As the Spotlight Moves On, Children are Becoming Orphans

As the media coverage of the border crisis recedes considerably, the fate of innocent children is at stake. It is estimated that over 400 children are still not back together with their families, and the administration has been unable to locate the parents who have been deported. Weeks have passed and the government's court-ordered mandate to reunify families has come and gone. Currently, there seems to be no clear plan to complete the reunifications while one district judge warns that "for every parent not located, there will be a permanently orphaned child."

Is there anything we can do?

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casey altman
The Reality of Reunification - A Lifelong Journey Begins

Hundreds of families are back together again after being separated by the US government at the border. Unfortunately for the children, life is not quite the same and many experts are saying that it may be a long road getting anywhere close to normal. Special thanks to Sarah Kelly and Stacey MIetus for sharing articles for this post.

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Summary of Where Families Stand: A Digest

As the court ordered deadline for family reunification has passed, the process of getting children and parents back together again has been met with mixed reviews and raised serious questions about those who remain separated. Here is a collection of short blurbs from news articles which paint a complex picture of what is actually happening. We offer these snippets to help broaden perspectives and keep this vital conversation going but we encourage you to read the articles in full to understand the situation fully.

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From Both Sides of the Border - One Texas Newspaper won't give up on Telling the Stories

As the news cycle moves onto other stories, and the shock and horror of the separation of children from their families fades away, the Texas Tribune is not shifting focus and looking away, it is ramping up its efforts to do more. The newspaper is staffing a new bureau of reporters, photographers, and videographers to accurately tell the story of families on both sides of the border. 

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Hope After Trauma – Resilience: What is it... Really?

Resilience is a common “buzz word” these days among parents, teachers, and childcare experts. We are often told to “hang in there,” or “stay strong,” “be resilient” - but what exactly does that mean and why is it important for children and adults?  Stacey Mietus offers the following thoughts and expert resources to explain the role of resilience in bouncing back from trauma.

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Colorín Colorado: Working with English Language Learners to Build a Foundation for a Successful Life

Colorin Colorado is not a political agency. They do not hold a partisan position in Washington nor do they participate in debates on national policy. Yet, their work with parents & teachers of English Language Learners provides a vital resource for many people who are immigrating to the United States. Thx to Lydia Breiseth for letting us know about the organization and Michael Krass for researching it. 

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A Salvadoran Immigrant’s Perspective on the Border Crisis

Deborah Salazar Shapiro, MSW, is a psychotherapist, mindfulness teacher, author, and artist who was born and raised in San Salvador, El Salvador. She has been working with children and families for over 15 years. Deborah holds an MSW from the University of Southern California and a master’s-level degree in psychology from the University Dr. Jose Matias Delgado in San Salvador. She lives in San Diego, California with her husband, two daughters, and a wise cat named Thay.

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Author Spotlight on Ana Maria Serrano and her Trauma-Informed Spanish Language Children's Books

With degrees in sociology and education, Ana María Serrano founded Proyecto DEI in Mexico City 30 years ago and has worked tirelessly via that organization to provide support and resources to families from pregnancy through early childhood.  An educator, trainer, author, consultant, and children's book author, she has written four books in Spanish addressing various aspects of trauma that she is generously providing free-of-charge. Thanks to Stacey Mietus for contributing this piece.

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casey altman