Issue briefs and research findings

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Issue Briefs From the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being

The research briefs below report findings from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-being (NSCAW) on the characteristics, risk factors and types of maltreatment present in cases involving children of immigrants who come to the attention of child welfare systems.

NSCAW is a nationally representative sample of children involved in child maltreatment investigations that was collected under contract from the Administration for Children and Families. NSCAW employed a two-stage stratified sampling design in order to produce national population estimates.

The findings reported in these briefs represent the first national data available on the presence of children of immigrants in the child welfare system. In addition, these findings identify significant differences in the presence of risk factors and types of maltreatment between children of immigrants and children of U.S.-born parents. Increased awareness of these differences can facilitate a culturally competent understanding of the dynamics of risk and maltreatment in immigrant families.

Children of Immigrants in the Child Welfare System: Findings From the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (Part I) by Alan J. Dettlaff, Ph.D., and Ilze Earner, Ph.D.

Latino Children of Immigrants in the Child Welfare System: Findings From the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (Part II) by Alan J. Dettlaff, Ph.D., and Ilze Earner, Ph.D.


Undocumented and Abused: A Texas Case Study of Children in the Child Protective Services System

The Center for Public Policy Priorities has released a study looking at undocumented children in the child welfare system. Using Texas as a case study, the article examines who these children are and discusses why a blanket policy to send them home will not work. It also discusses how to improve the process through which these children can obtain legal residency. Finally, the article explains how federal immigration and child welfare law should be aligned to ensure our country acts responsibly and that the federal government provides states the necessary financial support to care for this vulnerable population.

Download the article at the center’s website.


First Focus and the Migration and Child Welfare National Network -Caught Between Systems: The Intersection of Immigration and Child Welfare Policies Reports

First Focus has partnered with the Migration and Child Welfare National Network in developing a comprehensive series of papers and fact sheets, titled Caught Between Systems: The Intersection of Immigration and Child Welfare Policies. This series examines the many challenges that arise when the immigration and child welfare systems collide, and it provides solutions on how the two systems can work together to better protect the interests of children and families.

Papers from this series include:

Related fact sheets:


Urban Institute Issue Briefs

Leading experts on migration and child welfare from the Urban Institute address additional topics:

Foster Care Placement Settings and Permanency Planning: Patterns by Child Generation and Ethnicity

Child Sexual Abuse: Removals by Child Generation and Ethnicity

Title IV-E Funding : Funded Foster Care Placements by Child Generation and Ethnicity


The Texas Learning Laboratory: Research Findings

A project team with the Migration and Child Welfare National Network is working with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to examine the steps taken when immigrant families come to the attention of the child welfare system.

Download the project abstract for more information.

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