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Culture Matters

Native Family hug

From boarding schools and forced removal from traditional homes, Native youth have often been the targets of forced change and cultural assimilation. Throughout the difficult history of Native America,   many children lost touch with their traditions due to removal from their cultural backgrounds.  Even 30 years ago over 90% of Native children removed from their homes were placed into non-native families.

In 1978, after years of cultural activism and advocacy led by Native people, Congress passed the Indian Child Welfare Act.  Known as ICWA, this law recognizes the importance of culture, says that Native children should be kept with their relatives  or within their tribes and states must do everything they can to preserve native families.

ICWA has been a great victory for Native communities allowing for greater cultural connections for youth in foster care. Unfortunately, Native children are still being placed into foster care at higher rates than other children and there are not enough Native or culturally supportive foster homes to meet the need.

We need culturally supportive foster homes.    Anyone can apply regardless of race, gender, marital status, etc.  The social workers at AICRC will walk you through the application and certification process, helping you meet the home safety requirements, offering guidance, continual parenting support, and financial assistance.  We are so serious about getting more foster homes for our community we are offering $200 incentive for any referral that results in a successfully certified foster home.   Call or email us today for more information.  fostercare@aicrc.org        (510) 208-1870 x 315

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