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May 4, 2022

Innovating Protection for Migrant and Asylum-Seeking Children and Youth in U.S. Communities

Innovating Protection for Migrant and Asylum-Seeking Children and Youth in U.S. Communities Video Player

Showing the Innovating Protection for Migrant and Asylum-Seeking Children and Youth in U.S. Communities Video

The number of young people fleeing high levels of violence, crime, natural disasters, food insecurity, and poverty and crossing the U.S.-Mexico border reached a 20-year high in the U.S. government’s fiscal year 2021 (October 1, 2020 – September 30, 2021). This included a record number of children who entered the United States unaccompanied. This is not just a wave. It is a trend that is likely to continue as children across the Americas continue to face a cascade of risks. Many newly arriving migrant and asylum-seeking children arrive to the home of a parent or relative in the United States after years of separation. Some have lived with a great deal of independence, taking care of their own survival under extraordinary circumstances. Most need significant support upon their release from federal custody and as they navigate their new lives in the United States.

Communities across the country are challenged to meet the needs of newcomer children and youth, often with little federal or state support. This conversation considered the needs of migrant and asylum-seeking children and youth in the United States. What efforts are underway to help them find protection and stability in their new communities? Who is responsible for providing support?

This event was co-sponsored by the Georgetown University Collaborative on Global Children’s Issues, the Institute for the Study of International Migration, and the Georgetown Americas Institute. It was part of the series Innovating Protection for Children on the Move Across the Americas.

This webinar was available in English and Spanish.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Fabrice Florin

Participants

Kathleen Goss

Kathleen Goss

Kathleen Goss is the associate director for foster care with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)/Migration and Refugee Services. She has served in various roles at the USCCB since 2017.

Matt Haygood

Matt Haygood

Matt Haygood is the director of children’s services at the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI), which includes the home study and post-release services program for unaccompanied children. He is a clinical social worker who has been working with refugee and immigrant youth for more than 15 years in the areas of behavioral health, youth development, and child welfare.

Verena Knaus

Verena Knaus

Verena Knaus is UNICEF's global lead on migration and displacement. She has been driving UNICEF’s global policy, programs, and partnerships focused on migrant, refugee, and internally displaced children since 2017. Prior to this role, Knaus coordinated UNICEF’s policy and child rights partnership with the European Union in the UNICEF EU office.

Juanita Cabrera Lopez

Juanita Cabrera Lopez

Juanita Cabrera Lopez is Maya Mam and the executive director of the International Mayan League. She is originally from the Western Highlands of Guatemala, a survivor of internal armed conflict, and a former political refugee. She holds a Master of International Public Policy degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Wendy Miron

Wendy Miron

Wendy Miron is the senior director of social services at Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), ensuring trauma-informed programming across KIND’s field offices in the United States and Northern Mexico. She is a licensed clinical social worker with more than 15 years of post-graduate clinical and management experience in the non-profit sector working with immigrant populations. Wendy was born and raised in Guatemala and migrated to South Florida at the age of 10.

Diego Uriburu

Diego Uriburu

Diego Uriburu is the executive director and co-founder of Identity, serving thousands of Latino and other historically underserved youth and their families each year in Montgomery County, Maryland. He has been named a White House Champion of Change and co-founded the Black and Brown Coalition for Educational Equity and Excellence.

Gillian Huebner

Gillian Huebner

Gillian Huebner (moderator) is the executive director of the Collaborative on Global Children’s Issues at Georgetown University. Her work focuses on supporting programs and systems to enhance community-based and nationally-owned approaches to building young people’s resilience and supporting children at risk. She has worked with the UN, USAID, foundations, and NGOs in the United States and overseas.