Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

May 2024Vol. 25, No. 4Proposed Rule for Additional Data Collection on American Indian/Alaska Native Youth Entering Out-of-Home Care

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF), within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), published a press release about a proposed rule change. This proposed rule seeks to change the information states submit to the Children's Bureau for the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis Reporting System (AFCARS). ACF uses the AFCARS data to provide national statistics on the child welfare population, monitor compliance with title IV-E and IV-B requirements, assist with budgeting, and more.

The purpose of the change is to increase the data collected on American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) children's status and experiences, which includes the following:

  • Whether the state inquired if the child is an Indian child as defined in the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) 
  • If the court determined that ICWA applies to the child
  • If the child's parent or Indian custodian was notified
  • If there were requests to transfer the case to tribal court
  • If placement preferences under ICWA were met
  • If the court determined there were active efforts

ACF currently receives limited information through AFCARS about which children should have ICWA protections. AI/AN children are overrepresented in child welfare and are at greater risk of maltreatment and placement in out-of-home care. Collecting this data could allow HHS, other federal agencies, and states to develop more informed and tailored policies, training, and technical assistance.

For more detailed information, explore the full Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. (Please note that the comment period has ended.)