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Double risk: Immigrant mothers, domestic violence and public child welfare services in New York City

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  • Earner, Ilze
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    This paper examines the experiences of Mexican immigrant mothers living in New York City who become involved with public child welfare services because of domestic violence and makes recommendations for evaluation of program services to immigrant mothers. A case study and the results of a focus group interview will be presented to illustrate the often conflicting cultural, social and political issues confronted by immigrant mothers as they negotiate the organization of services designed to address specific forms of domestic violence, i.e., the protection of children and the protection of women. Emergent themes point to the double risk faced by immigrant women--first at the hands of their partners and then by service providers who do not understand the cultural issues that surround domestic violence nor the implications that immigration status has for victims of abuse. After intervention, participants in this research study describe feeling both like [`]bad mothers' who fail to protect their children and [`]bad women' who turn family members over for deportation. Evaluation of services to immigrant mothers requires consideration not only of cultural and social issues that affect program outcomes but must also consider the larger implications that immigration status has on utilization of services by immigrant women. Immigrant women often face multiple risks when seeking help for family problems.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Evaluation and Program Planning.

    Volume (Year): 33 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 3 (August)
    Pages: 288-293

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:epplan:v:33:y:2010:i:3:p:288-293
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    1. Mills, Linda G. & Friend, Colleen & Conroy, Kathryn & Fleck-Henderson, Ann & Krug, Stefan & Magen, Randy H. & Thomas, Rebecca L. & Trudeau, John H., 2000. "Child protection and domestic violence: Training, practice, and policy issues," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 315-332, May.
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