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The Crisis Facing Native American Youth

Native American youth are removed from their homes and placed into the child welfare system at rates much higher than any other population served by Children’s Administration. They also remain in out-of-home care significantly longer and are often placed in homes outside of their families, tribes, and Indian culture, contributing to significant social problems. To read more on the plight facing Native American children, please Click Here.



Caregivers can earn 2 hours of training credits by watching this video and completing this worksheet and submitting it to your licensor.



The Reality of Racial Disproportionality

Racial disproportionality is defined as the over- or under-representation of certain groups (e.g. racial/ethnic, gender, age) relative to the group’s proportion in the general population. Reports conducted in 2008 showed that, compared to other groups, Native American children were:

  • 3 times more likely to be referred to CPS
  • 1.6 times more likely to be removed from their biological homes
  • Twice as likely to remain in foster care for over two years
  • Less likely to be adopted and more likely to be in guardianships
  • Less likely to be reunited with their biological parents

The sad reality is that there are not enough culturally appropriate homes for these children, resulting in the placement of Native American children in homes that do not share their cultural heritage or traditions. While Children’s Administration and tribal leaders are committed to recruiting more culturally appropriate homes, partnering with non-native homes is necessary to meet the overwhelming need. For those who are interested in providing care to Native American youth, there are many resources and trainings available to help support the cultural needs of a Native child.

Native American Resources

Below are some websites, publications and articles to help illustrate the historical trauma faced by Native Americans, and why culturally appropriate foster homes are so important for these children.

White Bison Wellbriety Training Institute: This sustainable grassroots movement provides culturally based healing to the next seven generations of Native people.
All My Relations, a film about the importance of cultural connections for Native American children. (44 min.).
Nak Nu We Sha Program, Yakama Nation. Reflect on the importance of foster homes within the Native community. (9 min.)
Important Issues in Indian Child Welfare. This is a panel discussion about the Indian Child Welfare Act and why it is important to our work with Native children. (1 hr)
National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) Disproportionality Statistics
Top 10 ICWA Myth Fact Sheet: Dispelling Myths about the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA)
NICWA Frequently Asked Questions
The Indian Child Welfare Act: A Family’s Guide: Answers to your questions about the Federal Law

Agencies Specializing in Native American Foster Care

Note: This is not meant to be a complete list. As we identify additional agencies, we will post them.

Click Here for the Washington State Tribal Directory


Lummi Logo
It is the mission of Lummi Children Services to provide a continuum of culturally relevant support services to children and families of the Lummi Nation in the area of foster care, alternative parental care, and intervention/prevention. For more information call (360) 384-2324.
Muckleshoot Logo
Muckleshoot Child and Family Services is committed to empowering families to maintain a safe and nurturing environment for their children. They offer preventative in-home support services to stabilize families, alternative out-of-home placement, foster parent licensing, and assistance to relative caregivers.
Puyallup Tribe Logo
Puyallup Tribe’s Children Services licenses home for foster and respite care and are looking for families who are either enrolled Native American or have a letter of dependency to foster Puyallup Tribal children. Non-native applicants can also apply for licensure. Puyallup Tribe Children Services FAQ


United Indians Logo
United Indians of All Tribes
assists future foster parents as they navigate through the licensing process. They guide prospective parents through the necessary trainings and paperwork, and provide ongoing support. For more information, contact Lynnette Jordan, ICW Manager at for more information. United Indians of All Tribes Foundation FAQ

South Puget Intertribal Planning Agency (SPIPA) constantly recruits for new foster home through outreach activities. Interested parents receive training and assistance with becoming licensed homes.