• November 2010
  • Vol. 11, No. 9

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Making Active Efforts for Indian Children in Out-of-Home Care

A new publication from Oregon, Active Efforts: Principles and Expectations, offers guidelines for evaluating whether "active efforts" have been made in Indian child welfare cases in accordance with requirements in the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). The document directly applies to the active efforts requirement to provide services to allow a child to safely return home after he or she has been placed in out-of-home care.

The guide is designed to be used as a training tool and a guideline for agency staff, courts, and review board members to use in making active efforts findings. Some of the elements of making active efforts include:

  • Identifying and contacting the child's parents, Indian custodians, or other household members that may be caregivers for the child
  • Following all Tribal or ICWA placement preferences unless documented good cause to the contrary exists
  • Providing assessments and services in the client's primary language
  • Consulting with the child's Tribe in developing service and visitation plans
  • Providing services that are culturally appropriate
  • Maintaining intensive engagement with Indian children and their parents through more frequent contacts
  • Documenting all assessments, offers of services, and contacts

This document was developed in consultation with the federally recognized Tribes of Oregon by the Department of Human Services and the Citizen Review Board. The publication received support from the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) and Casey Family Programs. It is available on the NCJFCJ website:

www.ncjfcj.org/images/stories/dept/ppcd/pdf/oregonactiveeffortprinterfinal.pdf (1,639 KB)

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