Meschelle Linjean, Hilary Weaver publish paper on the Indian Child Welfare Act

Published February 20, 2023


Meschelle Linjean

Meschelle Linjean.

Hilary Weaver

Hilary Weaver.

Kudos to PhD student Meschelle Linjean and Hilary Weaver, professor emeritus in the UB School of Social Work, on the publication of their article in the Journal of Public Child Welfare: “The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA): Where we’ve been, where we’re headed and where we need to go."


This article aims to help child welfare professionals understand connections between the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), Tribal sovereignty and Native American well-being, and prepare to uphold ICWA in the face of the impending U.S. Supreme Court case.

ICWA provisions, intentions, implementation and impact are described, followed by summaries of prior legal challenges, judicial erosion and the Haaland v. Brackeen case. The article explores implications if ICWA is overturned, including ramifications of nonpreferred foster care and adoption placements, as well as self-determination, health and socioeconomic repercussions. Advocacy strategies for upholding ICWA are presented to help protect Native children, families and Tribal Nations.