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Core 3.5 ICWA Revision Update


Tribal STAR was awarded the CDSS contract to revise the Common Core 3.0 ICWA curriculum in October 2020 to meet Phase III Common Core Standards, incorporate the California Integrated Core Practice Model; incorporate recommendations from the Office of Tribal Affairs (OTA) and the Curriculum Development Oversight Group (CDOG); integrate principles of Fairness and Equity, Trauma-Informed Practice and Structured Decision-making; and update legal requirements and best practice standards.


We convened the Curriculum Advisory Group (CAG) in November to ensure the revised curriculum was created in a collaborative way and embodied principles of collaboration and partnership. The CAG  is comprised of child welfare practitioners, legal experts, training and curriculum development expertise.  The CAG represents a spectrum of expertise including county and tribal social services; attorneys and judges, advocates and caregivers, and training specialists. It also represents North, Central, and Southern California, includes both urban and reservation-based experience; includes the voices of federally-recognized and unrecognized tribes and non-California Natives. The group’s primary function was to elevate the ICWA conversation and to advise the curriculum revisions. 


Feedback on the current 3.0 ICWA Curriculum was sought through statewide survey, statewide listening session, and networking with Tribal STAR collaborative partners. Feedback was provided by: 

  • Tribal STAR Community Leadership Team, Stakeholders and Training Team 
  • Tribal Social Service Providers
  • County Child Welfare Services
  • Court Appointed Special Advocates
  • Training Participants
  • Regional Training Academies and Trainers
  • Tribal Leadership 
  • OTA
  • CDOG


The feedback we received was quite informative; below is what we heard, and what we are doing: 

  • Emphasize skill-building to support ICWA compliance
  • Do not get rid of the history: people need to know the why in order to do the how
  • The curricula must be a living model of the teaming and engagement we want from state/county agencies
  • Talk about historical trauma, but focus on resilience
  • Emphasize the two cornerstones of ICWA:  Active Efforts and Tribal Sovereignty
  • Combat negative bias against perceptions of Native families, partnering with Tribes and ICWA itself
  • Reframe ICWA as the Gold Standard child welfare practice


Several people stated that this needs to be a two-day training. 


The CAG has met 5 times to discuss the revision process, content, and principles to inform the revision process. The revision schedule is below: 


  • March 8: First draft due to CalSWEC for review 
  • April 5: Pilot Ready Draft Due for pilot preparation  
  • May 17: Pilot Dates (tentative)
  • May 18: Feedback 
  • May 27: Final Curriculum Posted 
  • June 30: T4T Webinar Posted 
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