Working With Qualified Expert Witnesses in Support of ICWA (webinar)

When considering removal of an Indian child from their home, various perspectives are reviewed, including those of Qualified Expert Witnesses (QEWs). This training will help you understand how to find, develop, and prepare QEWs to testify in Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) cases and implement ICWA effectively in your work. This content is best suited for DCYF staff who are familiar with ICWA, and Tribal workers.

A QEW is a professional 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 efforts 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 to implement ICWA effectively, and how it is intended to keep an Indian child with their family.

Audience Description: 

This class is for those familiar with ICWA and want to become QEWs. You may also be a DCYF staff member that works with tribes and QEWs. A mix of Tribal members and DCYF staff will attend.

Indian Child Welfare
Working with Agencies
Delivery Method: 
Training Level: 
Area Administrators
Social Workers
Tribal Worker
Pre-Learning Assignments: 
Regional Core Training for DCYF staff, familiarity with ICWA, or work with (or supervise) staff with ICWA responsibilities
Course Requires Coaching Session?: 
Registration Instructions: 

DCYF staff can express interest by emailing the DCYF Office of Tribal Relations at for the Working With Qualified Expert Witnesses in Support of ICWA (webinar) course. For support with the Washington State Learning Center (WSLC), please contact

Other workforce members, such as Tribal workers, can request registration for this course using the Alliance External Registration form. Use this form also if you are CWTAP, Private Agency, and Judicial Personnel (incl. CASA/GAL). For help with this webform, please contact Alliance Support via

Special Instructions: 

Participation is expected, so attendees must commit to be present for all sessions

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...