Neb. Admin. Code 5-030

Nebraska Administrative Code

Health and Human Services System

Title 474: Social Services for Families, Children, and Youth

Chapter 5-000: Defined Services

030 Indian Child Welfare

5-030.01 Introduction: This section contains material governing proper service delivery and service authorization to Indian children and to their families. It is to be used in conjunction with 474 NAC 5-016, 5-021, and 5-022. Department staff shall use this section whenever the Department of Social Services is involved with an Indian child through child protective services action, voluntary relinquishment, or court-ordered custody proceedings and out-of-home placement is being considered. Because this material is based on a federal law, it takes precedence over all other Department regulations relating to child custody proceedings.

5-030.01A Legal Basis: The regulations in this section are based upon the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978, United States Code, Title 25, Section 1901.

5-030.02 Service Goals: The goals of Department intervention regarding Indian children and their families are -

1. To promote the stability of Indian families and to avoid unnecessary removal of Indian children from their culture, tribe, and community;

2. To take active efforts to provide culturally relevant remedial services and rehabilitative programs to prevent the breakup of the Indian family;

3. To secure permanent placement for children in the least restrictive environment, which most approximates a family and is within reasonable proximity to his/her home; and

4. To prevent or remedy neglect, abuse, or exploitation.

5-030.03 Definitions:

Adoptive Placement: Permanent placement of an Indian child for adoption, including any judicial action resulting in a final decree of adoption.

Domicile: The customary or permanent dwelling of a person.

Extended Family Members: Defined by the law or custom of an Indian child's tribe, or in the absence of such law or custom, a person who is age 18 or older and who is the child's grandparent, aunt, uncle, brother, sister, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, niece, nephew, first or second cousin, or stepparent.

Foster Care Placement: Any intervention which results in the removal of an Indian child from his/her parent/Indian custodian for temporary placement in a foster home, group home, institution, or the home of a guardian or conservator where the parent/Indian custodian cannot have the child returned upon demand, though parental rights have not been terminated.

Indian: Any person who is a member of an Indian tribe, or who is an Alaska Native and a member of a regional corporation as defined in section 7 of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, or is a member of Nebraska Indian tribe whose legal status as a tribe has been terminated by the United States government with whom the Department has a signed agreement.

Indian Child: Any unmarried person age 17 or younger who is either -

1. A member of an Indian tribe; or

2. Eligible for membership in an Indian tribe and is the biological child of a member of an Indian tribe.

Indian Child Custody Proceeding: Each distinct and legally binding action, resulting in a foster care, preadoptive or adoptive placement of an Indian child where the parent cannot get the child back upon demand. It includes judicial termination of parental rights. The term also includes placement resulting from an adjudication of a status offense or arising from a divorce where custody is not awarded to one of the parents.

Indian Child's Tribe:

1. The Indian tribe in which an Indian child is a member or eligible for membership; or

2. In the case where an Indian child is a member of or eligible for membership in more than one tribe, the tribe with which the child has the most significant contacts as decided by the tribes involved.

Indian Custodian: Any Indian person who has lawful custody of an Indian child under tribal law or custom; or under state law; or to whom temporary physical care, custody, and control has been transferred by the child's parent.

Indian Organization: A group, association, partnership, corporation or legal entity owned or controlled by Indians or a majority of whose members are Indian people.

Indian Tribe: Any Indian tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community of Indians recognized as eligible for the services provided to Indians by the Secretary of the Interior because of their status as Indians, including any Alaska Native village as defined in the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, or Nebraska tribe whose legal status as a tribe has been terminated by the U.S. government with whom the Department has a written agreement.

Parent: Any biological parent of an Indian child or any Indian person who has lawfully adopted an Indian child, including adoptions under tribal law or custom. It does not include the unwed father where paternity has not been acknowledged or established under state or tribal law.

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