How the Child Welfare System Can Better Respond to Needs of Children from Immigrant Families
Mark Greenberg, Director, Human Services Initiative, Migration Policy Institute (MPI)
Ann Flagg, Senior Director of Policy and Practice, American Public Human Services Association
Elian Maritz, Director of Immigrant Services and Language Affairs, New York City Administration for Children Services
Megan Finno-Velasquez, Immigration Director, New Mexico Department of Children, Youth, and Families
Andres Santiago, Immigration Attorney, New Mexico Department of Children, Youth, and Families
Lisa J. Armstrong, Statewide Education and Noncitizen Advocate, South Carolina Department of Social Services
Dennis Gmerek, Assistant General Counsel, South Carolina Department of Social Services
One out of four children in the United States has an immigrant parent, and while the great majority of those parents are in the United States lawfully, 5 million children live with at least one parent who is an unauthorized immigrant. These families face many of the same issues and needs as other families and some have contact with state and local child welfare systems. Families with immigrant members interacting with state and local child welfare systems may face distinctive issues and challenges relating to a child or parent’s immigration status, barriers to service access resulting from linguistic and cultural differences, and fear or distrust toward public systems.
All child welfare agencies can take important steps to improve their responsiveness to the needs of these families and promote the well-being of these children. On this webinar, speakers will explore considerations for the child welfare field, along with promising state and local practices, and recommendations for staff training, procedures, child placement, and child welfare intersections with the immigration system.
The conversation draws on findings from Immigrant Families and Child Welfare Systems: Emerging Needs and Promising Policies, an MPI report and a two-pager done in collaboration with the American Public Human Services Association that explores recent developments and issues arising in states and local communities.