Separation of Families Statement & Resources

Resources for Families Seeking Support


Volunteer Lawyer’s Network Family Emergency Preparedness Toolkit – Minnesota
A toolkit for families to plan in the case of arrest, detention or deportation (in both English and Spanish)


MACMH’s Statement on Separation of Families at the Border & Placement in Detention Centers

As an organization, the Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health is committed to providing resources to help people understand the impact of traumatic events and toxically-stressful experiences—such as an abrupt, indefinite separation from a caregiver, or prolonged placement in institutional settings like detention centers—on children’s development and mental health.  These overwhelming experiences have serious consequences for children’s emotional, relational, and physiological well-being, now and far into the future.

These forms of mistreatment are receiving significant attention along our southern border due to the thousands of children and family members already impacted by the government’s separation of children and parents as part of a “zero tolerance” response to people attempting to seek asylum or entering the country without authorization. As a state with vibrant immigrant and refugee communities, we recognize that many of our neighbors in Minnesota are at risk of an abrupt separation from their children or caregivers. We also recognize the trauma many have experienced simply through reading about and watching these events unfold in recent days.

To provide support to families grappling with this fear, we are providing a link to the Volunteer Lawyer’s Network’s Family Emergency Preparedness Toolkit. This toolkit helps parents and caregivers take proactive steps to reduce the risk of their children suffering these experiences by obtaining passports for their children, completing Delegation of Parental Authority paperwork, identifying their children’s alternate caregivers, and taking steps to protect assets needed to support their children in the future.

We encourage people troubled by these events to continue staying up-to-date with current events, advocating for policies that support healthy children and families across all levels of government, and finding ways to support our immigrant community members here in Minnesota as well as along the southern border.