• July/August 2015
  • Vol. 16, No. 6

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Toolkit for Casework With Immigrant Families

Immigrants are a multifaceted and fast-growing population that includes children, youth, and families who may be documented or undocumented, refugees, or asylum recipients. These families also often include U.S.-born children. Immigrant families face the same everyday challenges of family life as nonimmigrant families, but they may also have endured unique traumatic experiences and face complex problems related to their immigration issues. Child welfare professionals must be adequately prepared to address these challenges and meet the needs of all the families they serve.

The Center on Immigration and Child Welfare (CICW) released an updated toolkit to assist child welfare agencies in their work with immigrant families. Social Worker's Tool Kit for Working With Immigrant Families: Healing the Damage: Trauma and Immigrant Families in the Child Welfare System provides practical and comprehensive information on the delivery of culturally sensitive and appropriate interventions based on an understanding of traumatic stressors, exposure to violence, and their implication for treatment.

The toolkit's guidelines are rooted in the assumption that effective interventions must be built around a family's protective factors and supported by evidence-based treatment strategies that take into consideration cultural norms and values. The toolkit consists of four sections:

  • Section I offers an overview of child welfare practices with immigrant families.
  • Section II highlights integrating good child welfare practice with trauma-informed care during the intake and assessment, family engagement, and closure phases.
  • Section III focuses on building child welfare agency capacity through standards and training procedures that direct everyday practice.
  • Section IV offers answers to frequently asked questions about immigrant families.

The toolkit, which includes several appendices featuring definitions of terms, related resources, and a case example, is available on the CICW website at
http://cimmcw.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/CICW-toolkit-trauma-immigrant-families-2-20-15-alt-cover1.pdf (943 KB).
 

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