Child Welfare Ideas From the Experts, #9: System Rights for Detained or Deported Parents

The Chronicle of Social Change is highlighting each of the policy recommendations made this summer by the participants of the Foster Youth Internship Program (FYI), a group of 11 former foster youths who completed Congressional internships. The program is overseen each summer by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, with support from the Sara Start Fund.

Each of the FYI participants crafted a carefully researched policy recommendation during their time in Washington. Today, we highlight the recommendation of Sam Leiva, 20, a sophomore at Wesleyan University who aged out of Virginia’s foster care system.

The Proposal

Leiva proposes legislation or a change in federal protocol to ensure that immigrant parents who are detained or deported are “able to satisfy all of the requirements of their case plans before being subject to the termination of parental rights” (TPR).

Leiva would also add “additional training” for Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, law enforcement, and child welfare agencies on the best practices involved with handling abuse and neglect cases that intersect with immigration enforcement.

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