February 2011Vol. 12, No. 1Helping Immigrant Families in the Child Welfare System
The Migration and Child Welfare National Network (MCWNN) has developed A Social Worker's Tool Kit for Working With Immigrant Families: Healing the Damage: Trauma and Immigrant Families in the Child Welfare System. The toolkit offers guidelines to assist child welfare and community-based agencies responding to the needs of immigrant families exposed to child maltreatment and other sources of traumatic stress:
- Section I looks at how elements of good child welfare practice have implications for immigrant families exposed to traumatic stress. It also discusses the different sources of traumatic stress for these families.
- Section II provides guidelines for integrating good child welfare practice with trauma-informed care, addressing such topics as engagement, assessment, and case planning. Special considerations for domestic violence are included.
- Section III discusses building child welfare agency capacity through policies and protocols, administrative supports, staff training, and community partnerships.
- The last sections feature frequently asked questions about immigrant families and appendices that include a case example and additional resources for child welfare staff.
The toolkit, by Elena Cohen, is available on the American Humane website: