Office of Children and Family Services

Frequently Asked Questions

Native American Services

How can I determine if I am eligible for tribal membership?

Tribal membership is determined by each Tribe/Indian Nation based on certain criteria. The Iroquois Nations of New York usually determine tribal membership through the mother's heritage. You must contact the Tribal Clerk or Tribal membership office for further information.

What services are available for me?

Services for tribal members residing on the reservation vary among the tribes in New York. Health services are generally available through reservation based Clinics. Some Tribal programs offer human services including child welfare programs, child care, alcohol/substance abuse, youth and recreation services.

What is the Indian Child Welfare Act?

The Indian Child Welfare Act is a federal law enacted in 1978 to promote the stabilization of the Indian family and to set certain standards when an Indian child must be placed in out of home care. See the OCFS publication 4757.

What must I do if I have to place an Indian child in a foster home?

Foremost, official Tribal notification must take place. Then placement preferences shall be adhered to as indicated in OCFS publication 4757.

How do I find out the child's Tribal affiliation?

Obtaining information on the parents and grandparents, and possible tribal affiliation will assist us in determining the correct tribe. NAS staff can assist you with identifying the tribe of origin once you have obtain family history information.

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