Preventing Child Maltreatment in ORR/DUCS-Funded Care Provider Programs

Child Welfare Practice and Research (Including Child Abuse Identification and Prevention)

  1. Alone in a Strange Land: Unaccompanied Minors and Issues of Protection. Rousseau, Cecile , Montgomery, Catherine , Shermarke, Marian 102-119 page s . March 2001. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    Profiles young refugees arriving in Canada without a legal guardian. These unaccompanied minors emigrate because they are escaping violence, persecution, or family or economic constraints; others are involved in black market or criminal activity. The study is based on interviews with 18 social practitioners in Montreal and points to ways in which the needs of unaccompanied minors go beyond those of other young immigrants. Coping with loss, shock, or trauma is particularly challenging for unaccompanied minors who may have experienced abrupt or brutal separation from their families and may have developed ineffective survival strategies. Placing these immigrants in the same community of origin, while protective, has its risks, especially if the new families have limited resources, share different values, or feel isolated. Interrupted education and lack of language skills mean that unaccompanied minors may be refused schooling and denied this avenue of integration. Moreover, deportation may still be a real possibility for some of these refugees, and their status as minors poses risks and barriers. Budget cutbacks could lead to a lower standard of social services that does not address the special needs of unaccompanied minors.

  2. Child Abuse Issues with Refugee Populations (PART I)- Recognizing Suspected Child Maltreatment in Culturally Diverse Refugee Families. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children's Services (BRYCS) page s . March 2010. English .

    This Webinar is for refugee resettlement and other refugee professionals who do not have a background in child welfare. Participants will learn about the types of child maltreatment and how to recognize child maltreatment in refugee families, considering cultural factors. The Webinar is taught by Dr. Lisa Fontes, PhD.

  3. Child Abuse Issues with Refugee Populations (PART II)- Refugee Resettlement and Child Welfare: Working Together for Child Protection. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children's Services (BRYCS) page s . March 2010. English .

    This is a follow-up to the first Webinar on recognizing child maltreatment, and is also for refugee resettlement and other refugee professionals who do not have a background in child welfare. Refugee resettlement participants will gain information on mandated reporting as well as learn how to work with their local child welfare agency to help strengthen refugee families. The Webinar is taught by Dr. Lisa Fontes, PhD.

  4. Family and Community Centered Child Welfare Practice with Refugees and Immigrants. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children Services (BRYCS) 9 page s . 2007 Fall. English .

    Cultural competence, strengths-based practice, and understanding and working with a child within the larger family and community context are regarded as important principles in child welfare practice today. Implementing these principles, including having the knowledge and tools on hand to do so, has, of course, proved far more challenging for most child welfare practitioners. In this Fall 2007 Spotlight, BRYCS highlights the culturally competent approach of a national agency, Migration and Refugee Services of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (MRS/USCCB), specializing in child welfare services to refugees and immigrants for over 30 years, in addition to featuring models being implemented, tested, and disseminated by two major child welfare entities: The American Humane Association (AHA) and The Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF). Although these three approaches may differ slightly, they have far more in common due to an emphasis on working together with family and community structures as strengths and resources. Most importantly, they offer practical tools and resources for practitioners to use when serving refugee and immigrant families who enter the public child welfare system.

  5. Foreign-Born Children in Foster Care: How to Serve this Special Population?. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children Services (BRYCS) 2 page s . May 2004. English .

    Children in foster care are dealing with personal tragedies, such as abuse, neglect, family breakdown, or the death of caregivers. Refugee children face additional challenges in foster care. In addition to the separation from their family of origin, grief and loss, refugee children must also confront issues of adaptation and biculturalism. They struggle to develop and maintain a healthy sense of self and a connection to their cultures, ethnicities, languages and religions. This Spotlight focuses on the challenges facing refugee youth in foster care and the issues for service providers.

  6. Guardianship Toolkit. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children's Services (BRYCS) page s . 2003. English .

    These resources are for those assisting refugee families who are caring for non-biological children (such as grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, siblings, or friends). Overseas, these children are typically referred to as "separated children," while in the U.S. Refugee Program, they are typically referred to as "attached refugee minors." In the U.S. legal and child welfare fields, these caregivers are often referred to as "relative caregivers" or families with "kinship care" arrangements. The toolkit includes fact sheets for both refugee families and the staff that assist them, a highlighted resource list, as well as a searchable directory that provides basic information about the guardianship procedures in each state.

  7. Interviewing Immigrant Children and Families About Child Maltreatment. Fontes, Lisa Aronson page s . 2000. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    Instructs listeners of the audiotape how to conduct open interviews with immigrant and refugee children (even if they do not speak English) who have suffered experiences of child abuse and neglect. Covers background on why culture and demographic information such as non-nuclear arrangements are important. Advises about the location of the interview, the role of adults who accompany children, and the use of interpreters and bilingual interviewers. Nonverbal cues need special attention: gestures, eye contact, seating arrangements, and physical expressiveness, touch, pace of speech, and silence. The interview consists of three phases: (1) building rapport and establishing trust; (2) conducting the assessment; and (3) reaching closure and preparing for the next steps. Sample questions are included as well as suggestions for using aids such as dolls and drawings during the interview as well as consideration of the crime scene in terms of the culture involved. The techniques described are geared specifically to assist social workers, medical professionals, teachers, attorneys, therapists, and law enforcement personnel in developing rapport with diverse children. (IP)

  8. Interviews for Suspected Child Maltreatment: Tips for Foreign Language Interpreters. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children's Services (BRYCS) page s . 2009. English .

    This Webinar is for people who interpret interviews related to child maltreatment, as well for those who use foreign language interpreters in conversations related to child abuse. The presentation outlines best practices for interviewing in these sensitive circumstances, lets interpreters know what they should expect in the content and process of an interview regarding child abuse, and will help interpreters avoid common errors that might invalidate an interview regarding child abuse.

    *This presentation is meant to provide advice and orientation for those who interpret child abuse interviews and for those who use interpreter services in child abuse interviews. It is not meant to and should not be used in court to evaluate the quality of the interpretation of a child abuse interview.

  9. Seeking Asylum Alone: Unaccompanied and Separated Children and Refugee Protection. Children's Bureau, Administration for Children and Families (ACF) , U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) 111 page s . June 2006. English .

    This series of reports presents the results of a two-year study, which examined the plight of unaccompanied and separated children in the U.S., Australia, and the United Kingdom. Each of the country reports describes describe the nature and scale of the migration of unaccompanied and separated children entering that country, drawing on government data and statements, advocates' accounts, court proceedings, and interviews with migrant children themselves. The comparative report identifies eight areas of concern that are common among the three countries: (1) inadequate data collection to account for the children and study outcomes; (2) inhospitable, off-shore processing practices; (3) unreliable age assessment tools and confusing policies on the identification of children who are separated from family; (4) problematic reception procedures, especially in the US and Australia, which restrict access to legal assistance; (5) the use of detention, which is mandatory in Australia, as a form of immigration control; (6) a punitive legal process, poorly trained asylum officers, and limited access to translators; (7) systemic "attitudes of disbelief" within the corps of asylum officials; and (8) the low number of unaccompanied children granted asylum, especially noted in the failure to identify and protect victims of child trafficking.

  10. State Child Welfare Policy Database. Casey Family Programs page s . n.d.. English .

    The Web site aims to centralize and make publicly available an array of state child welfare policies so that policy makers, practitioners, and other stakeholders can stay abreast of the policies that protect our nation's most vulnerable children.  Refugee service providers may find this site particularly useful for its information on guardianship.  Information on "guardianship policies" can be found within the section on "kinship care policies." 

  11. The Best Interests of the Child in a Global Perspective. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children Services (BRYCS) 5 page s . 2008 Winter. English .

    U.S. child welfare laws are local - established at the state or county level - but they share a common foundation with international child welfare standards by emphasizing best interests in decisions about children. Recently, George Mason University hosted a three-day transnational conference on the "Protection of Unaccompanied and Separated Children," which looked at the application of the best interests principle to children in migratory situations. This Spotlight article focuses on protection issues that migrating children have in common with children in U.S. foster care.

  12. War Exposure, Daily Stressors, and Mental Health in Conflict and Post-Conflict Settings: Bridging the Divide Between Trauma-Focused and Psychosocial Frameworks. Rasmussen, Andrew , Miller, Kenneth E. 7-16 page s . October 2009. English .,_Ph.D./CV_files/War%20Experiences,%20Daily%20Stressors,%20and%20Mental%20Health.pdf

    This article argues that trauma-focused advocates overemphasize the impact of direct war exposure on mental health and fail to consider the contribution of daily stressors. 

Cultural Issues

  1. A New World: Immigration and Foster Care. Youth Communication 40 page s . Spring 2010. English .

    This volume of Represent was written by and for young people in the foster care system and provides information for youth on Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, the right to education, and more. 

  2. Child Abuse and Culture: Working with Diverse Families. Fontes, Lisa Aronson 239 page s . February 2005. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    This book provides a framework for culturally competent practice in child maltreatment cases. It offers vital knowledge and tools to help professionals from any background play a more positive, effective role in the lives of diverse children and families.

  3. I Came All This Way for Them: Refugee Parents in Their Own Words. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children's Services (BRYCS) 5 page s . Fall 2009. English .

    From 2006 to 2008, BRYCS staff interviewed a dozen refugee parents from nine different countries, asking them to reflect on their parenting experiences before and after coming to the United States. This Spotlight article summarizes themes and common concerns from these "Parenting Conversations."

  4. Journey of Dreams: Fleeing for Their Lives on a Perilous Path to Freedom. Pellegrino, Marge 250 page s . 2009. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    This story is about how Tomasa, a Quiché Maya, and her family fled Guatemala in the 1980s. This gripping novel shows how in the midst of tragedy, their love and loyalty keeps them going on their harrowing journey as refugees to the United States, where they can keep their Mayan traditions alive and live in peace.

  5. Muslim Child: Understanding Islam through Stories and Poems. Khan, Rukhsana 104 page s . 1999. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    This book is a child-centered introduction to Islam.  Through a collection of short stories and poems, this book examines the everyday lives and struggles of Muslim children as they learn to follow the path of Islam, one of the world’s major religions and a way of life that is often misunderstood.  With more and more Muslim refugee children arriving to the United States, this book may be helpful in teaching non-Muslim children more about their peers. 

  6. National Center for Cultural Competence (NCCC) (Web site). National Center for Cultural Competence (NCCC) . English Spanish .

    Provides information about effective and appropriate early intervention and preschool practices that are sensitive to and respectful of children and families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. The bilingual (English-Spanish) web site is sponsored by the Early Childhood Research Institute on Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS), a federally funded collaborative effort of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Council for Exceptional Children, the ERIC Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education, and others. The web site contains information about CLAS, including its mission, goals, and staff and advisory board; an overview of key cultural barriers to effective interventions; access to publications aimed at service providers, administrators, and early childhood or special education practitioners, including review guidelines and technical reports; an on-line searchable database of educational materials and newsletters; and links to other professional organizations, early childhood research projects and institutes, clearinghouses, and government agencies. Visitors to the site also may fill in a detailed form to receive culture-specific information.

  7. Raising Children in a New Country: An Illustrated Handbook. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children's Services (BRYCS) 36 page s . September 2007. Arabic Burmese English Hmong Karen Nepali Somali Spanish .

    This booklet was created for agencies serving refugees and immigrants in order to support their efforts to ensure that newcomer parents have the basic information they need about U.S. laws and parenting practices. Although newcomers may find the booklet useful by itself, it is primarily intended for case managers and other service providers to use together with their refugee and immigrant clients. The booklet is targeted to newcomer parents with low levels of English proficiency and/or low literacy levels. Since the often complex concepts illustrated here are necessarily simplified, the resource section (pages 28-31) provides easy-to-access information for service providers to supplement the basic points in this booklet. For best results, BRYCS recommends using this booklet in culturally appropriate parent support groups, preferably run by at least one experienced newcomer parent of the same ethnicity and one U.S.-born parent, where refugee and immigrant parents can ask questions, try out new behaviors, and find positive support to help ease their transition. (See the BRYCS publication Parenting in a New Country: A Toolkit for Working with Newcomer Parents for more information on parent support groups, including curricula and other educational information).

    This booklet has also been translated into Burmese, Karen, Nepali, Spanish,and White Hmong by local refugee agencies and public schools but you must email for copies of these translations.

  8. Sexual Abuse in Nine North American Cultures: Treatment and Prevention. Fontes, Lisa Aronson (ed.) 328 page s . 1995. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    "A beautiful foreword by Eliana Gil and a very helpful preface and introduction by the editor, Lisa Aronson Fontes, elucidate the many ways in which culture is relevant to sexual abuse. They set the personal tone and the fresh scholarly information that characterizes the chapters. The reader is treated to an impressive, state-of-the-art array of ideas on culture that opens new avenues for inquiry." - Publisher's description

  9. Suggestions for Interviewing Refugee and Immigrant Children. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children's Services (BRYCS) 3 page s . Winter 2009. English .

    Interviewing recently arrived refugee or immigrant children and families takes special sensitivity, preparation, and frequently a foreign language interpreter. Whether your topic is child abuse, education, health or other issues, this list of suggestions can help you prepare to interview refugee or immigrant children and families. Highlighted Resources: Interpretation: Serving Refugee and Immigrant Children

Immigration and Legal Issues

  1. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for SIJS Applicants and Video Clips. Child Advocacy and Immigration Clinic page s . n.d.. Chinese English Spanish This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    These resources are New York City specific and the FAQ document answers some questions that other documents do not address. the video clips (see left column on the home page of this resource link) may be the most helpful element. SIJS-applicant youth may be encouraged to see and hear other youth like themselves who have overcome similarly difficult circumstances and who have persevered throughout the lengthy SIJS process.

  2. Immigration and You: A Manual for Children. National Immigrant Justice Center , Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights 28 page s . 2014. English French Hindi Mandarin Punjabi Somali Spanish .

    Provides a basic explanation of the United States' immigration system for unaccompanied children who are being detained by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). Easy-to-comprehend answers are offered to the following questions about: (1) why a child is not allowed to enter the U.S. without permission; (2) the role of the immigration judge; (3) the process whereby a child may live with a family member or friend of the family living legally in the U.S.; (4) the importance of keeping court appointments, telling the truth, and reading all documents; (5) what to expect from a lawyer; (6) how to stay legally in the U.S., including the necessity of returning temporarily to one's home country in order to get permission to emigrate to the U.S.; the special status of asylum seekers; and special visas for children who have been harmed, abandoned, or neglected by their parents; (7) what happens when a judge orders a child to be sent back to his or her home country; and (8) a child's rights when detained by the INS, including communication with an attorney and access to health care. Includes simple drawings, a glossary of terms, and a listing of inexpensive, free immigration service providers.

  3. Immigration: What Teens Need To Know. Public Counsel Law Center 25 page s . 2010. English .

    "This booklet discusses some immigration laws in a general way. It may give you preliminary answers to immigration questions. You should note that just because you meet certain requirements does not mean you automatically can become a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) or citizen." - Publisher's description

  4. Legal Fact Sheets: Immigration Options for Undocumented Children. Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) 15 page s . June 2006. English .

    Provides a collection of fact sheets for quick reference for use by advocates. The topics include: Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), Family Visas, U Visas, U.S. Citizenship, Asylum, and Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

  5. Living in the United States: A Guide for Immigrant Youth. Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) 31 page s . 2007. English Korean Spanish .

    This guide explains immigration laws for use by immigrant youth and contrasts the various legal rights and restrictions of a U.S. citizen vs. a green card holder vs. an undocumented person. (Note: Some immigration legal information may have changed since publication.)

  6. SIJS Caseworker's Toolkit for Children in Federal Custody. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops/Migration and Refugee Services (USCCB/MRS) . 2008. English .

    This toolkit was primarily developed for foster care caseworkers assisting children in the federal custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement's Division of Children's Services (ORR/DCS), to ensure that SIJS-eligible children receive the assistance and case monitoring they need during the SIJS application process. In addition, this toolkit may also help social service and legal practitioners working with other children who may be eligible for SIJS. This toolkit consists of nine products, which include flow charts, Q & As, and lists of resources.  It was updated in 2012.

  7. Unaccompanied Alien Children: Policies and Issues. Haddal, Chad C. 37 page s . March 1, 2007. English .

    This CRS Report for Congress, highlights the numerous arguments and issues regarding unaccompanied alien children. The report examines the issues from the perspective of child welfare advocates as well as immigration security advocates.

  8. Unaccompanied Children in the United States: A Literature Review. VERA Institute of Justice 47 page s . April 2008. English .

    Provides an overview of the published research on unaccompanied immigrant children in the United States in order to support a pilot program, the Unaccompanied Children Pro Bono Project (UACPBP), designed to provide timely legal assistance to children through the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). A brief overview of the migration of unaccompanied children and the standards of international law and the Best Interests Principle provides historical background. Policies on the detention, release, and repatriation of children outline the current legal procedures to process these children. Application procedures for asylum, special immigrant juvenile status, and trafficking victims are outlined. Legal representation can be improved by tracking the data collection for the migration of unaccompanied children, developing child-focused policies on the need for advocates, regulating the confidentiality, repatriation, and reunification policies, and increasing the number of attorneys available to assist. Treatment of these children needs to improve by reducing the conditions and length of detention, transferring responsibility for the children to the ORR, and creating awareness courses to identify and reduce child trafficking victims.

  9. What Happens When I Go To Immigration Court?. Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children , Holland & Knight 8 page s . July 2006. Creole English French Spanish .

    This video aims to orient children who are placed in immigration proceedings and must appear in immigration court before the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). It uses child-centered techniques to familiarize the child with these administrative legal proceedings and helps put children at ease and begins to foster the trust and openness needed for representing the child during the immigration court proceeding. An accompanying user's guide is available and provides important tips for professionals on the optimal ways to use the video with children. The user's guide is for child advocates, attorneys, and other professionals who are assisting children through proceedings in front of the immigration court.