Like Causes?

Install the App

house Bill H.R. 1168

Does The Native American Foster Care System Need More Widespread Background Checks?

Argument in favor

There should be no barriers to ensuring children are safe. Everyone in foster care systems should be subjected to background checks.

William's Opinion
Not just Native American children but all children should be safe in foster care
Like (13)
AndrewGVN's Opinion
This would make the foster cares more safe.
Like (5)
Marshall's Opinion
Our foster care system is famous for its abuse of children. Any barrier that would protect any children should receive no opposition
Like (5)

Argument opposed

This bill violates the autonomy of Native American systems by imposing an intergovernmental mandate — local governments have to foot the bill.

John's Opinion
If it does, then non native American foster care needs the same. Let's quit pigeonholing people by ethnicity.
Like (6)
TheTJ's Opinion
Can't we just leave Native Americans to their own devices? The U.S. Has screwed with them enough already.
Like (4)
npuzar's Opinion
Native American tribes considered sovereign nations, it's up to them to set their rules
Like (2)

What is House Bill H.R. 1168?

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. 


Native American children, their families, any individual who works or resides within the Native American foster care system.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1168

A CBO cost estimate found that implementing this legislation would cost less than $500,000 over the 2015-2020 period.

More Information

In Depth: Congress attempts to limit mandates on state, local, and tribal governments under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995. Because this bill requires tribal social services to complete background checks, it imposes an intergovernmental mandate on tribal governments. The CBO estimates that the costs of the mandates on tribal governments would be below the general threshold for unfunded mandates ($77 million in 2015, adjusted annually for inflation), but will cost them nonetheless. 


(Photo Credit: Flick user Visions Service Adventures)


Native American Children's Safety Act

Official Title

To amend the Indian Child Protection and Family Violence Prevention Act to require background checks before foster care placements are ordered in tribal court proceedings, and for other purposes.

bill Progress

  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house Passed June 1st, 2015
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Indigenous Peoples of the United States
      Committee on Natural Resources
    IntroducedFebruary 27th, 2015

Log in or create an account to see how your Reps voted!