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MSU College of Law



CONTACT: Erika Marzorati, communications manager, 517-432-6848;

MSU Law Receives Casey Family Programs Support for Indian Child Welfare Project

East Lansing, MI — Michigan State University College of Law is working in partnership with Casey Family Programs to hire students and recent graduates to monitor child neglect cases involving the Indian Child Welfare Act.

Michigan State Law is part of the Quality Indian Child Welfare Act (QUICWA) Compliance Collaborative, a project through the Indian Child Welfare Program at the Minneapolis American Indian Center. The MSU Law Indigenous Law & Policy Center was the first law school in the nation to use the QUICWA tool to monitor court hearings as a collaborative partner.

“The partnership requires us to work with the State Court Administrator’s Office and with the cooperation of court personnel in both Ingham and Wayne counties,” says Kathryn Fort, interim co-director of MSU Law Indigenous Law & Policy Center.

In November, the Indigenous Law & Policy Center will host a meeting of all interested stakeholders in the data, with the hopes of identifying small changes that could impact great change in the outcomes of these ICWA cases.

“At this point, we have three current MSU Law students, one Wayne State Law student, and one recent MSU Law alumnus monitoring all of the child welfare cases in Ingham County and those designated as possible ICWA cases in Wayne County,” said Fort. “We have monitored more than 50 hearings and recently received word from Casey Family Programs that the project will be funded through 2013.”

The Minneapolis American Indian Center facilitates the QUICWA Compliance Collaborative, a national consortium of Indian tribes, urban organizations, and advocacy groups that work on Indian child welfare issues. Members of the collaborative will use Indian Child Welfare Act compliance data to advocate for change in the behaviors, practices, and policies of individual child welfare agencies throughout the country. Members of the QUICWA Compliance Collaborative also will use the data to identify ICWA compliance trends across individual agencies and use those local trends to impact ICWA policy at the national level. The collaborative is funded by the U.S. Office of Minority Health to address the health outcomes of Indian children impacted by child abuse.

Casey Family Programs is the nation’s largest operating foundation whose work is focused on safely reducing the need for foster care and building communities of hope for all of America’s children and families. Casey Family Programs works in partnership with child welfare systems, families, and communities across the nation to prevent child abuse and neglect and to find safe, permanent, and loving families for all children. Casey Family Programs believes every child deserves a family of their own and a community of hope.

The Indigenous Law & Policy Center is the heart of the Indigenous Law Program at MSU College of Law. The Center has two goals: to train law students to work in Indian Country, and to provide services to institutional clients such as Indian tribes, tribal courts, and other tribal organizations on a wide variety of legal and policy questions. The Center’s “Turtle Talk” blog is a popular and influential source for up-to-the-minute updates and analysis on Indian law and politics. One of the most followed law blogs in the country, Turtle Talk is followed by tribal citizens; indigenous law scholars; and tribal, state, and federal leaders.

Michigan State University College of Law, a leading institution of legal education with a long history of educating practice-ready attorneys, prepares future lawyers to use ethics, ambition, and intellect to solve the world’s problems. Michigan State Law offers comprehensive interdisciplinary opportunities combined with a personalized legal education, and is on an upward trajectory of national and international reputation and reach. MSU Law professors are gifted teachers and distinguished scholars, its curriculum is rigorous and challenging, and its facility is equipped with the latest resources—all affirming MSU Law’s commitment to educating 21st-century lawyers.


Law College Building
648 N. Shaw Lane, Room 320
East Lansing, MI 48824

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