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Family group conferencing: an alternative approach to the placement of Alaska native children under the Indian Child Welfare Act.

Hill, Laverne F.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2005) Alaska Law Review. 22(1): 89-113.

The Indian Child Welfare Act establishes a cultural safeguard for Alaska Native children caught up in the child welfare
system by requiring professionals to make “active efforts” toward reunifying the child with family members and their tribe.
Complying with this standard has been a challenge because the adversarial system governing the child welfare
proceedings does not fully recognize the Alaska Native belief that the family and tribe have a shared responsibility in the
upbringing of children. In this Comment, the author discusses how utilizing Family Group Conferencing, a procedure
originating in New Zealand that encourages family and community involvement and respects the unique values and
customs of indigenous peoples, will assist child welfare professionals in meeting the “active efforts” standard. Author’s abstract.


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