Children, Families, and the Law, Center on


Date of this Version



Child Welfare »Vol. 91, No. 3 (2012)


Copyright 2012 Child Welfare League of America


The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families and the Midwest Child Welfare Implementation Center are collaborating with Wisconsin's tribes and county child welfare agencies to improve outcomes for Indian children by systemically implementing the Wisconsin Indian Child Welfare Act (WICWA).This groundbreaking coUaboration wiU increase practitioners' understanding ofthe requirements of WICWA and the need for those requirements, enhance communication and coordination between all stakeholders responsible for the welfare of Indian children in Wisconsin; it is designed to effect the systemic integration of the philosophical underpinnings of WICWA.

In December 2009, Governor James Doyle signed the Wisconsin Indian Child Welfare Act, signaling the end ofa historic collaborative effort to enact the law and marking the beginning ofa new initiative to effectively implement it. Like the work that led to enactment ofthe statute, the work required to effectuate it requires the involvement of stakeholders with very diverse views and interests. However, this group has a common goal to which aU members are committed: to achieve better outcomes for Indian children in Wisconsin. The Midwest Child Welfare Implementation Center, a member of the Training and Technical Assistance network ofthe Children's Bureau, is privileged to assist the 11 tribes, the state of Wisconsin, and its project partners in a four-year implementation project toward the achievement ofthat goal. This article describes the early years ofthat journey and the plan for its current segment, which is in progress.