Becoming a Qualified Expert Witness in Support of ICWA

This training will help you understand how to be a Qualified Expert Witness (QEW) to testify in Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) cases. When considering removal of an Indian child from their home, various perspectives are reviewed, including those of QEWs. They are qualified to testify regarding whether the child’s continued custody by the parent or Indian custodian is likely to result in serious emotional or physical damage to the child. QEWs provide testimony in ICWA cases and have substantial knowledge of the prevailing social and cultural standards and child rearing practices within a Tribal or Indian community. QEW court testimony is required upon removal of an Indian child from their home to prevent placement, and a QEW also provides testimony about whether needed efforts were made toward reunification of child(ren) to their parent(s) or custodian. This course begins with guiding you through developing an understanding of the historic relationship between Indian children and the United States child welfare policy, which led to ICWA. You will learn how ICWA protects Indian children and are intended to keep an Indian child with their family.

Audience Description: 

For Native Americans, who could be potential QEWs or are currently serving as QEWs and would like the additional support and knowledge.

Indian Child Welfare
Delivery Method: 
Training Level: 
Community Member
Tribal Worker
Pre-Learning Assignments: 
Recommended: Parenting a Native American Child: Partnering in the Interest of Culture for Caregivers (eLearning)
Course Requires Coaching Session?: 
Registration Instructions: 
  1. Under Classes Available below, click on the link/title of the dated class you are interested in.
  2. On the next page, enter your Username and Password. Then, click the Log In button if you are not already logged in.
  3. Next, click the large blue Register for this class button at the right.
  4. You are now registered! A confirmation email will be sent to you right away.
  5. For webinar classes, look for another email from the instructor one business day prior to the start of class.

For assistance with profiles or passwords, you may contact our Help Desk by emailing

Special Instructions: 

To become familiar with the Indian Child Welfare Act, please take Parenting a Native American Child: Partnering in the Interest of Culture for Caregivers (eLearning)

Instructor Qualification: 

Lorraine Brave (Mohawk), MSW, is based in Portland, Oregon, and is a consultant at the National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA). She is from New York and has lived in many places such as Salt Lake City, Utah; Sitka, Alaska; Vancouver, British Columbia; and Seattle, Washington. As an advocate for Native families and their children since the passing of the Indian Child Welfare Act, she has traveled across the United States and Canada providing workshops, presentations, and consultations to many tribes, social agencies, universities, and colleges as far away as New Zealand. As one of the founding board members of NICWA, she has continued over the years to stay involved as a volunteer, trainer, and facilitator. She has a broad background in Indian child welfare, personally experiencing many roles from casework to manager and director, in both the state government and Native American agencies.

No classes have been scheduled for this course...