When a parent gets detained or deported, it is not just the parent that suffers. There are over 5,000 children in foster care in the United States because their parents were deported and not given a chance to make arrangements for their children.
Being separated from his or her parents is a tragic and traumatic experience for a child to go through. Thankfully, there is a toolkit available for these situations. The Women's Refugee Commission has created free, downloadable resources for undocumented parents, including the following titles:
- Detained or Deported: What About My Children?
- Detained or Deported? A Brief Guide to Maintaining Custody of Your Children
- Make a Plan: Undocumented Migrant Parents' Guide to Preventing Family Separation
They are all available here. It is also available in the libraries of detention centers that house adults for more than 72 hours.
These resources are available in both English and Spanish. They contain information, instructions, and advice for parents, friends, family members, and representatives. They also include contact information for state child welfare agencies, guides on family court, instructions on applying for passports from detention, contact information for adoption reunion agencies, and more.
The trauma of losing a parent can have long-lasting effects on a child. This toolkit is a must for all undocumented residents with children in the US.