Latino Families in the Nexus of Child Welfare, Welfare Reform, and Immigration Policies: Is Kinship Care a Lost Opportunity?
Ayón, Cecilia. Aisenberg, Eugene. Cimino, Andrea.
Published: January 2013
Vol. 58, No. 1 , p. 91-94
Oxford University Press
2001 Evans Road
Cary, NC 27513
The number of Latino children involved with the child welfare system has more than doubled in the past 15 years, currently representing 21 percent of known cases of child maltreatment. Culturally appropriate services are in dire need, and kinship care placements appeal to the family system fundamental to Latino culture. Evidence suggests kinship placements result in fewer moves and instances of reentering care, better opportunities for maintaining contact with birth family, and faster sibling placements. Unfortunately, most child welfare policies ineffectively deal with issues unique to Latinos, such as cultural norms, mixed documentation status within households, and high rates of poverty. This commentary explores the multifaceted barriers Latino kinship care providers are likely to encounter as their lived experiences intersect with child welfare, welfare reform, and immigration policies. We posited that culturally sensitive practice and policy can reduce some strains experienced by Latino families involved with child welfare and supports kinship care as a viable placement option. (Author abstract)
immigrants; kinship care; Latinos; cultural competency