November 2022

Standing for ICWA and Tribal Sovereignty

The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) is currently under review by the US Supreme Court with a final decision expected in June 2023. If the Supreme Court decides to not uphold ICWA, it could be catastrophic to not only Indian families and children, but also other federal statutes that impact Indigenous communities, including Indian gaming, healthcare, land, and water rights (Calabaza, 2022). ICWA was passed to prevent the taking of the most precious resource Indian Country has - Indian children. It is important for Native and non-Native allies to continue to support and stand in defense of the inherent rights of the first peoples of this nation.

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Watch for a special Learning Exchange with a panel of national ICWA experts early in 2023. This is being developed especially for NCWWI students and alumni.

Celebrating Alumni 

Jane Yang

Jane Yang graduated with her MSW degree in May 2021 from the University of Georgia. She has worked in the child welfare field for 18 years and is currently the Permanency Field Program Specialist for Region 5. She also supports child protection services. Although Jane was not initially interested in going back to school, she acknowledges that one of her proudest moments was being selected to be part of the first NCWWI stipend student cohort in Georgia.

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The National Student & Alumni Advisory Board Meeting

Thanks to all who were able to make it to our Student and Alumni Advisory Board Meeting in October. We were able to identify important, timely topics used to create learning exchanges for all students and alumni to engage in. Some of the main topics identified included:

  • Understanding ICWA and the potential impacts of the Supreme Court decisions
  • Self-Care and Moral Distress in Abolitionist Times
  • Social Work Licensure - ASWB exam bias and implications for graduates

This series of learning exchanges will begin in January 2023 (date TBD). We are looking forward to this opportunity to continue to support you in your professional development and empower you in self-advocacy.

If you are not already on the NSAAB, but you would like to join, please email Liz Smith at [email protected]

The Wellness Corner

How Peer Support Can Reduce Burnout & Improve Worker Wellbeing

Creating a work environment where peer support thrives can improve worker well-being. What are YOU doing to help create a supportive environment? Choose 1 thing from the list below to implement for the month and see how it helps to create a more supportive environment. Read 1-pager


Organizations can Champion Peer Support by:

  • Offering support groups
  • Social gatherings  
  • Flexible programming
  • Lighter workloads
  • More resources for workers and families
  • Encouragement to use vacation and sick time for self-care
  • Mindfulness and deep breathing exercises as meeting agenda items

Peers can Support Each Other by:

  • Create space and opportunities to talk
  • Offer encouragement
  • Cover or consult on cases
  • Encourage each other to go home on time
  • Perform acts of kindness
  • Acknowledge achievements
  • Ask for permission before sharing stressful situations

We are honored to support you. Please contact Liz Smith if you have questions or need further assistance.


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