Kristen Torres Director

Kristen is the Policy Director for Child Welfare and Immigration for First Focus. She earned her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Alabama. In addition to the child welfare and immigration policy issue areas, Kristen assists with the State Policy Advocacy & Reform Center (SPARC), a coalition of state child welfare advocates.

Prior to joining First Focus, Kristen interned at the Hinds County Public Defender’s office in Jackson, Mississippi. She advocated for policy changes related to mental health, criminal justice reform, and family economics. Before finishing her bachelor’s degree, Kristen worked in healthcare for long-term care and memory care patients.

Kristen lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband and two children.

Resources by Kristen Torres


Statement: Proposed Rule Would Allow Indefinite Detention of Children

| September 11, 2018 |

Detention for any amount of time has negative life-long consequences for a child’s mental and physical well-being, and these consequences are compounded for children who have already


Deadline Looms for Reuniting Separated Families

| July 25, 2018 |

While family reunification efforts due to the Trump administration’s family separation policy are underway, more than one thousand families still face significant hurdles to


House Bill Tackling Opioid Epidemic Emphasizes Needs of Affected Children

| June 28, 2018 |

On Friday, June 22, the House of Representatives passed H. R. 6, SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, by a vote of 396 –


This Foster Care Month, Pass Laws to Improve the Lives of Foster Children

| May 7, 2018 |

May is National Foster Care Month. Last week President Trump issued a statement in support of this recognition and expressed gratitude for the thousands


Separating Children From Their Families Is Cruel and Un-American

| April 26, 2018 |

An 18-month-old toddler is currently being held in San Antonio while the mother is 120 miles away in an immigration detention center. A mother


The New Children’s Crusade

| March 14, 2018 |

“Thoughts and Prayers Don’t Save Lives, student lie-in at the White House to protest gun laws” by Lorie Shaull is licensed under CC BY 2.0. It was


The State of Play for DACA and Dreamers

| February 9, 2018 |

On Friday morning, Congress passed the Bipartisan Budget Act which included important gains for children and families such as: An additional four-year extension of


Terminating TPS will Force Families to Make Desperate Decisions

| January 8, 2018 |

Today the Trump Administration ended the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for almost 200,000 Salvadorans who were granted protections from deportation when multiple earthquakes shook


Ending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) will Harm Hundreds of Thousands of U.S. Children

| November 28, 2017 |

On November 20th, the Trump administration announced that it was ending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for more than 60,000 Haitians who came to the


Problematic Loophole in Protections for Juvenile Status Offenders

| November 7, 2017 |

For decades, the Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) has provided protections for kids in the juvenile justice system. Prior to the enactment of