• June 2008
  • Vol. 9, No. 5

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Assessing and Engaging Immigrant Families

A special issue of American Humane's Protecting Children offers seven articles on the intersection of migration and child welfare. The articles cover emerging issues in the field and include:

  • "Administrators in Public Child Welfare: Responding to Immigrant Families in Crisis" (Ken Borelli, Ilze Earner, and Yali Lincroft)
  • "Latino Children of Immigrants in the Texas Child Welfare System" (Tracy Vericker, Daniel Kuehn, and Randy Capps)
  • "More Than Meets the Eye: Lifetime Exposure to Violence in Immigrant Families" (Elena Cohen)
  • "The Care of Unaccompanied Undocumented Children in Federal Custody: Issues and Options" (Micah Bump and Elzbieta Gozdziak)
  • "Overcoming Government Obstacles to the Proper Care and Custody of Unaccompanied and Separated Alien Minors" (Howard Davidson and Julie Gilbert Rosicky)
  • "Child Welfare Challenges in Culturally Competent Practice With Immigrant and Refugee Children and Families" (Rowena Fong)

In "Exploring the Immigrant Experience: An Empirically-Based Tool for Practice in Child Welfare," authors Julie Cooper Altman and Suzanne Michael describe the development of a strengths-based tool for better assessing and engaging immigrant families, known as the Assessment of Immigration Dynamics (AID) guide. The AID guide is designed to help child welfare professionals working with immigrant families and children entering the child welfare system. These families commonly present practice challenges that include language barriers, different worldviews, cultural acculturation issues, and other immigration-related factors. The AID guide helps child welfare professionals look at pre-immigration, migration, arrival, and settlement experiences and family strengths and use these to help in planning the family's future. The authors found that the tool increased child welfare professionals' capacity to understand and engage immigrant families. The AID guide also avoids a prescriptive approach, promoting a more deliberative process between child welfare professionals and immigrant families.

Protecting Children on Migration and Child Welfare, Vol. 22, No. 2, can be downloaded from the American Humane website:

http://www.americanhumane.org/assets/pdfs/children/protecting-children-journal/pc-22-2.pdf (1.07 MB)

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