Youth who have recently immigrated to a new country face many challenges related to their new circumstances. The resources on this page provide information for professionals working with youth who are immigrants or refugees, including navigating the legal issues commonly faced by these young people.
Barriers to Support Service Use for Latino Immigrant Families Reported to Child Welfare (PDF - 267 KB)
Migration and Child Welfare National Network (MCWNN – now the Center on Child Welfare and Immigration) and State Policy Advocacy and Reform Center (SPARC)
Describes the underutilization of services and supports by immigrants and outlines the policy implications.
Living in the United States: A Guide for Immigrant Youth. 2015 Revised edition (PDF - 767 KB)
Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) (2015)
Describes the different types of immigration status and discusses the rights of immigrant youth. The guide also provides best strategies if you are undocumented, the rights and limitations of a youth with a green card, U.S. citizenship, how to get a green card, deferred action for childhood arrivals, deferred action for parents of Americans and lawful permanent residents, involvement with gangs, immigration scams, deportation and other immigration problems, adoption and immigration status, helping family members, military service, voting, Social Security numbers, employment in the United States, paying taxes, receiving public benefits, getting an identification card, getting a driver's license, going to college, and accessing banking and credit cards.
Also available in Spanish (PDF - 849 KB).
MCWNN Statement on the Welfare of Unaccompanied Immigrant Children (PDF - 165 KB)
Migration and Child Welfare National Network (MCWNN) (2014) (now the Center on Immigration and Child Welfare)
Outlines the best interest of the child guidelines for cases involving unaccompanied immigrant children according to MCWNN. The statement describes the dangers faced by unaccompanied children in their home countries and presents specific guidelines for protecting the safety of the children, providing permanence, and ensuring the children's well-being.
Mentoring Immigrant and Refugee Youth: A Toolkit for Program Coordinators (PDF - 500 KB)
Outlines the importance of mentoring young immigrants and how to work with this specific population.
Remedies for Immigrant Children and Youth
Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC)
Focuses on advancing immigrant legal rights through legal trainings, technical assistance, advocacy, and creating and disseminating resources for the field. The ILRC works with and educates immigrants, community organizations, and the legal sector, and has a webpage devoted to resources on legal remedies for immigrant children and youth.
A Social Worker's Toolkit for Working with Immigrant Families: Immigration Status and Relief Options (PDF - 964 KB)
Lincroft & Junck (2015)
The Immigration Legal Resource Center & The Center on Immigration and Child Welfare
Provides a basic overview of the dynamics of the U.S. immigration system as it impacts children and families in the child welfare system. The toolkit includes practical appendices with resources for accessing vital documents, facilitating communication between child welfare and immigration legal counsel, and a summary of immigration relief options applicable to youth in care.