The Effectiveness of the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978

Ann E. MacEachron, Nora S. Gustavsson, Suzanne Cross, Allison Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Since the 1970s, federal policy has emphasized the preservation of Indian land, culture, tribes, and families through self-determination legislation to empower and enhance culturally unique tribal communities. The 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) extended tribal self-determination policy to include child welfare and family preservation issues as a response to the large numbers of Indian children removed from their families and placed in non-Indian settings. We analyze available data to assess the effectiveness of tribes in meeting the ICWA mandate through 1986. The results indicate tentative support for effectiveness of the act in reducing adoption and foster care placement rates for Indian children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)451-463
Number of pages13
JournalSocial Service Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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