Child Immigrant Crisis Media Toolkit

Social workers are on the front lines, helping to provide child immigrants with food, shelter and health and mental health care.

The United States is facing a massive influx of unaccompanied child immigrants from Central America. Many of these children and teenagers are fleeing deplorable conditions at home, including gang violence, crime and extreme poverty. Others are victims of drug traffickers and sex trafficking/sexual violence.

Social workers are on the front lines, helping to provide these often traumatized children with food, shelter and health and mental health care. NASW has experts and resources to help you understand this issue and what must be done to help these children overcome this crisis.

Meet the Experts

Guadelupe Lara

Guadelupe Lara, MSW, LMSW

Lara is director of the Consortium of Hispanic Agencies. She can give insight on the plight of immigrants and what social workers and others are doing on the front lines to help them.

Mark Lusk

Mark Lusk, EdD, MSW, LMSW

Lusk, a professor at the University of Texas at El Paso School of Social Work, has worked in the field to help child immigrants and can talk about the challenges social workers on the ground face. Lusk has been interviewed by Fox News and El Diario about his experiences.

Roxana Torrico Meruvia

Roxana Torrico Meruvia, MSW

An NASW Senior Practice Associate, Torrico Meruvia can comment on what the public can do to support immigrant families. Children living in immigrant households are the fastest growing child population in the United States.

Mel Wilson

Mel Wilson, MBA, LCSWC

Wilson is director of the NASW Department of Social Justice and Human Rights. He can offer insight on what NASW and partner organizations are doing to address the issue of unaccompanied child immigrants.

Unaccompanied Migrant Children: Overview and Recommendations

This social justice brief discusses the root causes triggering migration from Central America, the humanitarian elements of the issue, and recommendations for a coordinated response.

Immigration in Crisis

This episode of NASW Social Work Talks podcast discusses the crisis and politics around immigration in the United States, specifically related to the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" policy and to children separated from their families at our southern border.

Social Workers, Immigration Policies and State Benefits

This Legal Issue of the Month article reviews recent legal policy as enacted by U.S. Congress, the state of Arizona and related interpretations of the law regarding immigrants’ eligibility for public benefits, documentation and reporting requirements.

Families & Immigration: A Quick Resource Guide (2013)

Immigration laws can often affect child welfare case planning and service delivery. Social workers are in a position to
support immigrant children, youth and families in accessing immigration assistance and services to ensure their safety, permanency and well-being.

How to Volunteer To Help Immigrant Children Separated from Family

Social workers eager to help immigrants who have been separated from their children have a wealth of resources at their disposal. The truth is one of them.

NASW Immigration Policy Toolkit (2006 - 2008)

The purpose of the toolkit is to provide NASW chapters, members, and other entities with policy information and tools to promote the competency of social workers in the immigration field, to fight discrimination against immigrants, and to take social and political action in support of the rights of immigrants.

Multicultural Issues in Social Work

This NASW Press publication presents a collective vision of multiculturalism and calls for research and practice based on the knowledge that individuals cannot be readily identified by single cultural categories.

Media Toolkits

Media Contact

For more information or to arrange an interview with one of our experts, contact NASW Public Relations Manager Greg Wright at