Indian Child Welfare

Web banner with floral graphic and the words Miigwech Pidamayaye, Pilamayaye

Ramsey County Indian Child Welfare works to preserve the American Indian child, family, community and tribe. When American Indian children and families experience hardship, Ramsey County provides active efforts to engage and collaborate with the family and tribe to identify strengths and needs, connect to resources, and maintain strong family and community connections.

When safety cannot be established through safety planning with the family and tribe, out-of-home placement is sometimes necessary. In these situations, Ramsey County prioritizes placement with relatives to maintain connections and reduce trauma caused by removal.

Ramsey County Indian Child Welfare intentionally works to share decision-making power with the American Indian community.

The Indian Child Welfare Act

Ramsey County Indian Child Welfare works under the guidance of The Indian Child Welfare Act, a federal law that governs the removal and out-of-home placement of American Indian children. The Minnesota Indian Family Preservation Act (MIFPA) strengthens and expands the ICWA, providing more guidance to agencies when offering services and protections for American Indian families.

The American Indian Partnership

Disparities exist for Ramsey County American Indian children. In 2021, American Indian children were placed in out-of-home placements almost 32 times the rate of white children. Indian Child Welfare focuses on eliminating these disparities by serving American Indian families (our relatives) in a way that honors our heritage, is in line with the spirit of the Indian Child Welfare Act and the Minnesota Indian Family Preservation Act, and reflective of Ramsey County values.

To do this, we intentionally engage with community members and partners in new ways and created the American Indian Partnership (AIP) to help guide our work. With feedback and guidance from this group and others, we've created an Indian Child Welfare Program Improvement Plan and are implementing improvements in our program.

Get involved

How we are supporting American Indian families