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Oklahoma works with tribes on changes to child welfare plan





The Oklahoma Department of Human Services is working with tribes on changes to its child welfare plan, The Tulsa World reports.

The state meets with tribal representatives every three months to discuss the Pinnacle Plan. "By July 1, 2013, OKDHS will increase the percentage of Native American children whose tribes are notified so they can be involved in placement and other case decisions," according to the draft.

The Oklahoma Indian Child Welfare Act and the Indian Child Welfare Act recognize tribal jurisdiction in Indian child welfare cases. The state bears the burden of notifying tribes when a child is taken into custody.

The state is monitoring 128 children in tribal custody and another 1,478 are eligible for tribal custody, the World reported. In 2011, there were 8,974 children in foster care, so tribal children would represent nearly 18 percent of cases.

Native Americans make up nearly 9 percent of the state's population, according to the 2010 Census.

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Change in tribal child custody laws proposed (The Tulsa World 11/26)