BRYCS Wednesday Webinar Series - Child Abuse Issues with Refugee Populations

  1. Building Bridges: A Guide to Planning and Implementing Cross-Service Training. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children's Services (BRYCS) 35 page s . 2003. English .

    Outlines a training program for service providers in the specific needs of refugee families, with an emphasis on coordination of services among public child welfare agencies, refugee-servicing agencies, and refugee community associations. Developed by Bridging Refugee Youth & Children's Services (BRYCS), this guide reinforces the concept of establishing mechanisms of ongoing communication and collaboration among all service providers through cross-service training, with the ultimate goal of creating and sustaining a comprehensive continuum of care for the refugee population. The guide covers key steps in the process of cross-service training, including: (1) determining how local resettlement agencies, mutual assistance associations, public child welfare agencies, and mainstream organizations interact with one another; (2) establishing a task force to spearhead the development and implementation of cross-service training; (3) defining the focus of the training itself; (4) estimating both timelines and budget needs; (5) outlining the training agenda and preparing materials; and (6) evaluating the training program. Also contains numerous charts, worksheets, and case studies as well as a list of background reading.

  2. Child Abuse and Culture: Working with Diverse Families. Fontes, Lisa Aronson 239 page s . February 2005. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    This book provides a framework for culturally competent practice in child maltreatment cases. It offers vital knowledge and tools to help professionals from any background play a more positive, effective role in the lives of diverse children and families.

  3. Child Welfare Information Gateway (website). Children's Bureau, Administration for Children and Families (ACF) , U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) . English Spanish .

    Formerly the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information (NCCANI) and the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse (NAIC), Child Welfare Information Gateway provides access to information and resources to help protect children and strengthen families.

    This Web site includes information on:

    1. Child Abuse and Neglect (overview)
    2. Family-Centered Practice
    3. Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect
    4. Supporting and Preserving Families
    5. Out-of-Home Care

    It also has information on Responding to Child Abuse and Neglect, including:

    1. State Laws on Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect
    2. Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect
    3. Numbers to Call to Report Child Abuse (by state)

  4. Cultural Issues in Disclosures of Child Sexual Abuse. Fontes, Lisa Aronson , Plummer, Carol 38 page s . June 2010. English .

     Cultural norms affect the likelihood that child sexual abuse will be discovered by an adult or disclosed by a child. Cultural norms also affect whether abused children's families will report child sexual abuse to authorities. This article explores the ways ethnic and religious culture affect child sexual abuse disclosure and reporting, both in the United States and internationally. Guidelines for culturally sensitive child abuse interviewing are provided to facilitate disclosures of abuse from culturally diverse children in formal settings.

  5. Determining Child Abuse and Neglect Across Cultures. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children's Services (BRYCS) 4 page s . 2005 April. English .

    Although child abuse and neglect exist to some degree in all cultures and societies, the ways in which abuse and neglect are defined are culturally influenced and can differ in important ways. This Spotlight article provides information on child abuse and neglect according to U.S. law - what it is, who are considered mandated reporters, and how reporting should occur - and also addresses the complexity of assessing child abuse and neglect in refugee families.

  6. Families Guide to Child Protection. Children and Family Services 4 page s . 2006. English Hmong Somali Spanish .

    This resource details to process of family assessments and investigations, with an emphasis on the roles and obligations of the social services worker. Though this resource is was developed by the Minnesota DHS, the concepts are general and could be applicable in other states.


  7. Guardianship Toolkit. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children's Services (BRYCS) page s . 2003. English .

    These resources are for those assisting refugee families who are caring for non-biological children (such as grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, siblings, or friends). Overseas, these children are typically referred to as "separated children," while in the U.S. Refugee Program, they are typically referred to as "attached refugee minors." In the U.S. legal and child welfare fields, these caregivers are often referred to as "relative caregivers" or families with "kinship care" arrangements. The toolkit includes fact sheets for both refugee families and the staff that assist them, a highlighted resource list, as well as a searchable directory that provides basic information about the guardianship procedures in each state.

  8. Interviewing Immigrant Children and Families About Child Maltreatment. Fontes, Lisa Aronson page s . 2000. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    Instructs listeners of the audiotape how to conduct open interviews with immigrant and refugee children (even if they do not speak English) who have suffered experiences of child abuse and neglect. Covers background on why culture and demographic information such as non-nuclear arrangements are important. Advises about the location of the interview, the role of adults who accompany children, and the use of interpreters and bilingual interviewers. Nonverbal cues need special attention: gestures, eye contact, seating arrangements, and physical expressiveness, touch, pace of speech, and silence. The interview consists of three phases: (1) building rapport and establishing trust; (2) conducting the assessment; and (3) reaching closure and preparing for the next steps. Sample questions are included as well as suggestions for using aids such as dolls and drawings during the interview as well as consideration of the crime scene in terms of the culture involved. The techniques described are geared specifically to assist social workers, medical professionals, teachers, attorneys, therapists, and law enforcement personnel in developing rapport with diverse children. (IP)

  9. It Shouldn't Hurt to Be a Child. Wisconsin Department of Children and Families 2 page s . 2009. English Hmong Spanish .

    These brochures define the different types of child abuse and neglect, lists the signs, and discusses how you can help report child abuse and neglect. The brochure is also available in Spanish and Hmong.

  10. Keeping Children Safe and Families Together: A Guide for Immigrant Families to Understand Child Abuse and Neglect Laws and Support Services in New York. Coalition for Asian American Children & Families 16 page s . May 2008. Chinese Korean Vietnamese Urdu Hindi Punjabi Bengali .

    This parent education brochure provides information on the child welfare system, appropriate childrearing practices, child discipline laws, parents’ and children's’ rights, and support services.   [Description summarized from source]

  11. Portrait of a Promise: Preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome. Midwest Children's Resource Center page s . 2005. English Hmong Somali Spanish This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    This video is available in Hmong, Somali, and Spanish. The “Portrait of a Promise” program was designed to educate a wide variety of audiences about this form of child abuse by addressing the effects and offering insights on prevention.

  12. Preventing Child Maltreatment in ORR-Funded Care Programs. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children's Services (BRYCS) page s . 2013. English Spanish .

    In an on-going effort to ensure the safety and promote the well-being of unaccompanied undocumented children in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement / Division of Children's Services (ORR/DCS), BRYCS first developed a training curriculum in 2008 on "Preventing Child Maltreatment in ORR-Funded Care Provider Programs," and subsequently trained all ORR/DCS-funded care programs across the U.S.    

    This year, ORR/DCS and BRYCS updated and expanded the original "Tier One" curriculum to respond to recent legislation, such as the Violence Against Women Act, and to ensure that the needs of the most vulnerable children are recognized and addressed.  This Tier One training covers professional ethics and boundaries, types of child maltreatment, and responding to, reporting, and preventing child abuse and neglect.  

    The new "Tier Two" curriculum builds on "Tier One" by encouraging participants to apply their acquired knowledge to the complex scenarios often encountered by program staff who care for the children in ORR/DCS care.  For each "real life" scenario, discussion centers on professional ethics and boundaries; child safety and maltreatment; who needs to know; and how best to respond at all levels of the organization. "Tier Two" creates an environment where care provider staff are motivated to articulate their current practices, assess gaps or difficulties, and then develop, implement and monitor practice improvements.  

    The curriculum, "Preventing Child Maltreatment in ORR-Funded Care Provider Programs," was created and updated by a leading expert in the field of child abuse and culture, Dr. Lisa Aronson Fontes, together with BRYCS Director, Lyn Morland. 

  13. Raising Children in a New Country: A Toolkit for Working with Newcomer Parents. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children's Services (BRYCS) 41 page s . November 2005 (Revised). English .

    Refugee parents need support in maintaining strong relationships with their children and in preventing problems that can limit their children's success in a new country. To aid refugee serving agencies in helping parents, BRYCS has created Raising Children in a New Country: A Toolkit for Working with Refugee Parents. The Toolkit includes: - An overview of research and good practice in parent education programs for refugees - Detailed information about free and fee-based parent support and education resources for refugee-serving agencies, including free access to certain curricula, handouts in different languages and reports - Program development guidance, including fundraising resources and evaluation tools. This Parenting Toolkit is ideal for mutual assistance associations (MAAs), refugee resettlement agencies, and other organizations providing parent support and education programs for refugees and newcomers. BRYCS' goals in developing this parenting toolkit have been twofold: (1) To summarize the "state of the field" in parent support and education with refugee families, and (2) To gather concrete parenting resources, appropriate for use with refugee families, in an easily-accessible format for refugee-serving agencies. This BRYCS resource is designed to make it easier and feasible for refugee-serving agencies to establish effective parent support programs.

  14. Raising Children in a New Country: An Illustrated Handbook. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children's Services (BRYCS) 36 page s . September 2007. Arabic Burmese English Hmong Karen Nepali Somali Spanish .

    This booklet was created for agencies serving refugees and immigrants in order to support their efforts to ensure that newcomer parents have the basic information they need about U.S. laws and parenting practices. Although newcomers may find the booklet useful by itself, it is primarily intended for case managers and other service providers to use together with their refugee and immigrant clients. The booklet is targeted to newcomer parents with low levels of English proficiency and/or low literacy levels. Since the often complex concepts illustrated here are necessarily simplified, the resource section (pages 28-31) provides easy-to-access information for service providers to supplement the basic points in this booklet. For best results, BRYCS recommends using this booklet in culturally appropriate parent support groups, preferably run by at least one experienced newcomer parent of the same ethnicity and one U.S.-born parent, where refugee and immigrant parents can ask questions, try out new behaviors, and find positive support to help ease their transition. (See the BRYCS publication Parenting in a New Country: A Toolkit for Working with Newcomer Parents for more information on parent support groups, including curricula and other educational information).

    This booklet has also been translated into Burmese, Karen, Nepali, Spanish,and White Hmong by local refugee agencies and public schools but you must email for copies of these translations.

  15. Refugee Resettlement and Child Welfare: Collaboration for Child Protection. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children's Services (BRYCS) 3 page s . 2006 Winter. English .

    This Spotlight focuses on collaborations between newcomer services groups and child welfare organizations. Increasingly, public child welfare agencies are recognizing their need to collaborate with agencies serving refugees and immigrants so that services to families from diverse backgrounds occur in a language and culture they understand. Similarly, refugee and immigrant service agencies are recognizing their need to better understand child welfare laws and services, and the resources each discipline can offer the other. For more information, read the interviews with Frances Johnson and Ilze Earner.

  16. Refugees and the U.S. Child Welfare System: Background Information for Service Providers. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children's Services 37 page s . September 2006. English .

    In our interactions with refugee resettlement staff, numerous workers have highlighted the need for practical tools that utilize a "train the trainer" approach and impact service delivery in the field. Many have also expressed uncertainty about the U.S. child welfare system and its function in relation to refugee families. In response to these concerns, we intend this toolkit to be a practical resource that will: 1. Be a training guide for refugee resettlement staff to improve their understanding of how the child welfare system works, and how to access and assist clients in obtaining services. 2. Provide a common vocabulary of child welfare terms, enabling refugee resettlement staff to make appropriate referrals for child welfare services. 3. Dispel misconceptions about child welfare agencies and encourage stronger linkages between child welfare services and refugee resettlement agencies to utilize preventative techniques and ultimately keep refugee children and youth with their families, minimizing the need for child removal. 4. Assist in the development of a network of services based on a common understanding of how and why the child welfare system works and increase partnerships between the resettlement system and child welfare; increase the responsiveness and cultural sensitivity to refugee children, youth and families, while building on their inherent strengths. 5. Empower refugee resettlement staff to make referrals to child protective services as needed, recognizing the safety needs of refugee children and families. We hope this resource will shed light on how the child welfare system works and inspire refugee resettlement workers and administrators to reach out and partner with child welfare agencies in their communities, thus providing more comprehensive services to assist new refugees integrating into communities across the United States.

  17. Resources on the Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Program. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children's Services page s . English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    The following resources provide an overview of the Unaccompanied Refugee Minor (URM) program:

    1. Brochure
    2. Frequently Asked Questions
    3. Information on Reclassification (This document is being updated.)

  18. Sexual Abuse in Nine North American Cultures: Treatment and Prevention. Fontes, Lisa Aronson (ed.) 328 page s . 1995. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    "A beautiful foreword by Eliana Gil and a very helpful preface and introduction by the editor, Lisa Aronson Fontes, elucidate the many ways in which culture is relevant to sexual abuse. They set the personal tone and the fresh scholarly information that characterizes the chapters. The reader is treated to an impressive, state-of-the-art array of ideas on culture that opens new avenues for inquiry." - Publisher's description

  19. State Child Welfare Policy Database. Casey Family Programs page s . n.d.. English .

    The Web site aims to centralize and make publicly available an array of state child welfare policies so that policy makers, practitioners, and other stakeholders can stay abreast of the policies that protect our nation's most vulnerable children.  Refugee service providers may find this site particularly useful for its information on guardianship.  Information on "guardianship policies" can be found within the section on "kinship care policies." 

  20. Suggestions for Interviewing Refugee and Immigrant Children. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children's Services (BRYCS) 3 page s . Winter 2009. English .

    Interviewing recently arrived refugee or immigrant children and families takes special sensitivity, preparation, and frequently a foreign language interpreter. Whether your topic is child abuse, education, health or other issues, this list of suggestions can help you prepare to interview refugee or immigrant children and families. Highlighted Resources: Interpretation: Serving Refugee and Immigrant Children

  21. The Intersectionality of Forced Marriage with Other Forms of Abuse in the United States. Swegman, Casey 16 page s . February 2016. English .

    We now know that many survivors of forced marriage have experienced harm that is overlapping with other forms of violence and yet unique enough to require additional skills and awareness from service providers and others in a position to assist. This paper looks at the connection between forced marriage, child abuse, sexual assault and rape, domestic/family violence, stalking, female genital mutilation/cutting, and human trafficking.

  22. Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Program: Frequently Asked Questions. Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) , United States Conference of Catholic Bishops/Migration and Refugee Services (USCCB/MRS) 3 page s . February 2006. English .

    Provides basic information, in a question-and-answer format, about the fostering of unaccompanied refugee minors, including the locations of current refugee foster care programs and telephone numbers for further information. Questions address (1) who unaccompanied refugee minors are; (2) who is eligible for refugee foster care programs and for how long; (3) what services are available; (4) how the programs are funded and monitored; (5) what kind of foster family or other care arrangements are provided to the minors; (6) how these children respond to foster care and how they fare in the American educational system; (7) who can become a foster parent; and (8) whether unaccompanied minors are ever reunited with their families.

  23. Violence Against Children in Humanitarian Settings: A Literature Review of Population-based Approaches. Stark, Lindsay , Landis, Debbie 12 page s . February 2016. English .

     Children in humanitarian settings are thought to experience increased exposure to violence, which can impair their physical, emotional, and social development. Violence against children has important economic and social consequences for nations as a whole. The purpose of this review is to examine population-based approaches measuring violence against children in humanitarian settings. The authors reviewed prevalence studies of violence against children in humanitarian contexts appearing in peer reviewed journals within the past twenty years.