Undercounted, Underserved

Immigrant and Refugee Families in the Child Welfare System

Posted January 1, 2006
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
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AECF undercounted


More and more immigrant children are entering the U.S. child welfare system — a system that is not consistently prepared to meet their complex needs. This report outlines the needs of immigrant and refugee children in the child welfare system, identifies the challenges they face, highlights promising practices being developed across the country and shares recommendations from a consultative session with national experts and child welfare practitioners.

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations

Key Takeaway

Immigrant children need improved child welfare services, too.

Immigrant children are the new Americans. It is important that this rapidly growing population receives the services they need to thrive. Most of these children live in mixed legal status households with one or more non-citizen parents, underscoring the difficulty in differentiating the undocumented immigrant community from the general immigrant community. Improving child welfare for immigrant families must be part of the larger conversation about improving the overall child welfare system for all children. This report shows that child welfare agencies, community organizations, legislative bodies and other advocates all have a role to play in making this happen.