NICWA Urgent Action Alert: ICWA data elements in AFCARs

April 15, 2016

After many years of our advocacy, the Administration for Children and Families has published the first ever Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) data requirements. The proposed data elements would-for the first time ever-require states to provide data on placements of Native children placed by states in foster care, guardianship, adoptive, and group home care.

The data elements are proposed for inclusion in the Adoption and Foster Care Automated Reporting System (AFCARS). The proposed regulations, also known as proposed rule, have a 32-day open comment period where tribes, tribal organizations, Indian organizations, and tribal advocates are encouraged to submit comments, due by May 9, 2016.

NICWA is strongly urging all tribes and tribal advocates to file comments. In addition, tribes and Native organizations are encouraged to work with their states to facilitate submission of supportive state comments too.

You can find a copy of the Federal Register notice, proposed rule, and electronic comments submission guidelines here. It will be critically important that ACF sees substantial support from tribes and states, so please submit comments. You can find a link to a sample comments letter here.

If you have any questions you can contact NICWA government affairs and advocacy director David Simmons at