Immigrant Child Affirmative Network (ICAN)

ICAN stands for the Immigrant Children’s Affirmative Network. This program was developed through a collaboration of university and community partnerships with the purpose of fostering a sense of resiliency in the UIM population. This 2-day weekend program occurs once a month at a local shelter that houses UIMs before they face one of three outcomes: voluntary deportation, reunification with family, or placement in federal foster care. Rooted in narrative therapy, ICAN facilitates discussion and learning in the youth that allows them to process their immigration journey while simultaneously teaching them about their rights in the U.S. ICAN has also partnered with multiple community organizations such as EnFamilia and Americans for Immigrant Justice in order to create a university-community partnership that advocates for this marginalized population.

The ICAN program was created as a form of narrative therapy by a team of clinical researchers at the University of Miami working with detained unaccompanied undocumented minors in South Florida. The Book of Life is a curricular activity booklet designed to allow immigrant youth to share their story about where they came from and how they arrived in the U.S., to learn about their current situation living at a government juvenile shelter, and to consider their aspirations for the future.

Activity type: Narrative therapy-based activity booklet

Length: This curriculum is made up of 6 activities covering the past, present, future and is currently designed to take place over 2 days for 5 hours total. See below for the sample agenda that includes the full curriculum and time lengths for each activity. You may use all or parts of the booklet as time allows.

Table of Content

Related files

Immigrant Child Affirmative Network (ICAN) created the Book of Life in 2013 to address the current needs of this population, based on feedback from immigrant youth, clinicians, immigration lawyers, and shelter staff.
ICAN is an innovative youth development and empowerment program created to address the needs of detained unaccompanied undocumented minors in South Florida.