In 1987, Brian Melendez’s life was drastically changed at only 7-years-old. Melendez is Native American and his life isn’t the only one that’s changed due to a domestic dispute.
According to the Casey Center for the Study of Social Policy, American Indian/Alaska Native children are twice as likely to be investigated for abuse and four times more likely to be placed in foster care than their white peers.
As a result, thousands of Native children are swept into state custody every year. And although the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) was passed in 1978 to protect the removal of Native children from their families and communities in foster care and adoption proceedings, the vast majority of Native kids are placed in non-Native foster homes.
Learn about Melendez’s story and more, on the Crime Report.