State Policy

Resources on this page highlight state-specific policies at the intersection of immigration and child welfare, many of which may serve as promising models for study and replication across the country.

Immigrant Families and Child Welfare Systems: Emerging Needs and Promising Policies

By | Child Welfare System Research, Federal Policy, Highlighted Resources, Immigrant Families Research, Law & Policy, Practice, Research, Social Workers, State Policy

Immigrant Families and Child Welfare Systems: Emerging Needs and Promising Policies

Mark Greenberg, Randy Capps, Andrew Kalweit, Jennifer Grishkin, and Ann Flagg, Migration Policy Institute (April 2019)

Some states and localities have developed specialized policies and practices for working with children in immigrant families, though these vary considerably. This report explores this diversity of approaches, drawing on interviews with child welfare officials from 14 states, six counties, and New York City. For each of nine key issues—ranging from agency staffing and training, to language access policies and cooperation with foreign consulates—the researchers identify a recommended approach and discuss relevant policies and practices.

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Keeping Immigrant Families in the Child Protection System Together

By | Federal Policy, Foster Care, Immigrant Youth, Law & Policy, Law/Policy Highlight, Legal/Law, State Policy

Keeping Immigrant Families in the Child Protection System Together

Ann Park, American Bar Association (March 26, 2019)

This article discusses legislation enacted in California that addresses some of these questions, as well as recent federal policy that helps safeguard the parental rights of undocumented immigrants involved in federal immigration enforcement proceedings. Additionally, this article reviews federal child welfare law and policy that support best practices for working with immigrant families.

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Healthy Mind, Healthy Future: Promoting the Mental Health and Wellbeing of Children in Immigrant Families in California

By | Child Well-Being, Early Childhood, Highlighted Resources, Immigrant Families Research, Immigrant Youth, Research, Research Highlight, State Policy, State Specific Resources, Topics

Healthy Mind, Healthy Future: Promoting the Mental Health and Wellbeing of Children in Immigrant Families in California

The Children’s Partnership & California Policy Center (August, 2018)

The Children’s Partnership and the California Immigrant Policy Center launched Healthy Mind, Healthy Future, a research and policy project focused on better understanding the impact of immigration enforcement on the mental health and wellbeing of children in immigrant families.

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Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

By | Foster Care, Law & Policy, Law/Policy Highlight, Legal/Law, Social Work, State Policies, State Policy

Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records

Child Welfare Information Gateway (2017)

This publication presents an overview of state laws that designate the officials and entities that may have access to the confidential records of child abuse and neglect reports and investigations, the circumstances under which information may be disclosed, and the appropriate use of confidential information. Public disclosure of information in cases of child abuse-related fatalities or near fatalities also is addressed. Summaries of laws related to these issues for all states and U.S. territories are included.

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Our Children’s Fear: Immigration Policy’s Effects on Young Children

By | Child Well-Being, Early Childhood, Immigrant Families Research, Immigrant Youth, Immigration Enforcement, Law & Policy, Legal/Law, Research, Research Highlight, Social Work, State Policies, State Policy

Our Children’s Fear: Immigration Policy’s Effects on Young Children

Hannah Matthews, Rebecca Ullrich, and Wendy Cervantes, CLASP (March 1, 2018)

This report documents how the current immigration context is affecting our nation’s youngest children, under age eight, based on interviews and focus groups in 2017 with more than 150 early childhood educators and parents in six states—California, Georgia, Illinois, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

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Implications of Immigration Status on Foster Care Licensure

By | Child Well-Being, Foster Care, Immigrant Youth, Kinship Care, Law & Policy, Law/Policy Highlight, Legal/Law, State Policy | No Comments

Implications of Immigration Status on Foster Care Licensure

American Bar Association (June 2017)

Foster parents follow guidelines for credentialing that vary by state. Although nothing in federal law prohibits persons with undocumented status from becoming foster parents, many states – but not all – prohibit those who are undocumented from obtaining foster parent status. This lack of credentialing opportunity for those without legal status results in both reduced financial resources to those relatives who potentially want to foster and are not documented and reduced opportunity for children to be placed in kinship care situations when these constraints are prohibitive.

State variations in law and policy are examined here for how they affect foster licensure.

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State Immigration Policy Resource

By | Immigration Enforcement, Law & Policy, Law/Policy Highlight, Legal/Law, State Policies, State Policy | No Comments

State Immigration Policy Resource

Julia Gelatt; Hamutal Bernstein and Heather Koball, Urban Institute (May 4, 2017)

The Urban Institute’s State Immigration Policy Resource compiles state-level immigrant and immigration policies in three major areas: enforcement, public benefit access, and integration.

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Family and Juvenile Law: Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and the California Courts

By | Immigrant Youth, Immigration Relief, Law & Policy, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), State Policies, State Policy, Unaccompanied Minors

Family and Juvenile Law: Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and the California Courts

Judicial Council of California (October 6, 2014)

California Senate Bill 873 clarifies the role and responsibility of the superior courts in making the findings needed for determining whether an individual is eligible for Special Immigration Juvenile Status. This report provides information regarding the background for this legislation as well as the efforts underway to assist the courts (i.e., providing education, resources, and other services).

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All County Letter No. 14-21

By | Family Separation, Immigration Enforcement, Immigration Relief, Kinship Care, Law & Policy, Social Work, State Policies, State Policy

All County Letter No. 14-21

State of California Health and Human Services Agency, Department of Social Services (March 19, 2014)

In March of 2014, the California Department of Social Services issued this all county letter, which provides information on the key components of Senate Bill 1064.

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Webinar: The Reuniting Immigrant Families Act: A Case Study on California’s Senate Bill 1064

By | Family Separation, Immigration Enforcement, Immigration Relief, Kinship Care, Law & Policy, Presentations, Social Work, State Policies, State Policy

Webinar: The Reuniting Immigrant Families Act: A Case Study on California’s Senate Bill 1064

First Focus and State Policy Advocacy & Reform Center (June 11, 2013)

This is a recording of the The Reuniting Immigrant Families Act: A Case Study on California’s Senate Bill 1064 webinar. Speakers included Yali Lincroft, Consultant, First Focus Campaign for Children; Wendy Cervantes, Vice President, Immigration and Child Rights Policy, First Focus Campaign for Children; Alex Salgado, Legislative Aide to California Senator Kevin de Leon; and Laurie Melrood, Children’s Advocate, Arizona.

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Children’s Legal Rights Journal: Special Issue on Immigrant Children and Families

By | Child Maltreatment, Child Well-Being, Deportation, Detention, Family Separation, Federal Policy, Immigrant Youth, Immigration Enforcement, Immigration Relief, Law & Policy, Legal/Law, Resources, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), State Policies, State Policy, Unaccompanied Minors

Children’s Legal Rights Journal: Special Issue on Immigrant Children and Families

Civitas Child Law Center, Loyola University Chicago & the ABA Center on Children and the Law (Spring 2013)

This special issue includes articles that address the intersection between the legal and child welfare systems.

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Implications of Important State Child Welfare/Immigration-Related Appellate Court Opinions

By | Child Maltreatment, Child Well-Being, Foster Care, Immigrant Youth, Immigration Enforcement, Immigration Relief, Law & Policy, State Policies, State Policy

Implications of Important State Child Welfare/Immigration-Related Appellate Court Opinions

Migration and Child Welfare National Network (April 2013)

This brief, written by Howard Davidson, Director of the ABA Center on Children and the Law, American Bar Association, reviews a number of state appellate court decisions that have involved immigration issues in child welfare cases. For each case, a summary of the appellate court opinion is presented, along with implications for child welfare and legal systems.

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California Senate Bill 1064: Reuniting Immigrant Families

By | Deportation, Detention, Family Separation, Foster Care, Immigration Enforcement, Immigration Relief, Kinship Care, Law & Policy, Legal/Law, Social Work, State Policies, State Policy

California Senate Bill 1064: Reuniting Immigrant Families

California Senate (September 30, 2012)

Signed into law October 1, 2012, the Reuniting Immigrant Families Act prioritizes keeping children with their families and out of the public child welfare system when possible. SB1064 authorizes more time for child welfare agencies to find and reunite detained and deported parents with their children or find placement with relatives, regardless of their immigration status. It requires the California Department of Social Services to provide guidance on filing special immigrant relief options and for working with foreign consulates regarding the custody of children of deported parents.

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Special Status Seekers: Through the Underused SIJS Process, Immigrant Juveniles May Obtain Legal Status

By | Federal Policy, Immigrant Youth, Immigration Relief, Law & Policy, Legal Professionals, Legal/Law, Practice, Resources, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), State Policies, State Policy, Unaccompanied Minors

Special Status Seekers: Through the Underused SIJS Process, Immigrant Juveniles May Obtain Legal Status

Los Angeles Lawyer (February 2012)

Written by Kristen Jackson, this article discusses the use of Special Immigrant Juvenile Status as a form of immigration relief for immigrant youth.

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