Indian Child Welfare Program
The Cowlitz Indian Tribe (CIT) Indian Child Welfare (ICW) Department works with families with an open dependency, meaning that children have been placed in the custody of the state, or in some cases identified as “at-risk” for a dependency.
The CIT ICW program does become involved with Cowlitz children in dependency outside the state of Washington, but the services are reduced due to distance and the lack of ability to travel to these areas to provide direct support to our families. The services provided to out of state ICW clients are, Case Management Services, Coordination with Host States Social Services workers to coordinate family services, and referral to other tribal and non-tribal services as needed. The Cowlitz Indian Tribe (CIT) does not become involved in custody cases between parents.
The ICW program can provide the following services based upon assessment of the client family’s needs:
- Family Preservation Services (FPS) –Services to keep families together
- Independent Living Skills (ILS) –Skills for youth, who have been in foster care, to prepare them for living on their own
- Case Management Services (including in home safety visits)
- Referral to other tribal and non-tribal services as needed
Children eligible for ICW services are Cowlitz children identified as being an “Indian Child” per the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and Washington State Indian Child Welfare Act (WSICWA) or who have been verified by the Cowlitz Tribal Enrollment Dept. As being a direct descendant to an enrolled Cowlitz member. The standards mandated in each of these acts is strengthened by the BIA’s guidelines regarding ICW.