Friday, November 04, 2011

Most states violate law requiring Indian foster kids to be placed within families or tribes

Thirty-two states have failed to abide by a 1978 law that requires Native American foster children to be placed with their relatives or tribes, according to a National Public Radio investigation. This makes the number of Native American children in foster care significantly disproportional to the number in the general population. Click here to see the disproportionality index for different states.

South Dakota Native Americans see nearly 700 children removed annually, many under subjective circumstances, and placed in non-native homes or group homes. The reason, Laura Sullivan and Amy Walters of NPR report, may be money. The state receives thousands of dollars for every child removed, with Native American children sometimes bringing more.

"Critics say foster care in South Dakota has become a powerhouse for private group home providers who bring in millions of dollars in state contracts to care for kids," Sullivan and Walters write. The state's largest foster care provider has close ties with top government officials gaining them millions of dollars in no-bid state contracts. (Read more)

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