U.S. Immigrant Families: Understanding Policy to Inform Practice

May 2, 2024 11:00am - 12:30pm
$31 for NCFR student members / $52 for NCFR members & CFLEs / $94 for nonmembers & non-CFLEs

Presenters: Colleen Vesely, Ph.D.; and Kevin Ferreira van Leer, Ph.D.

Dr. Vesely and Dr. van Leer
Presenters: Colleen Vesely, Ph.D., (left) and Kevin Ferreira van Leer, Ph.D.

In 2021, over 25% of U.S. children had an immigrant parent. As family scholars and practitioners, it is crucial to grasp the myriad policies currently impacting immigrants to fully support the well-being of children in immigrant families. This webinar will provide valuable insights into key immigration policies and how those policies shape the lives of immigrant families in the U.S. 

Specifically, this webinar will present family scholars and practitioners with an overview of recent trends regarding immigrant families in the U.S. Attendees will be provided with demographic and legal categories of immigrants and insights into family-related policies and how they shape immigrant families’ experiences in the U.S. Information regarding various contexts of immigrant families’ lives, and the policies and practices connected to these contexts will be described, followed by recommendations for how to best work with and support immigrant families within the current policy context. 

By the end of the webinar, attendees will be able to: 

  • Articulate the categories of immigrant statuses and how these categories shape immigrant families’ experiences related to different policies    

  • Improve experiences of immigrant families by understanding social safety net policies that effect immigrant families 

  • How to best work with and support immigrant families  

Approved for 1.5 hours of CFLE continuing education.    

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About the Presenters   

The views expressed by the webinar presenters are their own.

Colleen K. Vesely, Ph.D., is an associate professor of early childhood education in the College of Education and Human Development at George Mason University. Dr. Vesely uses community-based participatory action research to understand how families from immigrant and other marginalized and minoritized backgrounds negotiate parenthood in the U.S., especially in terms of navigating the early care and education (ECE) system. Current research, in partnership with families in northern Virginia from intersectional minoritized identities, including immigrants, focuses on parent-led transformation of ECE systems for equity in early childhood. Dr. Vesely co-wrote a 2019 National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) Policy Brief focused on immigrant families and health, and has published work focused on immigrant families in two of NCFR’s journals: Journal of Family Theory & Review; Journal of Marriage and Family. Dr. Vesely received her Ph.D. in Family Science from the University of Maryland-College Park in 2011. 

Kevin Ferreira van Leer, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of Human Development and Family Sciences at the University of Connecticut. As an action researcher, Dr. Ferreira van Leer examines the educational and cultural contexts that promote positive development and liberation for Latinx immigrant families. Current research includes investigating how structural factors, such as variation in social policy exclusions for immigrants, and the assets of immigrant communities, are associated with the well-being of immigrant families in the U.S. Previous research includes the culturally-bounded decision-making process of choosing early childhood education settings for Latine migrant families as well as participatory action research with migrant communities in New England. Dr. Ferreira van Leer is a previous co-chair to the Immigrant Justice Interest Group at the Society for Community Research and Action and has collaborated on multiple policy statements on immigration from the society. 


On-Demand Webinar Recording

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Classroom Use 

Webinars are a great resource to use in the classroom. Classroom and departmental use licenses allow faculty members to share the video in class or embed the video in their online learning management system. Departmental use licenses allow more than on faculty member to use the webinar in their class. We request that links or downloads are not shared with students. 

License for classroom use by one professor is available for $141 for NCFR members, $215 for nonmembers. 

License for departmental use for multiple professors is available for $194 for NCFR members, $341 for nonmembers. 

Departmental license for CFLE-approved programs is $167. 

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