Like any family, immigrant and refugee families may face challenges that bring them to the attention of the child welfare system. But these families also have additional needs because of their immigration or refugee status. Parenting children and youth while adapting to a new culture, language, and society may be stressful and could lead to difficulties. Use these resources to find guidance for immigrant and refugee families about the child welfare system, their rights, raising children in a new country, and support services that may be available to help.
Detained or Deported: What About My Children? (PDF - 1,695 KB)
Butera, Chou, Jones, & Kelsey (2019)
Women’s Refugee Commission
Provides a toolkit for immigrant and undocumented parents on protecting their parental rights and navigating the child welfare and court systems. The resource also gives contact information for State child welfare agencies and adoption reunion registries.
Guiding Caregivers: How to Talk to a Child About Deportation or Separation
National Child Traumatic Stress Network (2019)
Guides parents and caregivers on how to talk to children about deportation or separation from family. The guide reviews how to make the decision to talk, how to explain deportation, and offers guidance for children of different age ranges.
Know Your Rights: Immigrants’ Rights
American Civil Liberties Union
Outlines scenarios when law enforcement may ask about immigration status and provides guidance on how to reduce risk and immigrants’ rights.
Mental Health for Immigrants: Taking Care of Yourself and Loved Ones
Offers information for immigrant families about mental health topics including recognizing depression and anxiety and how to find support.
Raising Teens in a New Country Handbook
Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services (2018)
Features a guide in English, Arabic, and Spanish for parents and teens who are new to the United States and for the service providers who work with them. Topics covered range from cultural identity to school to community engagement.
Read With Your Child and Learn About Being and Becoming a Citizen Together!
Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.
Shares a list of books for children about the importance of diversity, the immigration journey to the United States, and becoming a U.S. citizen.
Resources for Families Facing Deportation and Separation
Women’s Refugee Commission (2019)
Provides English- and Spanish-language resources to support families simultaneously navigating both the child welfare and immigration systems.
Offers resources on education, employment, citizenship, and resettlement for immigrant and refugee families.