NASW to issue Brief with Guidelines to Help Unaccompanied Immigrant Children

Jul 22, 2014

The National Association of Social Workers is concerned by the massive influx of unaccompanied child immigrants from Central America, and is developing a brief that will include recommendations to help alleviate the crisis.

Many of these recommendations were developed by The First Focus Campaign for Children, a national nonpartisan advocacy organization. NASW has also consulted with state chapters who are working on the ground to help immigrant children.

The NASW Department of Social Justice and Human Rights Issues Brief – Unaccompanied Migrant Children: Overview and Recommendations will be released soon. The brief will contain guidelines that will help social workers, federal agencies and organizations that work with immigrant populations .

These recommendations include:

  • Adopting a policy that all decisions affecting unaccompanied child immigrants should be made in the best interest of the child.
  • Congress should increase funding so there are adequate resources for housing, medical treatment and other services for children who are apprehended.
  • The Department of Human Services should ensure temporary holding facilities and emergency shelters meet humanitarian standards for children set forth in the Flores v. Reno settlement and the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008. These standards should be codified in DHS regulations.

For more on this issue ontact NASW Social Justice Department Director Mel Wilson at


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