Child Welfare

BRYCS / Claudia Gilmore

Since its inception, BRYCS has worked to decrease the historical disconnect between public child welfare systems and refugee service providers. The need for coordination between child welfare agencies and refugee service providers continues to increase, as many agencies face significant challenges identifying refugee families, locating appropriate resources, and providing culturally competent services.

BRYCS supports efforts to increase collaboration and cross-service training between child welfare and refugee service professionals. Such cross-service trainings enable child welfare workers to understand the cultural and political context from which refugees come, so that child protective service (CPS) and child welfare caseworkers can respond with cultural sensitivity when working with refugee families. Similarly, cross-service training's can educate refugee service workers about child welfare and family preservation services available in a particular community, so that refugee service workers can in turn educate refugee clients about relevant services available to families.

Perhaps most importantly, cross-service training's develop professional connections, relationships and respect between these two professional fields, reducing misunderstandings and misperceptions and increasing collaboration on behalf of refugee families in need. 

The Central American Minor (CAM) Program

The CAM Program was established in December 2014 in response to the arrival of an unprecedented number of unaccompanied youth from Central America on the southern U.S. border.  Administered by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, the CAM program is seen as one prong of a multi-pronged humanitarian response to the plight of unaccompanied children threatened by the violence in Central America.  BRYCS' new CAM page pulls together a wealth of resources intended to assist resettlement and other social service agency staff, as well as community members, and parents of Central American youth to understand and engage with the program.  Available resources range from outreach flyers and videos aimed at families who may qualify for CAM, to webinars and fact sheets covering topics such as eligibility and filing applications on behalf of Central American youth (called CAM-AORs, or Affidavits of Relationship).  Check out the page now to learn more about CAM and to see what resources are available!

BRYCS Publications, Toolkits, Trainings & Webinars:

To see any of the BRYCS-authored resources on child welfare, visit the child welfare section of the publications page.

Promising Practices:

The Unaccompanied Refugee Minor (URM) foster care programs are an example of the positive service models that can emerge from an integration of child welfare and refugee service expertise. BRYCS has identified and documented some of the URM service models as "promising practices".