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March 2000Vol. 1, No. 1Latino Children and Families Profiled

For insights on pressing issues facing Hispanic children and families, visit the Connect for Kids website ( sponsored by the Benton Foundation and read Caitlin Johnson's interview with three advocates for Latino children and families:

  • Robert Ortega, associate professor, University of Michigan's School of Social Work
  • Elba Montalbo, executive director, Committee for Hispanic Children
  • Layla Suleiman, Federal monitor for the Burgos Consent Decree (a mandate requiring the Illinois Department of Children and Families to offer all services in Spanish and placement options in Spanish-speaking families)

The three discuss economic, immigration, policy, and other issues affecting Hispanics in the United States. Their observations include the following:

  • Inter-ethnic adoption placements and efforts to recruit Latino families need to be addressed
  • Not a lot of data are available on Latinos and the child welfare system
  • Latino access to health care is limited
  • Latina girls have the highest rate of pregnancy and are at high risk for sexually transmitted diseases
  • Developing a network of home-based day care providers addresses child care quality and need in Latino communities

The article is available online at