Native American Issues

NPR New Shines a Light on Native Foster Children

October 26, 2011

NPR News addresses issues surrounding Native foster children, and also connects current struggles to the history of boarding school initiatives and child welfare systems in the Indian Country. This three-part investigation shines a light on the growing number of South Dakota Native American foster children who are taken out of their homes and placed in non-Native homes. Although state officials say they are doing what’s best for the children, the relatives of these children want to see their young family members placed in Native foster homes or with other relatives to keep them nearby and in touch with their culture.

Another concern that is NPR raises is the fact that the state of South Dakota has a financial incentive to remove children from their homes.  NPR states, “South Dakota receives thousands of dollars from the federal government for every child it takes from a family, and in some cases the state gets even more money if the child is Native American.” With this incentive in mind, NPR found that South Dakota is now removing children at a rate higher than compared to other states in the country.

Click here to listen to the full story about Native Foster Care: Lost Children, Shattered Families.