Operating through the Chickasaw Nation Department of Family Advocacy, the Indian Child Welfare Service is a program that advocates for and protects children who have been removed from their home due to neglect, physical, sexual or emotional abuse. Tribal social workers provide court advocacy and assist in the reunification process.
- Birth certificates
- Social Security cards
- Court documentation (if applicable)
- Tribal enrollment (for documentation purposes)
- Child(ren) must be Native American
- Child(ren) removed or at risk of removal from the home and/or parents
Other InformationRelated Forms
To obtain the required forms, see Contact Information. An applicant should know within two weeks if he or she qualifies. Child custody issues will be referred to the proper court for resolution
What is child abuse?
Child maltreatment is harm (or risk of harm) caused to a child by a parent, caretaker or another person responsible for the child's safety. There are four major types of child maltreatment: neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse and emotional abuse.
Neglect is a failure to provide for the child's basic needs; food, clothing, shelter, education, medical care and nurturing. Neglect is the number one cause of child deaths.
Physical abuse is causing physical injury to a child; hitting with hand or object, kicking, biting, shaking, burning, stabbing, choking, pinching, pulling/pushing/shoving or otherwise harming a child.
Sexual abuse is characterized by the inappropriate touch and/or sexualization of a child. Many experts believe sexual abuse is the most under-reported form of child maltreatment because of the secrecy that so often characterizes these cases.
Emotional abuse is characterized by acts or omissions by the parents or other caregivers that have caused, or could cause, serious behavioral, cognitive, emotional or mental disorders. Examples of emotional abuse include; constant criticism, threats, rejection, put-downs, name calling, and withholding love, support or guidance.
Remember the risk factors
Recognize the warning signs
- Child abuse and neglect occur in all segments of our society, but the risk factors are greater in families where parents:
- Abuse alcohol or drugs
- Are isolated from their families or communities
- Have difficulty controlling their anger or stress
- Appear uninterested in the care, nourishment or safety of their children
- Seem to be having serious economic, housing or personal problems
Some of the warning signs that a child might be abused or neglected include:
Report suspected child abuse and neglect
- Nervousness around adults
- Aggression toward adults or other children
- Inability to stay awake or to concentrate for extended periods
- Sudden, dramatic changes in personality or activities
- Acting out sexually or showing interest in sex that is not appropriate for his or her age
- Frequent or unexplained bruises or injuries
- Low self esteem
- Poor hygiene
- Soiling himself or herself (if he/she has been potty trained for a period of time)
If you suspect child abuse or neglect is occurring, report it----and keep reporting it----until something is done. Contact child protective services in your area or your local law enforcement office. You may also use the Childhelp USA number below for more information on how and where to file a report.
- Chickasaw Nation Indian Child Welfare (580) 272-5550
- Childhelp USA (800) 4-A-Child
- Oklahoma Child Abuse Hotline (800) 522-3511
***Some information above taken from the 2003 child abuse prevention community resource packet.