In response to the high rate at which American Indian children were being removed from their families, Congress passed the Indian Child Welfare Act in 1978. This federal law oversees the jurisdiction of Native American children who are removed from their families.
Currently, the only tribal agencies in the foster care system whose employees are required to submit to background checks are those that receive federal funding. If passed, this bill would require all tribal social services agencies to conduct background checks of all people in tribal positions who are associated with the foster care system.
This means that all prospective foster care parents and adults living in the homes where children are fostered would undergo a background check before being charged with caring for a Native American foster care child. Background checks would also look into criminal activity including child abuse and neglect registries.