Posted by Karen Garber
In the recent weeks and days, we have had to bear witness to the forced separation of children from parents crossing the US-Mexico border. The JF&CS Center for Early Relationship Support® feels the responsibility to speak up about the serious negative health consequences that this practice has on children.
Over the past 29 years, the Center for Early Relationship Support has focused its work on supporting the earliest infant-parent relationship. Through our clinical work and research, we have learned about the negative impact that even short separations can have in the wellbeing of children and the relationship with their primary caregivers. Parents serve as vital protective buffers for children impacted by severe trauma and the presence of a caring parent is the best predictor of successful adaptation and survival.
The mission of Jewish Family & Children’s Service is to care for individuals and families by providing exceptional human service programs, guided by Jewish traditions of social responsibility, compassion, and respect for all members of the community. It is with these principles in mind and our commitment to tikum olam (repairing the world) that JF&CS joins other organizations in recommending the reunification of families who have been separated and to keep families together in the least restricted setting while they await the opportunity to appear in front of an immigration court.
Please visit https://www.nctsn.org/what-is-child-trauma/trauma-types/refugee-trauma for more information and resources related to traumatic separation, refugees, and immigrant trauma.