Barriers to Support Service Use for Latino Immigrant Families Reported to Child Welfare: Implications for Policy and PracticeChild Abuse & Neglect Children of Immigrants Racial Equity
This brief, authored by Megan Finno-Velasquez at the University of Southern California School of Social Work, examines the interaction of Latino immigrant families with the child welfare system. The underutilization of concrete services, or basic safety net supports such as income assistance, employment, housing and legal services, and Medicaid, by immigrants is widely documented across several service sectors. Yet evidence is lacking on the use of such services among immigrants reported to child welfare for the purposes of preventing and reducing maltreatment. Experts speculate that Latino immigrants involved with the child welfare system may face steep challenges to receiving needed services due to issues surrounding legal status, language, and cultural barriers. This brief highlights the findings of a study that explores the extent to which immigration status impacts referral to, and receipt of, concrete services by Latino families reported for child maltreatment. Data were drawn from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-being II (NSCAW II), a federally funded and nationally representative sample of families investigated by child welfare agencies for maltreatment between April 2008 and September 2009. The brief concludes with recommendations for policy and practice.