The Court of Appeal agreed with the parties that the Department of Social Services did not fulfill its statutory duty under the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) when it failed to ask extended family members about the children’s Indian ancestry and did not provide the family members’ contact information when it sent notice to the children’s potential tribe and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The errors were not harmless. The juvenile court’s finding that the ICWA does not apply was conditionally reversed and the matter remanded with instructions for the court to ensure the Department complies with the ICWA.
Name: Fresno County Department of Social Services v. F. W.
Case #: F084701
Opinion Date: 02/24/2023
Attorney: Monica Vogelmann