This report discusses the findings from a qualitative study that investigated the experiences of children whose parents are deported or detained, the primary health and human services needs of these children, barriers children and families face in accessing services, and promising approaches for delivering services to children with deported and detained parents. The study team selected five fieldwork locations and chose key contacts who regularly interacted with families experiencing parental deportation and with immigrant communities more generally. The team also held group discussions with spouses and other family members of detained or deported parents, and individual discussions with parents in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers. Visits to these locations occurred in 2013. Findings indicate: children experienced a number of harms following a parent’s detention or deportation; Immigration and Customs Enforcement took actions intended to reduce harm to children with parents in custody; children with detained or deported parents had difficulty accessing conventional health, mental health, early education, and social services; and diverse State and local organizations developed promising approaches to better meet children’s needs. The report concludes with recommendations for providing services and reducing harm to children with detained and deported parents. Recommendations includes having health and human service agencies improve their staff’s language capacity, cultural competence, and knowledge of issues associated with immigration status, building bridges between health and human services agencies and informal local organizations that immigrants trust, coordination among the key agencies, ensuring good leadership to yield stronger coordination and service delivery, and institutionalizing promising strategies used by small organizations to serve children with detained and deported parents. Numerous references.
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Health and Social Service Needs of US-Citizen Children with Detained or Deported Immigrant Parents.