As covered on Friday by NICWA and others, the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled on the active efforts standard. Specifically,
The sole issue presented is whether the active efforts standard of 25 U.S.C. § 1912(d) of the federal Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA)1 and § 43-1505(4) of the Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Act (NICWA) applies when a juvenile court physically places an Indian child with his or her parent but awards another entity legal custody of the Indian child. The question is whether this disposition in an involuntary juvenile proceeding is “seeking to effect a foster care placement” within the meaning of ICWA/NICWA. Upon further review, we agree with the Nebraska Court of Appeals and hold that at any point in an involuntary juvenile proceeding involving an Indian child at which a party is required to demonstrate its efforts to reunify or prevent the breakup of the family, the active efforts standard applies in place of the reasonable efforts standard applicable in cases involving non- Indian children.