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Social Protection for Indigenous Children

Article

Hahn, H., Caldwell, J., & Sinha, V. (2020). Applying lessons from the U.S. Indian Child Welfare Act to recently passed federal child protection legislation in Canada. The International Indigenous Policy Journal, 11(3), 1–30. Web.

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Abstract

Indigenous children are overrepresented in child protection systems in the United States and to an even greater degree in Canada. Canada has recently passed federal child welfare legislation, Bill C-92, with the goal of affirming the rights of Indigenous Peoples and establishing guidelines with respect to child and family services for Indigenous children. The aim of this article is to contribute to ongoing discussions about the recently passed Canadian legislation, drawing on lessons learned in the United States context. The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), passed in the United States in 1978, has created a legislative paradigm, which in some cases has been bolstered by state-level provisions. The ICWA can provide helpful lessons to consider in Canada as the new legislation is implemented and amended over time. Specifically, we examine elements of the ICWA related to accessibility and compliance with the law, along with a deeper analysis of state-level statutes related to adoption provisions in light of the phenomenon of transracial adoption of Indigenous children. As reactions to the Canadian federal law have been mixed, this policy analysis may be supportive of conversations regarding its further development, particularly related to funding and enforcement. On a broader level, considerations of Indigenous community jurisdiction over child and family policies within our discussion are relevant to various settler-colonial contexts (Hahn et al., 2020).

The article examines Bill C-92 and investigates implementation challenges and potential benefits for Indigenous children using the experience from the ICWA adoption in the US. The source might be integrated into the paper to describe the current welfare problems of Indigenous children in Canada and offer improvements to the legislation.

Article

Caldwell, J., & Sinha, V. (2020). (Re) Conceptualizing neglect: Considering the overrepresentation of Indigenous children in child welfare systems in Canada. Child Indicators Research, 13(2), 481–512. Web.

Abstract

The current overrepresentation of Indigenous children in Canadian child welfare systems continues a history of government policies that have separated Indigenous families throughout many generations. Political and legal developments in recent years are creating the possibility to both disrupt Indigenous children’s overrepresentation in child welfare proceedings and support Indigenous self-determination in decision-making related to child welfare. However, the potential to reduce the overrepresentation of Indigenous children in Canadian child welfare systems is still limited, in part, by the absence of a comprehensive framework for transforming existing child welfare legislation. Because the disproportionate representation of Indigenous children is driven largely by investigations of child neglect, there is a particular need for a framework for understanding and shifting away from the current approach to assessing neglect cases. In this article, we examine theoretical and legislative conceptualizations of child neglect in terms of their relationship to the disproportionate involvement of Indigenous children in child welfare across Canada and, more specifically, in Quebec. We also briefly examine the concepts of child well-being and cultural safety which we see as useful complements to the current conceptualization of neglect. Our goal is to support ongoing critical dialogue related to the overrepresentation of Indigenous children in Canada’s child welfare systems, and in so doing contribute to the development of a new framework for understanding and operationalizing “neglect” in Indigenous contexts which at its core could bolster Indigenous self-determination (Caldwell & Sinha, 2020).

The article discusses the problem of child neglect and provides the theoretical foundation for legislation improvements targeting Indigenous children. The research might be used in the paper to assess the strengths and weaknesses of Bill C-92 and develop policy recommendations considering the cultural safety and well-being of Indigenous children.

References

Caldwell, J., & Sinha, V. (2020). (Re) Conceptualizing neglect: Considering the overrepresentation of Indigenous children in child welfare systems in Canada. Child Indicators Research, 13(2), 481–512. Web.

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Hahn, H., Caldwell, J., & Sinha, V. (2020). Applying lessons from the U.S. Indian Child Welfare Act to recently passed federal child protection legislation in Canada. The International Indigenous Policy Journal, 11(3), 1–30. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, May 26). Social Protection for Indigenous Children. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/social-protection-for-indigenous-children/

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StudyCorgi. "Social Protection for Indigenous Children." May 26, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/social-protection-for-indigenous-children/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Social Protection for Indigenous Children." May 26, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/social-protection-for-indigenous-children/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Social Protection for Indigenous Children'. 26 May.

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