Children and youth born to immigrant parents are an increasingly large population within the U.S. Working with immigrant and refugee families in our programs requires specialized approaches and interventions. Children and youth of immigrant families face economic hardships and additional barriers to accessing domestic violence services, legal assistance, health care and other social services.
At a minimum, programs should ensure they have a clear understanding of ALL family members’ perspectives and experiences with violence. Advocates should consider experiences with historical trauma in addition to current experiences of violence.
Questions to consider in working with immigrant and refugee families:
- Ask the family which language it prefers to use
- Develop intake forms and other documents in a variety of languages
- Ask questions about the family’s ethnic background
- Have access to qualified interpreters–rather than using children or other family members to translate
- Partner with culturally specific agencies to ensure each family receives appropriate services and case management
- Provide advocates with training on cultural responsiveness
- Ensure your program staff reflects the racial and ethnic diversity within your community
Below are some helpful links for working with immigrant and refugee families.
- IWP Family Law for Immigrants: Practice materials, resources, and information on the intersection of family and immigration law and the impact on women, children, and victims
- Parental Rights of Immigrant Parents
- Living in the United States: A Guide for Immigrant Youth
- Activist Dialogues: How Domestic Violence And Child Welfare Impact Women Of Color And Their Communities
- Remedies for Immigrant Children & Youth
- Immigration provisions for Battered Spouse, Children & Parents
- Immigration Options for Victims of Crime
- Understanding Children, Immigration And Family Violence: A National Examination Of The Issues
- Mental Health Interventions for Refugee Children in Resettlement
- Immigrant and Refugee Power and Control Wheel
- Additional Resources, Research, Reports and Articles
- Multilingual Resources