-5474
roxendine@lumbeetribe.com
Meherrin Indian Tribe Jonathan Caudill,
Chief
Phone: 252-904-1517
bmeherrin@yahoo.com
Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation Tony Hayes,
Tribal Chair
Phone: 919-304-3723
Sappony Dorothy Yates,
Tribal Chair
dorothysyates@gmail.com
Waccamaw Siouan Leslie Jones,
Tribal Enrollment Specialist

Phone: 910-655-8778
leslie.jones@waccamaw-siouan.com

Resources

Resources

The North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs Child Welfare Program hosted a webinar series to provide in-service training to tribal staff, state and local officials, social services employees, commission, and court employees who work with American Indian children impacted by welfare issues, foster care and adoptions. Missed the webinars? View each webinar by topic by clicking on the links below.