Immigrant and refugee families bring important strengths to communities across the United States. They are often family-focused, education-oriented, resilient, resourceful, and spiritual. While these families have many of the same needs as other families, they also face unique challenges when navigating the child welfare system. Immigrant and refugee families involved with child welfare may encounter culture and language barriers, the detention or deportation of a family member, trauma resulting from difficult migration experiences, and more.
Child welfare professionals working with immigrant and refugee populations must effectively respond to families’ needs, regardless of race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, faith, or class. Workers should engage with families while respecting their diverse backgrounds, valuing their cultural experiences, and integrating their unique strengths into case plans. Use the resources in this section to help child welfare professionals better understand immigration issues and work with immigrant and refugee families.
- Understanding immigration and child welfare
- Working with immigrant and refugee families
- Resources for immigrant and refugee families
- Working with youth who are immigrants and refugees
Bridging Refugee Youth and Children's Services
Provides technical assistance to organizations serving refugees and immigrants. This website includes resources on foster care, family-centered and culturally relevant practice, and permanency planning for refugee children.
Working With Immigrant Families (PDF - 462 KB)
California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare (2020)
Details steps that child welfare agencies can take to support immigrant families, including ensuring appropriate language services, assessing potentially traumatic immigration experiences, and staying up-to-date on immigration policies.