Unaccompanied Immigrant Minors and Child Protective Services

In the summer of 2010, I was assigned to work with a youth who became known to the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services (The Division) as a substantiated victim of child abuse (physical). Within the Division, the youth was assigned a case manager to handle legal aspects of the case and link him to services. I was specifically assigned to the youth to develop a therapeutic relationship and assist with his new adjustment, after being removed from his biological father and placed in foster care.
While working with the youth, he shared his story of how he came to the U.S. The youth, a 14 year-old a native of Honduras, reported that his father was already living in the U.S. and paid someone in Honduras to, “get him here”. The youth reported that it took him a month to get to the U.S. which included several days of being on a train and another several days of walking. The youth reported that he was eventually caught crossing the border in Texas and was sent to a dentition center in Florida.
Information remains unclear, however; the child was release to his father with leg…




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