The Intersection of Immigration and Child Welfare

Immigration has been a defining feature of the United States throughout its history. Currently, children represent one of the largest and fastest-growing immigrant populations in the United States. As a result of this growth, the child welfare field faces many new issues of practice, policy and research specific to children from immigrant families. Child welfare workers need to have the resources to actively pursue answers to a large number of confusing situations and questions that impact the lives of children from immigrant families.

This website includes information produced by and for child welfare agencies working with immigrants. Much of this information was collected for the Annie E Casey Foundation's policy report, Undercounted, Underserved: Immigrants and Refugees in the Child Welfare System. This report focuses on the specific needs of immigrant and refugee children in the child welfare system and presents best practices and policy recommendations for better serving these populations. For more information about this topic, please contact

In addition, the Annie E Casey Foundation has joined leading organizations in the fields of immigration and child welfare in creating the Migration and Child Welfare National Network (MCWNN). Formed in 2006, this partnership includes the American Bar Association, Annie E Casey Foundation, BRYCS/US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Casey Family Programs, Hunter College, International Social Services Agency, Loyola University, University of Illinois, and many others.

MCWNN's mission is:

  • To create a national forum on the emerging impact of migration on child welfare services;
  • To facilitate discussion and relationship building at the research and policy levels among leaders in child welfare and juvenile court systems, universities and advocacy organizations;
  • To open opportunities for transnational dialogues among child protection agencies; and
  • To focus multi-disciplinary expertise around the country on the intersection of the major policy areas of migration and child welfare.

Membership to the Migration and Child Welfare National Network is free, and members learn from the experience and expertise of others. The Network currently has four main areas of focus: policy/advocacy, promising practices, research and transnational relations. For more information please go to the MCWNN website.

Resources Produced by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Family to Family (Pacific Region)

Resources Produced for Public Child Welfare Agencies

Sample Forms from Public Child Welfare Agencies, including MOUs with the Mexican Consulate

Resources Produced for Immigrant Foster Youth and Families

Workshop and Conferences/Presentations and Powerpoints

National Legal/Immigrant Serving Organizations

Policy and Research