Models for Practice With Immigrants and Refugees: Collaboration, Cultural Awareness, and Integrative Theory


Edited by: Aimee Hilado & Marta Lundy

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  • Part I: Defining Immigrant and Refugee Populations

    Part II: Theoretical Orientations and Reorientation

    Part III: Intervention Modalities Using an Integrative Approach

    Part IV: Practice Applications With Vulnerable and Trauma-Exposed Immigrants And Refugees

    Part V: Consolidation

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    To the people who inspire me:

    My parents, my husband, my sister, my best friends Debbie and Janie, and the refugees who trusted me with their stories and became my teachers.

    And to my daughter, Maya, who I hope to inspire.

    —Aimee Hilado

    To the students who have shared their personal histories and committed to dreams for the future, and to every client whose courage and resilience has moved them beyond the worst of despair, this volume honors you.

    —Marta Lundy



    The purpose of our edited book is to establish a foundational framework for mental health and community practitioners and other providers wanting insight into best practices and considerations when working with vulnerable and trauma-exposed immigrants and refugees. The framework is grounded in critical thinking, solidly lodged in a collaborative and empowering relationship that strives for client self-determination, and is strengthened by the ecological systems perspective that facilitates a thorough, culturally mandated and openly reflective questioning of the needs and wishes of the often trauma-exposed, transnational populations. The possible utility, adaptation, and application of Western theory and practice strategies are discussed in relation to culturally relevant and population-specific norms throughout the text. The text provides a number of case examples and conceptual/applied frameworks that employ integrative strategies to inform and empower immigrants and refugees. The book also includes broad discussions related to ethical best practices across international settings and when working with families and children, indigenous communities, organizations, and vulnerable and trauma-exposed immigrants and refugees across diverse service settings. In doing so, our goal is to define transnational practice (i.e., direct services and therapeutic interventions with culturally and linguistically diverse immigrant and refugee populations across global settings) using an integrative approach to applying theory and interventions with vulnerable and/or trauma-experienced populations. We believe this type of transnational work requires a collaborative approach that honors the self-determination of the client system (individual, couple, family, or community) at all times, with careful judgment of a respective country’s laws, policies, and regulations that could impact that client system. And in this process, the professionals working with transnational groups should improve their skills in critical thinking, advocacy, and cultural competence in addressing the unique and diverse needs of new immigrant arrivals.

    Organization of the Book

    The book is intended to guide readers through relevant practice theories with transnational populations by providing examples of integrative models in practice with case examples (when applicable) for working with individuals, communities, and within organization settings. We begin with three chapters in Unit I: “Defining Immigrant and Refugee Populations” to introduce the terminology related to working with immigrants and refugees (Chapter 1: “Defining the Immigrant and Refugee Populations,” Chang-Muy). This is followed by an examination of the stages of migration—for example, the pre-migration, migration, and post-migration experiences that directly influence immigrant and refugee adjustment and well-being upon arriving in a destination or host country (Chapter 2: “The Context of Migration: Pre-Arrival, Migration, and Resettlement Experiences,” Allweiss & Hilado). Stabilizing health and mental health are important to the adjustment process for new immigrants; thus one chapter (Chapter 3: “Physical and Mental Health Stabilization: The Importance of Well-Being to the Adjustment of New Immigrants,” Hilado & Allweiss) is dedicated to discussing the physical and mental health needs of immigrants and refugees and the resources available to stabilize overall well-being.

    Unit II: “Theoretical Orientations and Reorientation” provides a foundation for understanding the role and utility of Western theory when working with transnational groups. This unit begins with a definition of what we mean by transnational practice and the necessary integration of Western theory and cultural beliefs to ensure work with immigrants and refugees is respectful and culturally sensitive (Chapter 4: “Transnational Practice as the Client’s Process: Reorienting Practice With an Integrative Theoretical Approach to Practice With Immigrants and Refugees,” Lundy & Hilado). An in-depth discussion of the construct of transnational practice sets the foundation for our examination of integrative theoretical frameworks and approaches to practice, which are provided in the book. The unit also provides a discussion of everyday discrimination that affects immigrant and refugee lives (Chapter 5: “The Perception and Experience of Everyday Discrimination Among U.S. Immigrants,” C. Brettell) and specific perspectives to support effective engagement with non-Western populations (Chapter 6: “Postcolonial Feminist Social Work Perspective: Additional Considerations for Immigrant and Refugee Populations,” Deepak). Together, this section explores the potential misuse of Western theory when working with non-Western individuals and communities, while providing a framework and examples of using Western theory in a manner that is collaborative, culturally sensitive, and flexible to the needs of the respective client system and circumstance.

    Unit III: “Intervention Modalities Using an Integrative Approach” introduces the reader to specific models and approaches that, as the title suggests, embody an integrative approach to practice. There are six levels of client systems that examine integrative approaches used in interventions in each respective to system level. Chapter 7 explores practice with individuals (“Practice With Individuals,” Hilado), Chapter 8 explores practice with couples and families (“Practice With Families,” Lundy), Chapter 9 explores practice with groups (“Support and Psychoeducational Groups for Immigrant Women,” Lundy, Rodgers, Sánchez, Egan, & Simon), and Chapter 10 explores community-based interventions (“Community Practice,” Goodman, Letiecq, Vesely, Marquez, & Leyva). Organizational structures are also discussed in Chapter 11, with the introduction of a practice model embedding mental health interventions within an organizational context (“Organizational Practice,” Hilado). Finally, this unit ends with a chapter dedicated to efforts to train a local workforce and volunteers to build interventions for trauma-exposed immigrants and refugees in international settings (Chapter 12: “Preparing a Local and Volunteer Workforce,” Sokhem et al.). These six chapters provide examples and frameworks—both conceptual and applied—that are used to illustrate the value and usefulness of an integrative framework for practice.

    Unit IV: “Practice Applications With Vulnerable and Trauma-Exposed Immigrants and Refugees,” turns our attention to some of the most cruel realities of the immigrant and refugee experience by defining trauma and the complex nature of its effects on transnational individuals and communities. This section builds on the theoretical orientations and models in the preceding sections and goes one step further in preparing professionals to work with transnational populations. This section examines direct application of an integrative framework with trauma-exposed immigrants and refugees. The chapters are organized into specific target groups, starting with a focused discussion of practice with trauma-exposed immigrants and survivors of torture (Chapter 13: “Defining Trauma: Practice Applications With Vulnerable and Trauma-Exposed Immigrant Population and Survivors of Torture,” Smith). This is followed by practice applications with violence-exposed women (Chapter 14: “Practice Applications With Women,” Fong et al.), applications with LGBTQ identifying immigrants (Chapter 15: “Practice Applications With LGBTQ Immigrants and Refugees,” Ramirez), and finally transnational practice with immigrant and refugee youth (Chapter 16: “Practice Applications With Immigrant and Refugee Youth,” Benson, Abdi, & Ford-Paz). For each chapter, the authors provide definitions used for their target group followed by case scenarios, reflective questions, and discussion that highlight the need for an integrative approach to intervention and the benefits and challenges specific to each group.

    The final component of the book is appropriately titled Unit V: “Consolidation.” This section discusses the connection between theory, practice, and the future in global social work with transnational populations. The coeditors contribute the first chapter in this section, discussing the common denominators needed in working with all transnational populations irrespective of setting—specifically, the need to maintain critical consciousness and cultural humility in order to be most effective in the field (Chapter 17: “Maintaining Critical Consciousness, Collaborative Accompaniment, and Cultural Humility: The Common Denominators of Transnational Practice,” Hilado & Lundy). The text ends with a chapter on the future of global social work and the implications for transnational practice and international social justice (Chapter 18: “Social Justice and Implications for the Field,” Lundy & van Wormer).

    Collectively, this text provides a foundation for thinking about what is involved in working with immigrants and refugees. In recognition of the potential disconnect between Western theoretical frameworks for practice when used with non-Western client populations, we offer a way of thinking and conceptualizing need using an integrative theoretical framework, defining this term and its application in the field. We introduce ways of conceptualizing practice with different client systems and direct applications with specific needs among subgroups of the immigrant and refugee population worldwide. And we provide suggestions for the future of practice with immigrants and refugees, particularly those who are vulnerable and trauma experienced, and areas of learning and study that are still required in the field of transnational service delivery. In addition, we provide an extensive glossary for clarification of terms and concepts and appendices of interesting and valuable handouts, national and international documents, and potential online resources. As such, this book offers a starting point for discussing transnational practice, knowing that our knowledge will need to expand and adapt with the changing populations that migrate across the globe daily.

    Pedagogical Approach

    The organization of five units and the chapters themselves flows from conceptual to concrete application. Each chapter is structured to provide elements of theory along with practice applications that we hope will stimulate critical thinking and self-reflection. For this to happen, each chapter begins with key terms and highlights within the chapter, followed by content and reflective questions related to the material presented. Some chapters also include critical thinking exercises that can be completed independently or as a group, case studies to further extend the dialogue, summative points, and a glossary (when applicable) to help connect the ideas to action. Our intention is to introduce critical concepts alongside case examples (when available), so that readers can better conceptualize innovative approaches to working with transnational populations and develop concrete skills for direct practice in the field.

    Applying a Social Work Orientation Across Discipline and Practice Environments

    The social work profession was founded in the era of immigrant-serving settlement houses, popularized by Jane Addams and the Hull House of Chicago in 1889. Historically, the focus of social work practice has been on service, activism, and social justice for the most vulnerable, underserved, and marginalized members of society. The social work profession is guided by a document titled the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers that outlines the values and mission of social workers in the field. Its preamble states

    The primary mission of the social work profession is to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty. A historic and defining feature of social work is the profession’s focus on individual well-being in a social context and the well-being of society. Fundamental to social work is attention to the environmental forces that create, contribute to, and address problems in living. (Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers, revised in 2008,, n.d.)

    Moreover, the mission of the social work profession is rooted in a core set of values that have guided social workers throughout the profession’s history: service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relationships, integrity, and competence. These values are brought to life in the different activities social workers have used to engage people, communities, research, and policy development in the service of creating a more just society. Likewise, social workers have historically employed strength-based approaches that draw on natural abilities and capacity for growth to move individuals and societies forward.

    The efforts of our first social workers were to aid European immigrants arriving in the United State during the early 19th century by entering their communities as “friendly home visitors.” Social workers built relationships in the homes, using that natural context to deliver information and services in a culturally appropriate and responsive manner. Decades later, we see a multitude of helping professions and human service disciplines—medicine, public health, counseling, and so forth—recognizing the importance of cultural context and tailoring efforts to meet clients where they are—that is, understanding their circumstances, their belief systems/worldview, and their understanding of their own problems or needs. We see volunteers and stakeholders in the general populations embodying social work values, such as the promotion of social justice and valuing the dignity and worth of the person. Through individual and collective efforts, we see movements to create awareness and action in the campaigns to end human trafficking, to end discrimination based on sexual orientation or disability, to enhance women’s rights in reproductive health areas, and the call to end female genital mutilation practices globally, to name a few. Moreover, we see individuals, families, and community members worldwide already playing the role of a social worker (albeit without that title or training), serving their communities through accessing resources and information, distributing goods to those in need, and advocating for systemic change to policies and practices that negatively impact others.

    The efforts to enhance the well-being of all human beings does not and has never fallen solely on the shoulders of social workers; many diverse professions and invested people have made incredible contributions to address social problems (local and global) in their own respective settings. Some of the language and discussions in this book are intended for social workers—however, helping professionals across disciplines can glean from the same dialogue around best practices and important considerations for working with immigrant and refugee populations worldwide. In the same vein, some of the content is geared toward mental health and community health professionals, yet the understanding of mental health and its connectedness to all other areas of a person’s ability to thrive and excel are equally valuable to non-mental health and community health providers. We believe there are lessons to be gained for all who intend to work with this focal population; professionals, paraprofessionals, volunteers, and invested members of our global society alike. And so we suggest the use of this text as a guide to culturally responsive transnational practice but call for professional discretion and critical thinking in the application of the concepts within diverse service settings.


    Our text highlights the intersections of theory, practice, and culture when working with transnational populations. It is intended to be useful across professional credentials at all levels, from the generalist entry-level professional to those with advanced clinical certifications or degrees. The text can also supplement other courses or trainings focused on immigrant and refugee populations or those specific to migrant mental health. Irrespective of one’s professional role, there is a critical need to examine supportive interventions that are based in sound theoretical frameworks and are research informed. Our text recognizes the value of adapted and revised Western theory when working with transnational populations, while also realizing its limitations. At the same time, the text challenges professionals to apply critical thinking when applying theories to practice with ethnically diverse groups. We emphasize the importance of cultural relevance and integrative approaches that utilize the most effective and relevant theoretical elements to promote client self-determination, and establish a collaborative and empowering relationship where providers “walk with” their clients toward positive outcomes. Theory application cannot be conceptual alone, thus the practice models and case examples in the text are included to help solidify learning and professional development. In sum, our book hopes to revisit critical theories, introduce overarching collaborative approaches to theory application with transnational groups, and provide concrete strategies for sensitive and culturally relevant engagement.


    It is estimated that one in every 122 individuals in the world is a refugee, internally displaced, or seeking asylum. (UN High Commissioner for Refugees, 2015)

    The editors want to acknowledge and gratefully thank every author who contributed chapters to this edition and the students who contributed behind the scenes in organizing the materials. Our contributors are in practice settings and academic programs across the country, and our student supports have been undergraduate and graduate social work students at Northeastern Illinois University and Loyola University Chicago, School of Social Work. We appreciate all your contributions to this book and your efforts to support forcibly displaced populations worldwide.

    Publisher’s Acknowledgments

    SAGE gratefully acknowledges the contributions of the following reviewers:

    Ann Alvarez, Wayne State University

    David Androff, Arizona State University

    Susan D. Barnes, Western New Mexico University

    Jayshree S. Jani, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

    Njeri Kagotho, Ohio State University

    Ericka Kimball, Augsburg College

    Maura Nsonwu, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

    Hadidja Nyiransekuye, University of North Texas

    Cathryne L. Schmitz, University of North Carolina Greensboro

    Uma Segal, University of Missouri—St. Louis

    Holly C. Sienkiewicz, Center for New North Carolinians at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro

    Holly Sienkiewicz, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

    Jennifer Simmelink McCleary, Tulane University School of Social Work

    Patti West-Okiri, Western New Mexico University

    About the Editors

    Aimee Hilado, PhD, LCSW, is an assistant professor of social work at Northeastern Illinois University, where she serves as the curriculum specialist for the human behavior and the social environment (HBSE) curriculum in the bachelor’s program. In this role, she oversees the HBSE two-course sequence and its instructors to ensure students obtain a foundational understanding of direct practice theories and the bi-directional relationship between person and environment, while infusing content on integrative theory, cultural humility, and trauma-informed approaches to understanding human behavior and motivation. She also teaches the entry-level and advanced courses on Social Work Practice with Immigrants and Refugees, preparing generalist social workers to work with diverse immigrant and refugee populations in the field.

    Dr. Hilado is also the founding manager of RefugeeOne’s Wellness Program, a mental health program for immigrant and refugee children and adults in one of the largest refugee resettlement agencies in Illinois. Dr. Hilado designed and implemented the program, including implementation of the cultural mergence model, a practice framework she created to guide mental health service delivery in the program. The program opened its doors for service in June 2011, and in five years of service, the Wellness Program has provided therapy services to over 450 youth and adult clients, screened over 1,500 refugee adult arrivals for mental health needs, and provided over 80 education workshops on health and mental health topics. She continues to oversee operations and conducts ongoing program evaluations to inform best practices in the area of refugee mental health, while coordinating other immigrant and refugee mental health providers through her work as a co-founder of the Illinois Refugee Mental Health Task Force.

    Additionally, Dr. Hilado has been recognized at national and statewide conferences, including ZERO TO THREE and the Council on Social Work Education, for her practice and research efforts around refugee mental health and early intervention with vulnerable immigrant children and their families. She also remains active in a number of professional associations and advocacy groups as a founding member of the North American Society of Refugee Health Care Providers (NASRHCP) and a member of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the National Association for Social Workers (NASW), the Illinois Association for Infant Mental Health (ILAIMH), the Illinois Children’s Trauma Coalition (ICTC), and the Illinois Infant Practice Roundtable, advocating for supportive services to immigrant and refugee populations. Moreover, Dr. Hilado continues to serve as an expert consultant on state criminal cases and consults in national and state forums on areas related to trauma and refugee mental health. She is a licensed clinical social worker with a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Social Work, with Distinction, and a master of social work degree from Loyola University Chicago. She also obtained a master of science degree in applied child development, specializing in infant studies, from Erikson Institute. Together, her teaching, research, and practice interests continue to be informed by the lessons she learns in the classroom and in the field working with trauma-exposed new immigrants over the past ten years. Dr. Hilado lives in Chicago, Illinois, with her husband and their rambunctious toddler.

    Marta Lundy, PhD, LCSW, professor, at the School of Social Work, Loyola University Chicago. Dr. Lundy initially began her academic career at Jane Addams College of Social Work, University of Illinois, Chicago, from 1987 through 1994, and came to Loyola in July 1994, where she has been a teacher, researcher, and clinician for over 20 years. Dr. Lundy teaches in both the masters and doctoral programs, in the areas of clinical practice, HBSE, and teaching in the academy.

    Dr. Lundy’s research interests parallel and inform her teaching—that is, she has conducted research in domestic and interpersonal violence while she also developed and taught the course in Social Work Practice with Family Violence. Dr. Lundy is one of two faculty who have developed and teach in the Migration Sub-Specialization Program, a unique program at Loyola University and in social work education. Five different courses are offered in conjunction with the specialization, although only three are required to achieve the certificate. Dr. Lundy teaches the Social Work Practice with Immigrants & Refugees, as well as Social Work Practice with Families: Focus on the Mexican Family. The family course is taught every summer for two weeks in Mexico City, as part of a two-course, co-taught immersion course for students with her colleague in the Migration Sub-Specialization. Dr. Lundy also co-teaches the HBSE course on diversity, in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, and Nogales, Arizona, every year over spring break, as part of an immersion course for students to experience the United States Mexico border. Dr. Lundy is a strong advocate for an integrative model of social work practice with immigrants and refugees. She has written and teaches the relevance of self-awareness of privilege, clarity of focus and client self-determination, and flexibility, solidarity, and humility when using Western theory with individuals, families, and groups from different cultures and areas of the world.

    Dr. Lundy also conducts research with support/self-help groups for Latina women immigrants. New groups are offered every semester, with Dr. Lundy as the supervisor for the students who facilitate the groups. The facilitators are fluent in Spanish—that is, Spanish is their native language—and knowledgeable about the stages of migration, group work in general, and women’s groups specifically. Dr. Lundy has been lead author in the revised and translated version of the Manual for Women’s Emotional Health. Based on the original work written and conducted in Mexico City, with Jesuit Migrant Services, the original has been used extensively in Mexico with Mexican women. The revised and adapted instructional text for psychoeducational self-help is now being used with Mexican women immigrants in a host country, primarily in the Chicago area. Preliminary results are available in the chapter in the text and in an article, in press.

    Dr. Lundy is a licensed clinical social worker and has maintained her own practice in the Chicago area since 1987, where she works with survivors of trauma and other vulnerable groups.

    Contributing Authors

    Saidi M. Abdi, LCSW, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a PhD Candidate at Boston University. She holds another Masters degree in Communications. She has extensive experience working with refugee and immigrant populations. She specializes in providing trauma informed care to refugee and immigrant youth and families. She has specific expertise in patient/community engagement, cultural humility and the use of interpreters and cultural brokers to reduce health disparities and enhance refugee access to mental health services. Ms. Abdi is fluent in multiple languages. As of member of the leadership team at the Boston Children’s Hospital Refugee Trauma and Resilience Center (BCHRTRC), Ms. Abdi has co-developed a manual for school-based groups focusing on acculturative stress experienced by young refugees, worked with team members to develop the Refugee Services Toolkit, implemented Trauma Systems Therapy for Refugees in Boston Public Schools, and provided training and consultation to providers in multiple sites in the US and abroad. She has supported sites nationwide that have adapted and implemented Trauma Systems Therapy for Refugees and participated in numerous refugee research and evaluation projects. Ms. Abdi is currently an investigator in the largest longitudinal research project undertaken to understand the experiences of Somali refugee youth in North America. In addition, in her current role as the Associate Director for Community Relations, Ms. Abdi takes a leadership role in the Refugee Trauma and Resilience Center’s work with partners around community engagement and integration of cultural and clinical methods to enhance community resilience and system responsiveness to the needs of vulnerable populations.

    Samantha Allweiss, AM, LSW, is a social worker/therapist at RefugeeOne, the largest refugee resettlement agency in Chicago. She graduated from The University of Chicago’s School of Social Service and Administration, with an emphasis on international social work in a clinical setting, after receiving her undergraduate degree in Social Welfare and Gender and Women’s Studies from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Samantha provides individual and group therapy services to trauma-exposed populations and assists with the daily administrative tasks for the mental health program. She has worked internationally, studying and interning at the Tata School of Social Sciences in Mumbai, India, and participating in community empowerment programs through Amigos De Las Americas in Michoacán, Mexico. Her area of focus is culturally sensitive clinical work with refugee and immigrant populations, and she is dedicated to utilizing an integrative approach based on best-practice strategies in the field.

    Molly A. Benson, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist, an instructor of psychology at Harvard Medical School (HMS), a staff psychologist and assistant in psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH), and the associate director of refugee treatment and services at the Refugee Trauma and Resilience Center (RTRC) at BCH. Dr. Benson has worked in the field of child and adolescent refugee mental health for over a decade. She has extensive training and experience in providing evidence-based treatment to children and adolescents and applying these interventions in real-world settings. Her specific expertise is in adapting interventions for refugee children and families. In her current role, she provides oversight and supervision to projects focused on the implementation and dissemination of Trauma Systems Therapy for Refugees (TST-R) and the development of refugee-focused resources for the National Child Traumatic Network. She frequently provides training and consultation to providers on topics related to intervention with refugee children and families and trauma-informed care. She was a member of the APA Task Force on the Psychosocial Effects of War on Children and Families Who Are Refugees from Armed Conflict Living in the United States and a contributor to the Refugee Health Technical Assistance Center (RHTAC). For several years, she provided clinical services and supervision through the Psychosocial Treatment Program at BCH and helped refugees and youth seeking asylum. She currently maintains a small private practice. Dr. Benson completed her PhD in clinical psychology (child specialty) at the University of Vermont, completed her clinical internship at BCH, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Boston Medical Center/Boston Consortium.

    Caroline Brettell, PhD, is University Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Ruth Collins Altshuler Director of the Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute at Southern Methodist University. She has a BA degree from Yale University and a PhD degree from Brown University. She has spent her career studying the immigrant populations in Europe, Canada, and the United States (most recently in the DFW area). Her particular and most current interests are in the gendered aspects of migration, issues of identity and citizenship, and the relationship between immigrants and cities. In addition to numerous journal articles and book chapters she is the author, co-author, or editor/coeditor of 17 books. Her most recent books are Anthropological Conversations: Talking Culture Across Disciplines (2015); Following Father Chiniquy: Immigration, Religious Schism and Social Change in Nineteenth Century Illinois (2015); and Civic Engagements: The Citizenship Practices of Indian and Vietnamese Immigrants (co-authored with Deborah Reed-Danahay, 2012). With political scientist James F. Hollifield she has coedited a book that is now in third edition titled Migration Theory: Talking Across Disciplines. At SMU, Brettell has served as director of the Women and Gender Studies Program (1989–1994); chair of the Department of Anthropology at SMU (1994–2004); dean-ad-interim of Dedman College (2006–2008); and as president of the faculty senate (2001–2002). Nationally she has served as president of the Society for the Anthropology of Europe (1996–1998) and president of the Social Science History Association (2000–2001).

    Kristin Buller, LCSW, received her masters in social work from University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration, with a concentration in clinical social work focused on trauma and international social work. She co-chaired the International Social Welfare group and received a human rights award to go Cambodia. After her initial internship at the Cambodian Women’s Crisis Center, Kristin worked as a social work advisor for Social Services of Cambodia, a program evaluation and research consultant for a number of local and international organizations, and as a trainer for local organizational staff around issues of social work skills, self-care, and gender issues. After four years in Cambodia, Kristin returned to Chicago, where she works at a community counseling center as well as her private practice, where she provides individual and couples therapy and specializes in veterinary social work support to pet owners and veterinary and training professionals. E-mail:

    Fernando Chang-Muy, JD, is the Thomas O’Boyle Lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law where he teaches refugee law. He also teaches courses on nonprofit management and immigration for social workers at Penn’s Graduate School of Social Policy and Practice. In addition to teaching, he combines his experience in academia and operations, as principal and founder of Solutions International, providing independent management consulting, facilitation and training to philanthropic institutions, nonprofit organizations, and government entities. His areas of expertise include designing and facilitating large group, task-focused strategic planning, board governance, staff internal communications and performance, and resource development. He has served as legal officer with both the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the UN World Health Organization (WHO), AIDS Program. Before joining the UN, he was a staff attorney at Community Legal Services in Philadelphia serving as director of the Southeast Asian Refugee Project, providing free legal aid to low-income people in Philadelphia. He is also past founding director of the Liberty Center for Survivors of Torture, a project of Lutheran Children and Family Services, established to serve newcomers fleeing human rights violations. He serves on the boards of local public interest organizations, government, and foundations, including the board of the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation. In 2008, Philadelphia Mayor Nutter appointed him as a commissioner to the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations. He is former board member of the Delaware Valley Grantmakers, The Philadelphia Award, and the Southeast Asian Mutual Assistance Coalition. He is author of numerous articles on diverse topics dealing with immigration and refugees, public health and management, and is coeditor of the text Social Work with Immigrants and Refugees (NY: Springer Publication, 2008). He is a graduate of Loyola, Georgetown, Antioch, and Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation. He is a 2011 recipient of the Penn Law Public Interest Supervisor/Advisor of the Year Award honoring outstanding project supervisors and advisors.

    Prak Chankroesna is a graduate of the Royal University of Phnom Penh, majoring in Psychology and is a senior social worker and trainer at First Step Cambodia (FSC), a local NGO that provides services to children and families affected by sexual violence and abuse. Chankroesna is a passionate advocate for children and also leads FSC’s strategy relating to disability and child protection mainstreaming. In 2015, she presented a keynote workshop at the South-South Institute on sexual violence against men and boys, the very first conference in South East Asia to focus on this area of need.

    Yung Chanthao is a senior social worker–trainer at First Step Cambodia, where he has worked for five years. He graduated in sociology at The Royal University of Phnom Penh in 1998. He has worked for a number of NGOs in Cambodia, including Hagar International, as a counselor for children and women; Pour un Sourire d’Enfant (PSE), as a social worker; and The Children’s Fund, as a trainer. In the last five years, he has worked at FSC with boys, young men, caregivers, and families affected by sexual abuse and with problematic and harmful sexual behaviors. Chanthao is a passionate advocate for social justice.

    Anne C. Deepak, PhD, LMSW, is an associate professor at Monmouth University School of Social Work. She teaches in the International and Community Development concentration and advanced core courses in human rights and social justice. She has been an appointed member of the Council on Social Work Education’s Council on the Role and Status on Women in Social Work Education since 2013. Her scholarship and research examines globalization and international partnerships, the application of postcolonial feminist theory to global social problems, the impact of Islamophobia on social work practice, and the use of popular culture and technology in the delivery of antiracism content in social work education. In 2011, she was awarded Feminist Scholarship Award by the Council on the Role and Status of Women in Social Work Education for her paper, “Sustainability and Population Growth in the Context of Globalization: A Postcolonial Feminist Social Work Perspective.” In 2015, she was awarded the Journal of Social Work Education’s Best Qualitative Manuscript Vol. 50, for an article she co-authored with Mary Tijerina titled “Mexican­ American Social Workers’ Perceptions of Doctoral Education and Academia.”

    Andrew Egan, MSW, is a recent graduate of Loyola University Chicago, where he received his master of social work degree, specializing in children and families and sub-specializing in immigration and international social work. Egan also holds a bachelor’s degree of political science and a bachelor’s degree in public administration. Egan is a former AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer and Peace Corps volunteer, where he served in Panama. Egan previously interned for the United States Senate and House of Representatives as an undergrad and interned with youth at-risk in both Chicago and in Chiapas, Mexico, as a graduate student. Egan is especially interested in looking at community interventions for youth at-risk to help integrate them into the formal economy.

    Rowena Fong, EdD, MSW, the Ruby Lee Piester Centennial Professor in Services to Children and Families in the School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin, is a fellow of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare (AASWSW) and founding co-chair of the Grand Challenges for Social Work Initiative (GCSWI). She has served nationally as a past president of the Society for Social Work and Research (2009–2013) and is an inaugural fellow of SSWR. Dr. Fong received her BA in Chinese studies and psychology from Wellesley College, her MSW in children and families from UC Berkeley, and her EdD in human development from Harvard University. Dr. Fong’s areas of research are international adoptions from China, victims of human trafficking, racial disproportionality in public child welfare, and immigrant and refugee children and families. She has over 100 publications, including 10 books: Dettlaff, A., & Fong, R. (Eds.). (2016). Immigrant and refugee children and families: Culturally responsive practice. New York: Columbia University Press; Fong, R., & McRoy, R. (Eds.). (2016). Transracial and intercountry adoption practices and policies: A resource for educators and clinicians. New York: Columbia University Press; Fong, R., Dettlaff, J. J., & Rodriguez, C. (2015). Eliminating racial disproportionality and disparities: Multi systems culturally competent approaches. New York: Columbia University Press; Dettlaff, A., & Fong, R. (Eds.). (2012). Child welfare practice with immigrant children and families. New York: Taylor & Francis Books; Franklin, C., & Fong, R. (2011). The church leader’s counseling resource book: A guide to mental health and social problems. New York: Oxford University Press; Fong, R., McRoy, R., & Ortiz Hendricks, C. (Eds.). (2006). Intersecting child welfare, substance abuse, and family violence: Culturally competent approaches. Washington, DC: Council on Social Work Education; Fong, R. (Ed.). (2004). Culturally competent practice with immigrant and refugee children and families. New York: Guilford Press; Smith, M., & Fong, R. (2004). Children of neglect: When no one cares. New York: Brunner-Routledge Press; Fong, R., & Furuto, S. (Eds.). (2001). Culturally competent social work practice: Skills, interventions and evaluation. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon; and Freeman, E., Franklin, C., Fong, R., Shaffer, G., & Timberlake, E. (Eds.). (1998). Multisystem skills and interventions in school social work practice. Washington, DC: NASW Press.

    Rebecca E. Ford-Paz, PhD, is an assistant professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, the coordinating psychologist of the Mood & Anxiety Program, and a child clinical psychologist in the Child Center for Childhood Resilience at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. She has long-standing clinical and research interests in the reduction of mental health disparities for underserved, ethnic minority youth and culturally responsive implementation of evidence-based treatments in real-world settings. As a bilingual (Bish-speaking) clinician, she has experience conducting trauma evaluations for detained unaccompanied minors from Central America and providing a variety of evidence-based trauma interventions for refugee and immigrant youth, including trauma systems therapy, cognitive processing therapy, and trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy. She is a founding co-chair of the Illinois Childhood Trauma Coalition’s Ad-Hoc Committee on Refugee and Immigrant Children and Trauma. She also is the academic co-chair of the Alliance for Research in Chicagoland Communities, a program at Northwestern University that supports community-based participatory research. Dr. Ford-Paz received her PhD in clinical psychology (child subspecialty) from DePaul University, completed her clinical internship at the Boston Consortium (Boston Medical Center & Boston VA), and completed her clinical research postdoctoral fellowship in child psychopathology at Brown Medical School.

    Rachael D. Goodman, PhD, LPC, is an associate professor in the Counseling and Development Program at George Mason University. Dr. Goodman’s scholarship focuses on trauma counseling from an ecosystemic, social justice-focused lens. She is interested in the ways in which marginalized individuals, families, and communities are impacted by ecosystemic traumas, such as discrimination, institutionalized oppression, and intergenerational trauma. Her work focuses on understanding the unique ways in which marginalized communities persist within difficult and unjust conditions and how practitioners can develop interventions that create resilience-fostering environments. Along with her university and community partners, Dr. Goodman utilizes community based participatory research (CBPR) methods to critically co-investigate the needs of underserved communities, while also developing collaborative, culturally responsive interventions. Her recent projects focus on immigrant women and families, including undocumented Central American immigrants and refugees/asylees in the D.C.-area. Dr. Goodman’s previous community-engaged work has included leading counseling outreach projects for communities experiencing acute and/or ongoing traumas and social injustice, including the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, post-Katrina New Orleans, and South Africa. She served as the editor for a special issue on trauma counseling and interventions for the Journal of Mental Health Counseling and was the coeditor and author of the book Decolonizing “Multicultural” Counseling Through Social Justice (Springer, 2014). She also conducts research on how mindfulness practices may be used for trauma counseling as well as counselor training that can facilitate the development of empathy and reduction in prejudice and bias.

    Laurie Cook Heffron, PhD, MSW, is an assistant professor of social work in the School of Behavioral and Social Sciences at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. She has interest and expertise in the areas of forced migration, domestic and sexual violence, and human trafficking, and her research explores the experiences of and relationships between violence against women and migration. As former associate director for research at the University of Texas at Austin’s Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (IDVSA), she has contributed to multiple research projects since 2001, including a program evaluation for services to victims of human trafficking, a statewide domestic violence prevalence study, program evaluation of Texas’ Non-Report Sexual Assault Forensic Exam Program, and a national pilot program to develop professional and organizational resiliency among child welfare workers. Laurie also worked with IDVSA in completing a study of resettlement experiences among Congolese refugee women and a statewide evaluation on human trafficking and existing laws and social services in collaboration with community organizations and governmental agencies. Laurie has both direct social work practice and research experience with a variety of immigrant communities, including refugees, survivors of human trafficking, and asylees. Previously, she served as program coordinator for Green Leaf Refugee Services, providing intensive health and emotional health case management services to refugees, victims of trafficking, asylees, and other immigrants in Central Texas. Currently, she provides assessments and serves as an expert witness in immigration cases of women and children seeking T visas, U visas, and asylum based on domestic violence. Laurie earned a BS in linguistics at Georgetown University and a master of social work (MSW) from The University of Texas at Austin. As a Donald D. Harrington Fellow at The University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Cook Heffron completed her doctoral degree in August 2015. Her dissertation research was titled, “Salía de uno y me metí en otro:” A Grounded Theory Approach to Understanding the Violence-Migration Nexus Among Central American Women in the United States.

    Alstair Hilton, originally from the United Kingdom, has lived and worked in Cambodia since 2005. He has a background in social and community work for over 30 years, most of which has been related to working with children, young people, and adults affected by sexual abuse and violence. He was a founder member of First Step (Leicester, UK) in 1997 and in 2007 led a team of local researchers that carried out and published the very first in-depth study of the sexual abuse of boys and men in Cambodia, I Thought It Could Never Happen to Boys, which ultimately led to the launch of First Step Cambodia in 2010. Alastair is a passionate advocate and activist and in 2013, alongside the Refugee Law Project (Uganda) and MSSAT (New Zealand), co-founded and took part in the very first South-South Institute on Sexual Violence Against Men and Boys (SSI) in Kampala and co-hosted the SSI in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, in May 2015.

    Bethany Letiecq, PhD, is an associate professor and the director of the Human Development and Family Science program—a joint academic program of the College of Education and Human Development and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. She received her PhD in health education/family studies and her MS in family and community development from the University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Letiecq employs community-based, participatory, and action research approaches to conduct research in partnership with families to promote culturally responsive and strengths-based interventions. She is keenly interested in how social policies facilitate or hinder family functioning and health across all families. Currently, she is working with immigrant, refugee, and asylee women to delineate pathways to resilience and well-being. Previously, she worked in partnership with Mexican migrants settling in new, nontraditional receiving sites in the Rocky Mountain West to build Salud y Comunidad—Latinos en Montana, a community-based organization focused on researching and promoting migrant family health, well-being, and justice. With her community partners, she also co-founded the Montana Immigrant Justice Alliance (, a statewide nonprofit working for immigrant rights. Dr. Letiecq teaches courses on family law and public policy; race, class, gender, and family diversity; and relationships and family systems. She serves as an associate editor for the Journal of Family Issues, is a member of the Family Relations editorial board, and has published her research in such professional outlets as Family Relations, Fathering, Journal of Family Issues, Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, andHealth Education and Behavior. She is affiliated with the National Council on Family Relations (currently serving as chair of the Family Policy Section), the American Sociological Association, and the American Public Health Association.

    Krishna J. Leyva was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She completed a bachelor degree in criminal justice at the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico and a master in social work at the University of Southern California. Krishna has worked over 15 years with low-income immigrant youth and families in Northern Virginia. She was the founding and award-winning director of an “exemplary” tutoring and mentoring program for immigrant high school students. She is currently working as the Family and Community Engagement Manager for Alexandria City Public Schools. Krishna was appointed to the Board of Psychology and served as a citizen’s member for five years. In addition to her work with immigrant families, she is an avid community advocate and has served as an advisory member of many boards and committees. Her passion is to engage families in their children’s education and to improve the lives of immigrant families. Her work focus is advocacy, family engagement, and equality.

    Colleen Lundy, MSW, PhD, is a social work Professor Emeritus at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. She is the North American representative on the IFSW Human Rights Commission. She is a co-author (with Therese Jennissen) of One Hundred Years of Social Work: A History of the Profession in English Canada 1900–2000 (Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier Press, 2011), the first complete history of social work in Canada. The book is based on extensive archival work and secondary literature and is informed by feminist theory and political economy. A second edition of her authored book, Social Work, Human Rights and Social Justice: A Structural Approach to Practice (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2011) makes an important contribution to the understanding of structural social work and a social justice/human rights perspective. She has published on the impact of economic transformation on women in Cuba and Russia and was a component leader on a five-year funded partnership between Carleton University and the University of Havana.

    Marlene Marquez completed her bachelor degree in social work in 2015 from George Mason University. She has worked as community organizer and research assistant on community-based participatory research with undocumented immigrant families in the DC-metro region. She is currently working with The Child and Family Network Centers as a family support worker. Her work and interests focus on immigrant families and children. In particular, she has a great interest in family reunification, since she experienced this herself. In the future, she would like to work with immigrant families on the issue of reunification and help to address the many ways in which separation and reunification affect children and parents. She is an incoming student in the master program in Social Work at GMU.

    Milka Ramirez, PhD, MSW, received her PhD in philosophy of social work from the University of Illinois, Chicago-Jane Addams College of social work. Her areas of research include social work practice and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities. Dr. Ramirez is an assistant professor at Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, where she teaches in the social work program, women and gender studies program, and Latino and Latin American studies program. Dr. Ramirez has conducted research exploring homophobia and school social work practice; sexual victimization of older lesbian, gay, and bisexual women of color; and intimate partner violence among LGBTQ populations and has over 10 years of practice experience with diverse populations and settings.

    Patrick Rodgers, MSW, earned his master of social work from Loyola University Chicago, focusing on mental health and migration studies. He grew up in the Chicagoland area but has traveled extensively. He spent a year living abroad in Guadalajara, Mexico, teaching English, where he gained an excellent command of the Bish language. His first field placement was in Chiapas, Mexico, in 2014 at K’inal Antsetik and Natik, two organizations that work directly with indigenous youth and women. At these two sites, he co-facilitated with the women a women’s self-help group, using concepts of solidarity, accompaniment, empowerment, and affirmation as the principle philosophy for the group model. The model included 19 themes on empowering women’s self-esteem and sense of self. This group was highly successful, with the co-facilitators continuing the groups after Patrick left his field sites. Patrick’s second field placement was at Catholic Charities Employee Assistance program, where he worked directly with immigrant populations. He is currently working at Chicago House Social Services Agency, as he continues his advocacy work with immigrant and LGBTQ communities, utilizing his experience learning about migration from the perspectives of Mexicans and other Latinos in both countries.

    Celeste N. Sánchez, MSW, relocated to the United States after several years of direct service work with children and adolescents in Central America. She graduated with an MSW at Loyola University Chicago with a sub-specialization in migration studies. In her second year of studies, she received the highly prestigious President’s Medallion for distinction as a student. Her work abroad and with unaccompanied minors in the U.S. has prompted her interests in resiliency and migration. After completing her degree she hopes to continue working with underserved populations in Latin America.

    Shirley R. Simon, ACSW, LCSW, is Associate Professor, School of Social Work, Loyola University Chicago. She has been a social work educator for over thirty-five years, has published on group work education, practice and history, and has facilitated over one hundred fifty student and alumni presentations at professional association conferences. She serves as book review editor for North America for the international journal, Groupwork, and is active in the International Association for Social Work with Groups (IASWG), both locally and internationally. She has provided group work training for social work agency staff and field instructors. Research and scholarship interests include group work education in MSW programs, hybrid-online group work instruction, curricular strategies for connecting students and professional associations, and social work dissertations on group work. Professor Simon can be contacted at

    Hawthorne E. Smith, PhD, is a licensed psychologist and clinical director of the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture. He is also an assistant clinical professor at the NYU School of Medicine in the Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Smith received his doctorate in counseling psychology (with distinction) from Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Smith had previously earned a bachelor of science in foreign service from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, an advanced certificate in African studies from Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, Senegal, as well as a masters in international affairs from the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs. Among his clinical duties, Dr. Smith has facilitated a support group for French-speaking African survivors of torture for the past 18 years. He also speaks extensively at professional conferences and seminars on providing clinical services for survivors of sociopolitical violence and enhancing cross-cultural clinical skills among therapeutic service providers. Dr. Smith has been recognized for his work with such awards as the Robin Hood Foundation’s Hero Award; the Frantz Fanon Award from the Postgraduate Center for Mental Health; the W.E.B. DuBois Award from the International Youth Leadership Institute; the Distinguished Alumni—Early Career Award from Teachers College; the Man of Distinction Award from the National Association of Health Service Executives; the Union Square Award for Community Advocacy from the Fund for the City of New York; and a Humanitarian Award from the Consulate General of the Republic of Haiti. Dr. Smith is also a professional musician (saxophonist and vocalist) with national and international experience.

    Nong Socheat currently works for First Step Cambodia as senior social worker and trainer. Following her graduation with a degree in psychology from the Royal University of Phnom Penh in 2006, she worked for several organizations in Cambodia providing psychosocial services and carrying out research. Socheat was also a member of the team that carried out the very first in-depth research to explore the sexual abuse of boys and young men in Cambodia, I Thought It Could Never Happen to Boys, published in 2008. During her eleven years as a practitioner she has worked with young people and their families, people affected by HIV & AIDS, drug users, street living children and families, children with harmful sexual behaviors, and with boys and young men who have experienced abuse. Socheat is currently leading FSC’s ‘Children First’ Project, which is focused on developing support for children with harmful sexual behaviors.

    Kong Sokhem survived the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime of the 1970s and after studying in Vietnam and Bulgaria, supported the reconstruction of Cambodia by working in the Department of Social Affairs. She has subsequently worked for a number of local NGOs for almost twenty years, providing services for victims of trauma and abuse and their families as well as developing and providing innovative training for government and NGO staff. Sokhem was also a member of the team that carried out the first ever study to focus on the sexual abuse and exploitation of boys in Cambodia—I Thought It Could Never Happen to Boys (2008)—and is now the social work manager of First Step Cambodia, a unique NGO providing specialist services to boys and young men affected by sexual violence and abuse.

    Im Sreytha is a senior social worker and trainer at First Step Cambodia and a psychology graduate from the Royal University of Phnom Penh. Sreytha has worked for a number of NGOs in Cambodia, including Social Services of Cambodia (SSC), and also as a researcher for Domrei Research Consultancy. She has worked with women and girls experiencing sexual and domestic violence and for the last five years, with boys and young men at FSC. Sreytha is also the co-author of the “Some Boys Say” information, assessment, and advocacy tool kit, the very first Khmer language resource of its kind.

    Katherine van Wormer, MSSW, PhD, is professor of social work at the University of Northern Iowa. She has a PhD in sociology from the University of Georgia and has taught and practiced social work in Northern Ireland and Norway. She is the author or co-author of over 20 books, including most recently two volumes of Human Behavior and the Social Environment, Micro and Macro Levels (3rd ed., in press, Oxford University Press), Addiction Treatment: A Strengths Perspective (3rd ed., 2012, Cengage), Restorative Justice Today (SAGE, 2013), and Women and the Criminal Justice System(4th ed., 2014, Pearson). The following 2012 book from LSU Press has recently been reissued in paperback: The Maid Narratives: Black Domestics and White Families in the Jim Crow South.

    Colleen Vesely, PhD, is an assistant professor of early childhood education and human development and family science in the College of Education and Human Development at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Her work focuses on the experiences of diverse, marginalized young children and their families. Dr. Vesely’s most recent work utilizes a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach to understand low-income immigrant and refugee families’ experiences of trauma and resilience and how these experiences shape families’ navigation and negotiation of parenthood, including experiences with the child care system, in the United States. A second area of work, funded by the Center for the Advancement of Well-being at George Mason University, is focused on early childhood education teachers’ ecosystemic well-being and how this shapes teachers’ interactions with young children. Dr. Vesely’s work is published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Early Education & Development, Educational Psychology Review, Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Journal of Counseling and Development, Journal of Children and Poverty, and the Hibic Journal of Behavioral Sciences. Her work has been funded by the Office for Child Care in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a child care scholar as well as the Bruhn Morris Family Foundation and the Bernard van Leer Foundation. Dr. Vesely teaches graduate courses focused on family engagement in early childhood care and education and undergraduate courses focused on family processes and dynamics. Dr. Vesely received her PhD in family science from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 2011.

    Karin Wachter is a doctoral student in the School of Social Work at The University of Texas at Austin and a project director at the Institute on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault. Before moving to Austin, Karin spent 10 years working with the International Rescue Committee as a humanitarian aid worker responding to violence against women and girls in conflict affected contexts, primarily in Africa. Her expertise includes intervention design, logic models, and program evaluation. The focus of Karin’s research is currently on women’s social support mechanisms in forced migration. She teaches research methods and forced migration and social work practice at UT Austin.

  • Resource List: Working With Immigrants, Refugees, and Asylees

    Deportation and Detention

    Corrections Corporation of America

    Detention Watch Network

    Know Your Rights! Protect Yourself Against Immigration Raids

    Domestic Violence/Interpersonal Violence

    Battered Women’s Justice Project

    Between Friends, Chicago

    Cycle of Violence Chart

    Domestic Violence (Population-Specific Approaches) and Human Trafficking

    Forced Migration Review

    Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence

    • Provides education & information to providers and survivors of DV/IPV
    • Personal safety plan
    • How to use a computer and ensure safety
    • Orders of protection
    • How to determine if you are a victim of domestic violence

    International & Global: Female Genital Mutilation

    International & Global: Violence Against Women Globally

    Mujeres Latinas En Accion

    National Center DV Trauma & Mental Health

    National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

    National Immigrant Family Violence Institute

    National Sexual Violence Resource Center

    University of Minnesota Coalition Against Violence

    Source: United Nations General Assembly, 1948

    Human Rights

    Know Your Rights! Protect Yourself Against Immigration Raids

    Freedom House

    Human Rights Watch

    Amnesty International



    Asian American Institute

    Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform

    Catholic Charities Latino Affairs Chicago

    Catholic Legal Immigration Center

    Chicago New Sanctuary Coalition

    Coalition of African, Arab, Asian, Europe and Latino Immigrants of Illinois

    Cair-Chicago Council on American-Islamic Relations


    Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago

    Fair Immigration Reform Movement

    Heartland Alliance Chicago

    Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

    Immigrant Legal Resource Center

    Interfaith Immigration Coalition

    Latino Policy Forum

    Lutheran Immigration & Refugee Services

    Migration Policy Institute

    National Immigrant Justice Center

    National Immigrant Family Violence Institute

    No More Deaths

    Pew Hispanic Research

    The United Nations High Commissioner

    United Nations

    United States Immigration & Customs

    Women Thrive: Because When Women Thrive, the Whole World Thrives

    The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights


    Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, & Transexual, Queer: Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, & Ally

    Heartland Alliance: Rainbow Welcome Initiative

    Medical Resources

    Global Efforts

    Doctors Without Borders

    Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

    United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (Health Initiatives)

    National Professional Associations (United States)

    National Association of Community Health

    National Association for Home Care and Hospice

    General Health Provider Networks

    National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions

    American Health Care Association

    Health Provider Professional Development

    National Association of Social Workers

    U.S. Center for Disease Control

    Mental Health Resources

    Global Efforts

    Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

    United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (Mental Health Initiatives)

    World Health Organization

    National Organizations & Professional Associations (United States)

    American Counseling Association

    Association for Psychological Sciences

    National Alliance on Mental Illness

    National Association of Social Workers

    National Council for Behavioral Health

    National Institute for Mental Health

    Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

    World Association on Infant Mental Health

    Local Programs (Illinois)

    Illinois Association for Infant Mental Health

    Illinois Refugee Mental Health Task Force

    Illinois Children’s Trauma Coalition

    Refugees and Asylum Seekers

    Embrace Refugees

    Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

    Jesuit Refugee Services

    Lutheran Immigration & Refugee Services

    Migration Policy Institute

    Refugee Council USA

    Reform Immigration for America

    Refugee International

    RefugeeOne, Refugee Resettlement Agency (Chicago, Illinois)

    The Refugee Center Online

    The Refugee Project

    U.S. Office of Health & Human Services, Administration of Children & Families, Office of Refugee Resettlement


    Find Youth Information

    Immigrant Youth Justice League

    Immigrant Youth Coalition

    Women’s Issues

    Association for Women’s Rights Associated

    Women Thrive: Because When Women Thrive, the Whole World Thrives

    Association for Women’s Rights in Development

    OECD Development Centre’s Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI)

    Women for Women International

    Universal Declaration of Human Rights


    Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

    Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

    Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

    Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

    Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

    Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in cooperation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

    Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

    Now, therefore the General Assembly proclaims this Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

    Source: United Nations General Assembly, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Paris: United Nations General Assembly, 1948).

    Article I

    All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

    Article 2

    Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

    Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

    Article 3

    Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

    Article 4

    No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

    Article 5

    No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

    Article 6

    Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

    Article 7

    All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

    Article 8

    Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

    Article 9

    No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

    Article 10

    Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

    Article 11
    • Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
    • No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.
    Article 12

    No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

    Article 13
    • Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State.
    • Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
    Article 14
    • Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
    • This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
    Article 15
    • Everyone has the right to a nationality.
    • No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.
    Article 16
    • Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
    • Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
    • The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.
    Article 17
    • Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
    • No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.
    Article 18

    Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

    Article 19

    Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

    Article 20
    • Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
    • No one may be compelled to belong to an association.
    Article 21
    • Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
    • Everyone has the right to equal access to public service in his country.
    • The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.
    Article 22

    Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

    Article 23
    • Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
    • Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
    • Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
    • Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
    Article 24

    Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

    Article 25
    • Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
    • Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.
    Article 26
    • Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
    • Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
    • Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
    Article 27
    • Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
    • Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.
    Article 28

    Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

    Article 29
    • Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
    • In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
    • These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
    Article 30

    Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

    Sample Assessment Outline

    This assessment outline is intended to identify and facilitate client description of the environment and experiences and seeks to learn about the culture and personal identity of the client system with the purpose of becoming useful and a positive resource for the client system.


    Relationships, names, descriptions (genogram and ecological map with as complete information as possible), mother, father, son/brother, daughter/sister, aunts, uncles, godparents, grandparents, stepparents, and so forth

    Non-related but relevant others: neighbors, friends, school, work, sponsoring family or organization, church, mosque, temple, and so forth


    Influential circumstances—for example, culture, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, education, and so forth

    • Specific information related to the identified client difficulties.
    • Country of origin, length of time in United States, plan to relocate in future to be with family, and so forth.
    • Resettlement and/or refugee camps, detention, other holding environments in client’s life.
    • Family system from individualistic or collectivist culture.

    Reasons left country of origin. Who accompanied or are you alone? Languages?

    • Determine languages spoken, ability to hear, understand, and so forth.
    • Reasons for leaving/experiences of oppression—for example, political persecution, gangs and violence, sexual harassment, economic hardships, lack of education, family illness, medical needs, and so forth.
    • Determine if can ask specifically about trauma, discrimination, poverty, and so forth.

    Migration experiences

    Ask about their narrative, life story. Listen! Ask about stages of migration: pre, in transit, post, resettlement

    Referral source

    • Does the referral source help you identify the client system difficulty?
    • How will you collaborate with the referral source, and is it possible?
    • Is your agency relevant or equipped to handle the client’s needs and/or concerns?

    Client system problems/difficulties

    • Determine undocumented status, e.g., importance of activism for Dreamers as one example.
    • Does client understand what a clinician/counselor/social worker is? Does client know why she is at the agency?
    • What does the client want to have happen now in her life?

    Client system strengths

    1. Evaluate if group work would be beneficial to client—decrease isolation and loneliness?

    2. Is client able to participate in groups? Support groups?
    Community change groups? Survivor groups? Psychoeducational groups?

    Ask the client to describe how s/he came to be in the current situation

    If possible, facilitate for the client a thorough description of his/her/their current situation, including how s/he/they came to be in that situation.

    How does client describe the problems and how does client identify solutions?

    Working with the client on his/her recommendations for resolution of problems can be empowering. It also provides information about what the client may be first able to accomplish and/or what the client is aware of at this point in time.

    Short-term goals

    Identify the short-term goals that you and the client system establish as well as goals you identify as potentially helpful from professional experience and perspective.

    Long-term goals

    Identify the long-term goals that you and the client system establish as well as goals you identify as potentially helpful from professional experience and perspective.

    Significant environment influences

    • Describe family relationship patterns.
    • Identify employment history, current level of support from the community, extended and family systems, friendships, and so forth.

    Significant historical material

    • History of mental illness; substance abuse; physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse; domestic violence; illness; deaths; suicides; and so forth.
    • Inquire about personal experience but also observation as helpless bystander to brutality to others, and so forth.

    Individual personality structure and functioning

    • Functioning of the client system.
    • Client exhibit specific defense mechanisms?
    • Interpersonal interaction patterns & long-term relational patterns.
    • How does this information help you to better understand and provide potential insight for how to become useful to the client?

    Therapeutic relationship

    Affective and working state of the therapeutic relationship. Consider your own process. Remain critically self-aware.

    Guiding theories

    • Always begin with concrete services—for example, water, food, and shelter, medical exam, psychiatric evaluation and medication, and so forth.
    • Identify specific theories and relevance to client system.
    • Document studies that support using theory and/or models.

    Intervention plans

    • Describe your relationship with the client.
    • Facts presented in assessment. Have client’s situation, circumstances, problems changed since initial assessment?
    • Your understanding of the problem(s) based on client’s ongoing description of difficulty.
    • Identify client’s strengths, resilience, hardiness, abilities, and skills.
    • Identify community resources, systems, and challenges.
    • How is the client functioning? Is she functioning well in life despite the presence of the presenting concern? What is the degree of disruption and to what areas of life? What is going well? What is going less well?
    • What is doable? (recognize the limitations of time, resources, language skills, etc.)
    • Link a practice model or theories to your decisions. What theoretical models most closely explain the client’s circumstances, difficulties? Is your intervention plan linked to the assessment and needs of the client? Can you provide evidence from literature that your chosen model “works” with the identified situation, environmental challenges and problem(s)?

    Practice evaluation

    How will the goals, assessment, and evaluation of practice combine to give you information about the needs of client and process of the work?


    Describe when discussions about termination are to begin. Describe the process of termination for client(s) and for social work provider/practitioner. Discuss how you think endings may be experienced by each—for example, the client(s) and the provider/practitioner.

    Warning! Protect Yourself From Immigration Raids!

    Source: Reprinted with permission from the American Friends Service Committee, Protect Yourself from Immigration Raids (Takoma Park, MD: CASA of Maryland, n.d.)

    Source: Reprinted with permission from the American Friends Service Committee, Protect Yourself from Immigration Raids (Takoma Park, MD: CASA of Maryland, n.d.)

    Source: Reprinted with permission from the American Friends Service Committee, Protect Yourself from Immigration Raids (Takoma Park, MD: CASA of Maryland, n.d.)

    Source: Reprinted with permission from the American Friends Service Committee, Protect Yourself from Immigration Raids (Takoma Park, MD: CASA of Maryland, n.d.)

    Source: Reprinted with permission from the American Friends Service Committee, Protect Yourself from Immigration Raids (Takoma Park, MD: CASA of Maryland, n.d.)

    Source: Reprinted with permission from the American Friends Service Committee, Protect Yourself from Immigration Raids (Takoma Park, MD: CASA of Maryland, n.d.)

    Source: Reprinted with permission from the American Friends Service Committee, Protect Yourself from Immigration Raids (Takoma Park, MD: CASA of Maryland, n.d.)

    Source: Reprinted with permission from the American Friends Service Committee, Protect Yourself from Immigration Raids (Takoma Park, MD: CASA of Maryland, n.d.)


    Keep this Action Plan in a location that is safe but easy to access by you and your family. Fill in the blanks with the pertinent information and mark Yes or No to the questions suggested here to help you plan what you would do in a particular situation.

    I entered the country: with inspection; without inspection.

    YesNo □ I have assets and personal items that can be converted into cash.

    YesNo □ I have relatives in this community.

    I charge Mr/Mrs/Ms with a power of

    (name of individual)

    attorney or notarized statement to manage my assets and personal items in accordance with my instructions.

    YesNo □ I want legal assistance from an attorney or paralegal in case of being held by ICE on immigration matters.

    YesNo □ I have children at my home or who reside in my community.

    □ In case of my having to leave the country, I leave my children in the custody of my partner/spouse:

    (write the complete name of the individual above)

    □ In case of my having to leave the country, I wish to leave my children under the custody of a family member or another trusted person. Toward that end, I leave a power of attorney or notarized letter in his/her possession:

    (write the complete name of the individual above)

    YesNo □ Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) should be notified that I want my children to accompany me in case of repatriation to my country. I have already prepared travel documents authorizing my spouse or family member to take my children to wherever is necessary.

    YesNo □ I have Form G-28 signed by me and/or for each member of my family that would need such document in case of being detained by ICE.

    YesNo □ I have a retainer agreement with an attorney to represent me on immigration

    matters. His/her name is: .

    His/her phone is .

    Source: Reprinted with permission from the American Friends Service Committee, Protect Yourself from Immigration Raids (Takoma Park, MD: CASA of Maryland, n.d.)

    YesNo □ There is a copy of My Action Plan on file at my church, community organization or trade union. This institution already has instructions on how to help me:

    (name of institution with a copy of My Action Plan)

    (name of the individual responsible)

    YesNo □ I want to leave all those assets and personal items that could not be converted into cash in the hands of a community organization for the use of other individuals in need:

    (name of organization)

    (name of the individual responsible)

    Additional Information (optional)

    YesNo □ I wish to report any and all problems that could be construed as a violation of my work rights, constitutional rights, or human rights. Toward that end I enclose information where I could be contacted outside the country, or to get in touch with two of my relatives and/or friends who could locate me after repatriation:

    Name: __________________________________________________________

    Phone: __________________________________________________________

    Address: __________________________________________________________


    Name: __________________________________________________________

    Phone: __________________________________________________________

    Address: __________________________________________________________

    Prepared by Sandra Sanchez, director, AFSC Immigrant Voices Program, Des Moines, IA. This document may be used by any church, trade union, educational or community organization as long as you credit us in your events. Thanks!

    Source: Reprinted with permission from the American Friends Service Committee, Protect Yourself from Immigration Raids (Takoma Park, MD: CASA of Maryland, n.d.)

    Safety Planning for Survivors of Violence

    About Safety Planning …

    A safety plan can help you stay safer even when you think you won’t leave and even if your abuser doesn’t live with you. If you are concerned about your safety, develop a safety plan. Do it for yourself. Do it for the safer life that you and your children deserve.

    A safety plan is a tool to help you think about what you can do to protect yourself from abuse. This information can get you started. To speak to someone about a personal plan that suits your situation, call your local domestic violence program.

    The information here comes from the collective experience of domestic violence shelters, police, prosecutors, and other battered women. A safety plan is a tool that has worked for others, and it can help you think about ways in which you can stay safer. After you’ve reviewed this information, you may want more help. Confidential, free service is available to you when you call a domestic violence program.

    Things I can do before a violent incident …
    • Identify a neighbor I can tell about the violence and ask them to call the police if they hear a disturbance at my house.
    • Devise a code word or signal to use with family, friends, or neighbors when I need them to call the police.
    • Open my own savings account to increase my independence.
    • Leave money, an extra set of keys, copies of important documents, and extra clothes with someone I trust.
    • Decide where I’ll go if I leave my home, even if right now I don’t think it will come to that.
    • Identify a domestic-violence shelter to call. Find out if a friend or relative will let me stay with them or lend me money.
    • Keep the shelter hotline close at hand and keep change or a calling card on me at all times.
    • Identify which door, window, stairwell, or elevator offers the quickest way out of my home, and practice my escape route.
    • Teach my children to dial 911.
    • Pack a bag and have it ready to go in case I must leave home. Keep the bag in a private but accessible place where I can grab it quickly. I’ll need to take the following items:
      • Money—cash, my checkbook, credit cards, ATM cards, and so forth
      • Identification—driver’s license and registration, Social Security card, passport, green card, public assistance ID, work permit, and so forth
      • Important papers—such as divorce papers; school and vaccination records; and birth certificates for me and my children
      • Clothing
      • Keys—house, car, or work
      • Medications
    • If I already have an order of protection, I need to keep it with me at all times.
    • Review my safety plan as often as possible.

    Source: Reprinted with permission from Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence

    Things I can do during a violent incident …
    • If an argument starts, stay close to a room or area with easy access to an exit. Stay away from the bathroom, kitchen, or anywhere near weapons.
    • Get away. Try to get my packed bag on the way out, but if it’s too dangerous, just leave. Go to a relative, friend, or shelter.
    • Call 911 or my local police. The police must try to protect you from future abuse. They are required to provide or arrange transportation to a hospital or other safe place for you. The police should also arrest the abuser if they have enough evidence of a crime. They must give you a paper that explains your rights and lists a social service agency that can help.
    • Use my judgement and intuition. If the situation is very dangerous, I can give the abuser what he wants to calm him down. I have to protect myself and the kids until we are out of danger.
    Things I can do after a violent incident …

    Get medical attention immediately. Ask the clinic to take pictures of my injuries.

    • Make a police report, even if I don’t want the abuser arrested. The report will become evidence of past abuse, which might prove helpful to me in the future. The abuser will not be notified that you made the report…. Make the report as soon as possible after the abuse.
    • Save evidence, in case I decide to take legal action now or later. Evidence includes medical records and police reports, dated photos of my injuries or the house in disarray, torn clothing, any weapons used, and statements from anyone who saw the attack.
    • Go to court to get an order of protection from domestic abuse. I can call the local domestic violence program to learn more about this option and to get help with court action.
    • Seek out people who want to help me. Decide who I can talk openly with to receive the support I need. Plan to attend a victim’s support group for at least two weeks to learn more about myself and the relationship.
    • During an emergency, call 911 or local police.
    • I can increase my safety and prepare in advance for the possibility of further violence. I have choices about how to best get myself and my children to safety.

    Source: Reprinted with permission from Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence

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