Walking in Their Shoes: Using a Multi-modal Approach to Prevent Foster Care Placement with Immigrant Children

Thursday, November  17, 2022 (2:00pm-3:00 pm CST) | Presented by Dr. Susan Foster, Dr. Jaymie VanMeter, & Dr. Ruth Moore

When attended in full, offers 1.0 CEs for Psychologists, 1.0 IL CEUs for Social Workers, 1.0 BBS CEUs for Counselors and Social Workers, 1.0 NBCC Clock Hours, 1.0 NASSP CPDs for School Psychologists

Workshop Description:

According to the American Psychological Association (2022), the number of immigrant and undocumented youth make up a significant number of immigrant and undocumented populations.   While the view of immigrants is mostly positive, immigrant children and youth face a host of challenges. They can be the subject of racial and ethnic profiling, discrimination and harassment, gang involvement, arbitrary policing of documentation status, removal from their families and placement outside of their homes, and entry into the foster care system. Considerations for initial placement-related disruption include child demographic characteristics, child risk factors, the child’s case history, and placement characteristics (Sattler, Font, & Gershoff, 2018).  


In the state of California, the Reuniting Immigrant Families Act (SB 1064) aims to address some challenges to reunification that immigrant families in the child welfare system face. Though the policy provides a solid foundation for change, several barriers, including, but not limited to, a lack of understanding of cultural needs, immigration, and cultural resources based on familial culture and parenting, a lack of resource use due to lack of transportation, multicultural understanding, and fears of system services or removal once the system is involved, parenting education is less effective when basic needs are not being met, neglect not being clearly defined, a lack of access to services and family court proceedings, systemic bias in education and prevention services and policies and policy and reunification involvement is not accessible for caregivers remain.  To effect change, policy, prevention and intervention must all be taken into consideration.  This presentation, while looking through this lens of intersection, looks at empirically based prevention strategies.  Specifically, strategies will be explored that aim to address the individual, the family, and the system.

Learning Objectives:

After completing this introductory level program, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify the risk factors for out of home placement for immigrant youth. 
  2. Identify the emotional and behavioral outcomes related to foster care placement for immigrant youth. 
  3. Explore prevention strategies to reduce foster care placement for immigrant youth.

Program Standards and Goals:

This program meets APA’s continuing education Standard 1.3: Program content focuses on topics related to psychological practice, education, or research other than application of psychological assessment and/or intervention methods that are supported by contemporary scholarship grounded in established research procedures

This program meets APA’s continuing education Goal 3: Program will allow psychologists to maintain, develop, and increase competencies in order to improve services to the public and enhance contributions to the profession


Presenter Biographies:

Susan Foster, PhD, LPC-S, NCC, ACS, BC-TMH, CCTP, CFMHE, CFBA-Dr. Susan Foster currently serves as a Full Professor and Department Chair of the Counselor Education Department at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (Online Campus).  Her professional experience is in community mental health, partial hospitalization units, private practice, the university setting and the K-12 school setting. She has over 15 years of counseling and supervision experience.  Her current research interests are in the areas of technology assisted education, training, supervision, best practices in telehealth, consultation and collaboration, working with diverse populations, professional identity of counselors, trauma, grief, loss, diagnosis, prevention, and ethics and law in counseling. She has presented nationally and internationally.  In her work with children and families, she has served as an expert and material witness in criminal, civil, and youth court. 


Jaymie VanMeter Ph.D., LPC-S, NCC, BC-TMH- Dr. VanMeter is a licensed practitioner, supervisor, consultant, educator and social justice advocate.  She enjoys integrating a modern relational and transpersonal approach supplemental to the evidenced-based approaches tailored to each client or client’s cultural preferences and system. She owns and is the therapist at Piece of Mind Counseling & Consultation, PLLC. One of her greatest passions is advocacy and social justice. Dr. VanMeter is an Assistant Professor at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and has been the president of the Oklahoma Association for Multicultural Counseling & Development (OAMCD) for eight years. She enjoys volunteering for non-profits and helping to change oppressive and discriminatory practices. Prior to private practice, she worked as a psychological clinician completing psychological evaluations and recommendations for treatment with incarcerated individuals. Dr. VanMeter was also a therapist for a non-profit working in prevention and counseling of people who experience C-PTSD, human trafficking, domestic violence, and sexual assault. She has experience counseling and consulting in a variety of settings with a variety of people. In 2018, she was honored and awarded the Oklahoma State Counselor of the Year and the Association for Humanistic Counseling’s Dissertation of the Year Award 2020 for her research “the lived experiences of LG adult clients who terminated counseling prematurely.”


Ruth Ouzts Moore, Ph.D– Dr. Ruth Moore is an Associate Professor of Clinical Mental Health Counseling at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Dr. Moore has over 25 years’ experience in the counseling field with a specialty in counseling children/adolescents, particularly those who have experienced abuse and trauma. Dr. Moore is certified as a Bullying Prevention Specialist and Legal and Ethical Specialist through the American School Counseling Association. She has presented nationally and internationally and published in the areas of abuse/trauma, play therapy, high-conflict divorce/parental alienation, courtroom testimony, and creative counseling. She has served as an expert witness in countless cases in criminal, chancery, civil, and youth court for her involvement in child abuse and child custody cases. 



Crea, Evans, K., Lopez, A., Hasson, R. G., Palleschi, C., & Sittley, L. (2022). Unaccompanied immigrant children in long‐term foster care: Identifying and operationalizing child welfare outcomes. Child & Family Social Work, 27(3), 500–512. https://doi.org/10.1111/cfs.12902  


Gottesman. J., Mandelbaum. R., & Pindar, M. (2018). A pathway to permanency: Collaborating for the futures of children who are immigrants in the child welfare system. Child Welfare, 96(6), 25–46.  


Immigrants in California. (2022). Public Policy Institute of California. https://www.ppic.org/publication/immigrants-in-california/  


Kids Count Data Center. (2022). Children in foster care in California; Children entering foster care in the United States. Annie E. Casey Foundation.  


Lantos, H., et al. (2022). Integrating positive youth development and racial equity, inclusion, and belonging approaches across the child welfare and justice systems. Child Trends. Retrieved from: https://www.childtrends.org/publications/integrating-positive-youth-development-and-racial-equity-inclusion-and-belonging-approaches-across-the-child-welfare-and-justice-systems.  


Sattler, K.M.P., Font, S. A., & Gershoff, E. T. (2018). Age-specific risk factors associated with placement instability among foster children. Child Abuse & Neglect, 84, 157–169. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2018.07.024. Novembe