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Library: Policy

340:75-19-9. Child Protective Services reports of abuse or neglect regarding the Indian child

1 through 3

Revised 7-1-13

(a) State jurisdiction does not extend to the Indian child who resides on tribal land.  Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) reports child abuse or neglect that occurs on tribal land involving an Indian child victim and an Indian or non-Indian perpetrator as addressed in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Reporting and Investigating Child Abuse Criminal Offenses in Indian Country between the OKDHS, tribal law enforcement and Child Protective Services (CPS) agencies, BIA, United States Attorney's offices for the Western, Northern, and Eastern Districts of Oklahoma, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Indian Health Services.

  • (1) The MOU requires that OKDHS notify these entities of reports involving abuse, neglect, or both, of the Indian child that occurs on tribal land.

  • (2) The MOU provides extensive guidelines for use and contact numbers and addresses for all parties who require notification of CPS reports.

(b) The investigation or assessment of reports of abuse or neglect of a non-Indian child residing or found on tribal land is not within the tribe's jurisdiction.  These reports are referred to OKDHS for disposition.


Revised 8-15-17

1.Child Protective Service (CPS) report of Indian child residing on state land.When CPS receives a report alleging abuse or neglect of the child identified or believed to be an Indian child residing on state land, the assessment or investigation is conducted according to Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:75-3-200.The child's tribe is notified of the report and requested to accompany the child welfare (CW) specialist during the assessment or investigation.

2.CPS report of Indian child residing on tribal land.When a CPS report alleges abuse or neglect of the child identified or believed to be an Indian child residing on tribal land, the CWspecialist immediately notifies the tribe to allow the tribe to assess the report and provide appropriate child welfare services.When the tribe has no Indian child welfare program, the referral is made to the appropriate Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) office.

3.CW specialist responsibilities.The CW specialist:

(1) refers to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in the district office for guidelines for reporting abuse or neglect to a tribe;

(2) makes an inquiry regarding the Indian heritage of each child identified in the CPS report;

(3) contacts the appropriate tribe immediately when the child is known or believed to be an Indian child, either at the time the initial report is assigned or at any time during the investigation or assessment process.

(A) Even in those cases when the child is not removed from the home, such as when CPS opens an investigation or the court orders the family to engage in services to keep the child in the home as part of an alternative response, or other program, the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) follows the verification and notice requirements.

(B) Providing notice allows tribes to intervene as early as possible in a child custody proceeding and provides an opportunity for the tribe to bring resources to assist the family in preventing a family breakup.

(C) When possible, the tribal-identified child protection services or tribal designee worker participates in the investigation or assessment.

(D) When the tribal-identified child protection services or tribal designee is not available to participate in the investigation or assessment, the CW specialist initiates the investigation or assessment within DHS priority guidelines and continues with the investigation per OAC 340:75-3;

(4) verbally and in writing notifies the Indian child welfare (ICW) program.For emergency after hours contact, the CW specialist verbally notifies the tribal police immediately when a report is received involving an Indian child on tribal land.

(A) When the ICW worker is not available, contact is then made with the tribal police to respond to the report.

(B) The CW specialist notifies each party by phone and in writing as directed in the MOU;

(5) when a report is received involving the non-Indian child on tribal land, notifies the appropriate tribe as a courtesy to advise of a report on tribal land that involves a non-Indian child.Arrangements are made for state law enforcement and tribal law enforcement to accompany the CW specialist entering tribal land;

(6) asks the tribe to determine whether the child is or was a ward of the tribal court and documents the response on Form 04K1003E, Report to District Attorney;

(7) when a child is removed from the home, verbally notifies the child's tribe no later than the next business day; and

(8) engages in active efforts to prevent removal of the child and the breakup of the Indian family.Active efforts begin from the moment the possibility arises that a CPS assessment or investigation may result in the need for the Indian child to be placed outside the custody of either parent or Indian custodian.

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