Foster Care and Adoptive Parents

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Native American Community Services of Erie & Niagara Counties, Inc. (NACS) has been a key service provider in the Western New York area since its establishment in 1975. In this region, the Native American population is largely a mixture of members of all six Haudenosaunee (or Iroquois) Nations including: Seneca, Tuscarora, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida and Mohawk. NACS also serves individuals from various Nations/Tribes from across North America who are living in the Buffalo-Niagara region. 

The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) was enacted in1978 in response to the disproportionately high number of Indian children who were being removed from their families and communities by public and private social service agencies. Subsequently, national policy began to focus instead on advocacy and support for preserving the integrity of Native families in the United States. In July of 1990, the NACS Foster Care Program was established with a focus on recruiting Native American foster parents to provide care for Native American children entering foster care.

The Foster Care Program was later expanded in May 1999 to serve non-Native children and families. NACS Foster Care Program’s primary goal continues to be to serve every child with Native American heritage in Erie and Niagara Counties, living off-territory, in a home that can best meet the needs of Native American children and families’ within the requirements of ICWA. NACS Foster Care program also serves non-Native children and families in Erie and Niagara Counties in accordance with the Multi-Ethnic Placement Act of 1994 (MEPA).

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