Working with Immigrants and Refugees

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.