Published on October 30, 2007
Including and Serving Immigrant Families in Early Childcare: Alicia F. Lieberman Child Trauma Research Project University of California San Francisco San Francisco General Hospital Including and Serving Immigrant Families in Early Childcare What Is Unique About Immigrants?: What Is Unique About Immigrants? Linguistic discontinuity Unfamiliarity with institutions Lack of comfort with new social mores Different hierarchy of values Childhood Adversity and Minority Status : Childhood Adversity and Minority Status Minority children are more likely to be poor Risk factors cluster around poverty The impact of risk factors is cumulative Minority children are more vulnerable to traumatic event due to cumulative effect of risk factors and less access to services (Oser & Cohen, 2003; Flor U.S. Surgeon General’s Report, 2001) As a Result…: As a Result… “American Indians, Alaska Natives, African Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Hispanic Americans bear a disproportionately high burden of disability from mental disorders.” (The President’s New Freedom Commission Report, 2003) When Systems Compound Risk: Child Welfare and Foster Care: When Systems Compound Risk: Child Welfare and Foster Care No race differences in abuse and neglect reports Children of color are: more often placed out of home subjected to more placement changes kept longer in foster care less likely to be reunified with parents (Casey Family Programs Child Welfare Fact Sheet, 2005) When Systems Compound Risk:Juvenile Justice Placement: When Systems Compound Risk: Juvenile Justice Placement Youth of color more likely to be arrested for same offenses as white Projected 10-year increase in juvenile justice placement White 3% American Indian 17% African American 19% Latinos 59% Asian/Pacific Islander 74% (Leiber, 2002; Snyder & Sickmund, 1995, 1999) Slide7: Our Children are Waiting… What Can We Do?Take Action: What Can We Do? Take Action Early education: “Pre-K, starting at birth for those who need it”* Inter-system coordination in early identification and mental health referral (*Sam Meisels, 2006) What Can We Do?Apply What We Know: What Can We Do? Apply What We Know Early intervention is most cost-effective, regardless of immigration status school readiness: decreases in drop-out rates decreases in child abuse reports decreases in unplanned pregnancies increases in wage earnings decreases in crime (From Neurons to Neighborhoods, 2000; Karoly et al., 1998, 2005; Lynch, 2005; Olds, 2002) What Can We Do?Adopt Helpful Public Policies: What Can We Do? Adopt Helpful Public Policies Adopt policies that address the educational and health disparities of minority children and their families, regardless of immigration status Fund to scale agencies and programs that address health, mental health childcare, education, family support, and child welfare regardless of immigration status What Can We Do? Pursue Cultural Competence: What Can We Do? Pursue Cultural Competence Community buy-in is crucial for success Incorporate linguistic continuity Understand the meaning of culturally different childrearing practices Hire staff that reflect the population served Fund training and leadership development Include families/consumers from all cultures in planning and implementation What Can We Do?Begin at the Beginning : What Can We Do? Begin at the Beginning Babies can’t wait, regardless of immigration status! Children aged birth-five are particularly vulnerable 85% of child abuse victims Majority of child abuse fatalities Most frequent witnesses of domestic violence What babies learn now can last a lifetime: Respect their culture to nourish their emotional health!