Service utilization for latino children in mixed-status families

Qingwen Xu, Kalina Brabeck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the aftermath of 1996 welfare and immigration reforms, service utilization is particularly challenging for mixed-status families in which U.S.-born children live with undocumented parents. This study used both qualitative interview data and quantitative survey data to document Latino immigrant parents' service utilization for their U.S.-born children and the perceived impact of the existence of detention and deportation on their service utilization. Results indicate that Latino families headed by undocumented parents accessed services for their citizen children at a level similar to that of Latino families headed by documented parents. Although undocumented participants reported that detention and deportation affected their service utilization, their social networks embodied in Latino/a relationships helped them to navigate systems, increased their efficacy, counteracted their fears, and contributed to their family resiliency. Hospitals and schools, in particular, served as the entry points for Latino immigrant families to access a broad range of services. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-221
Number of pages13
JournalSocial Work Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • Latino
  • immigration and welfare systems
  • mixed-status immigrant family
  • service utilization
  • undocumented immigrant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Service utilization for latino children in mixed-status families'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this