How Can Child Protection Agencies Support Families and Children Who Lack Lawful Immigration Status?
Strategy Brief: Strong Families (Casey Family Programs)
Casey Family Programs.
Published: June 2020
Casey Family Programs
2001 Eighth Avenue Suite 2700
Seattle, WA 98121
This brief explains common circumstances in which child protection agencies may encounter children and families whose immigration status is at issue and challenges faced by child protection agencies when serving undocumented and mixed status families. The need for clearer federal policy and guidance to help jurisdictions respond effectively to the needs of these families is discussed, as well as the following strategies child protection agencies can use to support families and children who lack lawful immigration status: gather information about family immigration status to support casework; identify services that families can access safety; support immigration relief for parents; help children and youth secure immigration status whenever possible; establish a relationship with the local ICE field office to engage its support with participation of detained parents in dependency cases; form and participate in local immigration support networks; plan ahead for the impact of immigration enforcement on families; establish Memorandums of Understanding with foreign consulates; consider creative ways to preserve transnational family ties; build cultural competence and humility; acknowledge that children may have strong attachments to extended family members; use culturally competent assessment tools and intervention practices; provide information in families’ native languages; and recognize and address cultural misconceptions and bias. 6 references.
child welfare reform; undocumented immigrants; children of immigrants; child advocacy; family centered services; deportation; cultural competency; child welfare workers; Child protective services