Immigrant families and public child welfare: barriers to services and approaches for change

Child Welfare. Jul-Aug 2007;86(4):63-91.


This article describes the results of two focus groups of immigrant parents who recently experienced child protective investigations in New York City. The purpose of this study was: 1) to hear immigrant parents describe their experiences with child welfare services, 2) to identify barriers to services these parents encountered, and 3) advocate for changes in policy, program, and practice so that public child welfare services can effectively address the special needs of immigrant families, children, and youth. Barriers to child welfare services identified by immigrant parents in this study were caseworker's lack of knowledge about immigration status, cultural misunderstanding, and language access issues. Recommendations for addressing these barriers are offered.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child Health Services / organization & administration
  • Child Health Services / supply & distribution*
  • Child Welfare / psychology*
  • Child Welfare / statistics & numerical data
  • Child, Preschool
  • Communication Barriers*
  • Cultural Competency
  • Emigrants and Immigrants / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Emigrants and Immigrants / psychology*
  • Emigrants and Immigrants / statistics & numerical data
  • Family Characteristics
  • Family Relations
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Healthcare Disparities
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • New York City
  • Public Policy
  • Qualitative Research