California Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) section Section 224.3 - Interpretation

Welfare and Institutions Code section Section 224.3, subdivision (c) expressly allows the social worker to gather necessary information for providing notice by "contacting the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the State Department of Social Services for assistance in identifying the names and contact information of the tribes in which the child may be a member or eligible for membership in and contacting the tribes . . . ." If the Department of Social Services list has more accurate information on the names and addresses to which to send notice, then an agency may rely on this information. In In re N.M. (2008) 161 Cal.App.4th 253, 268, the court found that the child welfare agency did not err in using the names and addresses provided by the state publication in notifying the relevant tribes. "Requiring literal compliance solely by reference to the names and addresses listed in the last published Federal Register would exalt form over substance. The Department should not be hamstrung by limitation to only the names and addresses provided for the tribes in the Federal Register if a more current or accurate listing is available and is reasonably calculated to provide prompt and actual notice to the tribes." (Ibid.)