Category Archives: international

The Dilley Project: UB Students at the US-Mexico Border – Second Post

by Teresa Watson

Read the initial post at this link: https://socialworksynergy.org/2019/01/25/the-dilley-project-ub-students-at-the-us-mexico-border-1st-post/

 

First day in Dilley: 1/21/19

I didn’t have the energy to write out notes last night, beyond some bullet points, so I’m writing this morning from the facility while I wait for my partner to finish up a “Charla” (a chat or conversation), which is essentially a group informational session to inform the clients about the Credible Fear Interview (CFI) process they will undertake to establish that they are eligible to make their Asylum claims in court, and about how the volunteer lawyers will help them talk through their asylum claims before the have to meet with the Asylum Officer to present their claim.

 

 

Map of southeast Texas, showing, from North to South: Austin, San Antonio, Dilley, and Laredo which is in the border of Mexico.

Dilley is about 85 miles north of Laredo on the border. Map: City-Data.com

 

Our morning began very early, getting up at 6 AM in order to grab showers, eat breakfast at the hotel and arrive at a neighboring hotel for a make-up training for the one we missed Sunday night. It was really interesting, and I took a ton of notes – the team here has really gotten specific with what does and doesn’t work well here, with legal cases.

 

Prep Sessions

I have a ton of updates! It turns out that I’m doing almost the exact same work as the law students, at least during the day: I am doing CFI (Credible Fear Interview) Prep sessions with Cary, an attorney and one of our team who is helping to translate for me. As I talked to the other teams, it seems all teams broke down the roles in similar ways: Cary translates the gist of the information for me, and I take notes and do slightly more of the structural/legal labor for the case (I will explain more on that later); Cary does more of the intensive labor of listening for important details, which we can further discuss with the client to see if those experiences are likely to qualify them for asylum. Since I am keeping notes – and luckily I understand enough Spanish to take super-basic notes on the details the women tell to Cary. I then flesh them out when his translates. I create timelines to fit the women’s cases to the structure the Dilley project uses to help women meet asylum criteria. I try to be sure we review all of the questions that the asylum office will ask the women, as well as some screening questions – to determine if they were illegally denied entry at the border, if they are pregnant, if they have been separated from their family by the detention centers, if they have experienced domestic violence.

Frustrations

I find that I’m worried about the client interviews, and that I cannot know if I’m doing enough to prepare them. A few hours is such a small amount of time for someone to tell their entire life’s story, or to establish the threats to their liberty or life that they have lived with and had to flee from. I also find that the language barrier is a tremendous frustration when I can’t respond directly to their questions, revelations, etc. We only talked to three women yesterday, and we started around 12:30 PM, and went until 7:30 PM; the on-the-ground volunteers tell us that we will get faster, and more confident and comfortable, as the week goes on.

young woman and boy kneel in front of a protest sign, chalking words on pavement

Refugee Rights Protest (Australia) Photo credit: Takver CC BY-SA 2.0

 

 

 

Stay tuned!!

Teresa’s third post will be published January 28, 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teresa (head, shoulders, arms) holding lilacs, lying on ground with eyes closed

Teresa Watson is in her second year as an Advanced Standing MSW student and will graduate in May 2019.      Photo: from author

 

 

 

The Dilley Project: UB Students at the US-Mexico Border – 1st post

by Teresa Watson

Editor’s Note: We’re pleased to bring you this series by one of our #MSW students about her volunteer work during the 2018-19 winter intersession. Comments are welcome!

 

A pair of hands are cupped, each holding a torn piece of paper bag with one word written on it.

Photo: UB Law School

 

Hello, readers – I’m Teresa! It’s nice to meet you. I’m an advanced-year MSW student, a Graduate Assistant for the Global Interest Group in the University at Buffalo School of Social Work, and a volunteer with Justice for Migrant Families in Western New York. I’m part of a team of law and social work students who are spending this week at the South Texas Family Detention Center in Dilley, Texas, assisting asylum seekers.

I hope these daily accounts (there will be a week’s worth of posts) will give you a picture of what asylum seekers encounter at the southern border.

To prepare, the law students completed two weeks of intensive study in refugee and asylum law, three hours a day, four days a week. I attended half of these classes, and studied independently to gain more knowledge about social work, trauma and working with refugees.   I also adapted a presentation by Katie McClain-Meeder, MSW, and led a class on trauma and vicarious trauma in crisis work for the law students.

Picture of boy being carried by brother, as family walks ahead in rural area with mountains in distance

Slide from presentation to law students on trauma

 

 

On our way

Right now it is 6 PM on Sunday, January 20th, 2019, and I am on a plane with five JD students, one JD/MSW student and one PhD Candidate in the Romance Languages. We are headed to Dilley, Texas, as a volunteer team with UB Law Professor Nicole Hallett, who directs the U.S.-Mexico Border Clinic, attorney Carey who practices immigration law, and clinical social worker(MSW) Maria, from Rochester, New York.

In Dilley, we will be working with asylum seekers from various countries who have been detained at the U.S./Mexico border; our team will be working with women who have children at this particular facility. We will work in pairs, preparing as many women as possible for their initial interviews with US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officers. These interviews determine whether they pass the “credible fear” standard, which is the legal standard that says the asylum officer must find at least a 10% chance that their fear of harm —  the harm they fear they will face if they return to their home —  is “credible” or realistic.  If they pass the interview, they become eligible to plead their case in court at a later time and remain in the US to keep them safe from the credible fears they were facing in their prior home.

two picnic benches in front of a long view of trailer-like tan buildings ngs

South Texas Family Residential Center, Dilley, Texas. Photo credit: US Immigration and Customs Enforcement

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Cultural Humility: A Lesson Plan for Social Work

By Sarah Richards-Desai, MSW

 

The UB School of Social Work has developed a new resource to assist students, faculty, and practitioners in their understanding of cultural humility. Conversations about Culture: Video and Lesson Plan  introduces students, practitioners, and the public to the concept of cultural humility. This module includes a 12-minute video, containing interviews and content designed to raise questions and introduce the concept of cultural humility in social work. There are additional resources, a lesson plan, and some possible activities to try on your own or in a classroom setting.

Video for the UBSSW Cultural Humility module

Video for the UBSSW Cultural Humility module

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Trauma-Informed Care – Join the #MacroSW Chat

by Pat Shelly

Note: A summary of the chat can be found here
https://storify.com/UBSSW/trauma-informed-care-macrosw-twitter-chat-9-10-15

All the new resources mentioned in the chat summary can be found below the list of suggested readings at the end of this post.

What: Macro Social Work Twitter Chat
When: Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015  at 9pm ET / 6pm PT
Why: Knowledge of trauma and its impact, assessment and treatment are essential to the future of social work practice, and social work education.*
How: Follow #MacroSW  (see here for live twitter chat tips by our chat partner @LaurelHitchcock)

Photograph: Images.com/Corbis

Photograph: Images.com/Corbis

During this #MacroSW Chat, we will be focusing on Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) and Social Work.

September 10 is the eve of the 14th anniversary of 9-11, which resulted in trauma to a nation, a city, communities, families and individuals; 9-11  (see #NeverForget_911) joined #OklahomaCityBombing as synonyms for “acts of mass murder by terrorists.”

This is also #SuicidePrevention Week. Trauma is obviously part of what both suicide attempt-survivors and suicide loss-survivors experience.

It’s been 10 years since #HurricaneKatrina devastated New Orleans.

Current traumas in the news include the #refugee crisis in Europe, and the ongoing issues of racist violence in the U.S. as seen in #BlackLivesMatter #SayHerName #Ferguson #Charleston.

Please join us, with our guest experts from the Institute on Trauma and Trauma-Informed Care, @UBSSW professors Sue Green @UBittic and Tom Nochajski @ubthn.

We’ll want to hear about your experiences with trauma-informed care and thoughts on how this enriches our profession.
*Knowledge of trauma and its impact, assessment and treatment are essential to
the future of social work practice, and social work education.
Check back on September 11th, when a summary – including a list of references and resources – will be posted.

Questions for discussion:   1. What is trauma-informed care? /  2. How does trauma-informed care (TIC) fit into macro social work? / 3. Have you had any experiences with TIC? / 4. What is already happening around TIC in social work and in the macro areas? / 5. What special training is needed to become a social worker / agency / policy that is trauma-informed?

The links and resources that were mentioned in the chat can be found below this reading list

Suggested Reading: (an incomplete list – we welcome your comments and additions)

Bloom, S.L., Farragher, B., Restoring Sanctuary: A New Operating System for Trauma-Informed Organizations, (2013) New York: Oxford University Press

British Colombia Provincial Mental Health and Substance Use Planning Council. (2013, May). Trauma-Informed Practice Guide.

Carello, J. and Butler, L. (2014). Potentially Perilous Pedagogies: Teaching Trauma is not the Same as Trauma-Informed Teaching. In J. Trauma & Dissociation.  Retrieved from:   http://www.academia.edu/9331463/Potentially_Perilous_Pedagogies_Teaching_Trauma_Is_Not_the_Same_as_Trauma-Informed_Teaching

Fallot, R.D. and Harris, M. (2009) Creating Cultures of Trauma-Informed Care: A Self-Assessment and Planning Protocol
https://www.healthcare.uiowa.edu/icmh/documents/CCTICSelf-AssessmentandPlanningProtocol0709.pdf

Finkel, Ed. (2015). Problem-solving courts dig deep to acknowledge, and, sometimes, address trauma. ACEs Connection Network (April 16). http://www.acesconnection.com/blog/problem-solving-courts-dig-deep-to-acknowledge-and-sometimes-address-trauma

Harris, M. and Fallot, R.D., Eds. (2001). Using trauma theory to design service systems. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Kawam, E. (2015, Sept. 1). Trauma Informed Care and Social Work Education: A Case Study. Retrieved from:
http://www.socialjusticesolutions.org/2015/09/01/trauma-informed-care-ethics-social-work-education/

Kusmaul, N., Wilson, B., & Nochajski, T. (2015) The Infusion of Trauma-Informed Care in Organizations: The Experience of Agency Staff. Human Services Organizations Management, Leadership & Governance, Volume 39, Issue 1, January 2015, pages 25-37.
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/23303131.2014.968749#.VfG6LX2iNdw

Richardson, S.A. (2014) Awareness of Trauma-Informed Care. Social Work Today, July 2014
http://www.socialworktoday.com/archive/exc_012014.shtml

SAMHSA’s Concept of Trauma and Guidance for a Trauma-Informed Approach (2014, July). Retrieved from:
http://www.traumainformedcareproject.org/resources/SAMHSA%20TIC.pdf

SAMSHA. (2010). Creating a Trauma-Informed Criminal Justice System for Women: Why and How. Retrieved from:
http://www.traumainformedcareproject.org/resources/TIC%20criminal%20justice%20for%20women%20%282%29.pdf

SAMSHA. (2014, March). TIP 57: Trauma-Informed Care in Behavioral Health Services. Retrieved from:
http://www2.jbsinternational.com/kap/TIP-57.htm

Singer, J. B. (Producer). (2013, April 29). An Overview of Trauma-Informed Care: Interview with Nancy J. Smyth, Ph.D. [Episode 80]. Social Work Podcast [Audio Podcast]. Retrieved from http://www.socialworkpodcast.com/2013/04/an-overview-of-trauma-informed-care.html

University at Buffalo Institute on Trauma and Trauma-Informed Care (ITTIC) Resources on #Trauma, #TraumaInformed Care:
Trauma Talks at UB ITTIC
http://socialwork.buffalo.edu/social-research/institutes-centers/institute-on-trauma-and-trauma-informed-care/trauma-talks.html

ITTIC’s expert Advisory Panel
http://socialwork.buffalo.edu/social-research/institutes-centers/institute-on-trauma-and-trauma-informed-care/about-us/expert-advisory-panel.html
You Tube Video’s podcasts at ITTIC
https://www.youtube.com/user/UBITTIC
Resource Center:
http://socialwork.buffalo.edu/resources/resource-center/resources.html?cat=1

Resources / Links that were recommended by Trauma-Informed Care #MacroSW chat participants:

Infographic on trauma and trauma-informed care:
http://socialwork.buffalo.edu/content/dam/socialwork/social-research/ITTIC/trauma-informed-care-infographic.pdf

Trauma-Informed Care: Top 10 Tips for Caregivers and Case Managers. By David Ott, Christina Suarez, LCSW and Kimberly Brien,  for Devereux Florida:
https://ncwwi.org/files/Evidence_Based_and_Trauma-Informed_Practice/Trauma_Informed_Care_-_top_10_tips.pdf

Top 10 Recommended Trauma-Informed Care Online Resources
http://www.crisisprevention.com/Blog/April-2012/Top-10-Recommended-Trauma-Informed-Care-Online-Res

National Center for Trauma-Informed Care at U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: http://www.samhsa.gov/nctic

The National Center for Trauma-Informed Care (NCTIC), National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors:
http://www.nasmhpd.org/content/national-center-trauma-informed-care-nctic-0

Trauma-Informed Care. National Council for Behavioral Health State Association of Addiction Services
http://www.thenationalcouncil.org/topics/trauma-informed-care/

Trauma-Informed and Trauma-Specific Services. Oregon.gov Addictions and Mental Health Services: (resources in and beyond Oregon) 
http://www.oregon.gov/OHA/amh/pages/trauma.aspx

Tarpon Springs, FL, first trauma-informed city, embraces messy path toward peace. http://acestoohigh.com/2014/09/17/tarponsprings/

NASW Maryland Chapter’s 2015 Annual Macro Conference, Sept. 25:
http://www.nasw-md.org/?page=MacroSocialWorkCo

Webinar- Building a Trauma-Informed Nation
Sept. 29 & 30, 2015
Free! Register at https://www.blsmeetings.net/traumainformednation/
Sponsor: The Federal Partners Committee on Women and Trauma

About the #MacroSW Twitter Chat Partners:

#MacroSW is a collaboration of social workers, organizations, social work schools, and individuals working to promote macro social work practice. Macro social work practice focuses on changing larger systems, such as communities and organizations. It encompasses a broad spectrum of actions and ideas, ranging from community organizing and education to legislative advocacy and policy analysis. The chats are held bimonthly on Twitter on the second and fourth Thursday of each month at 9 p.m. EST (6 p.m. PST). For more information, chat schedule, and chat archives check out https://macrosw.wordpress.com

       Our collaborators include:

  • Association for Community Organizing and Social Administration (ACOSA),
    @acosaorg
  • Karen Zgoda, MSW, LCSW, Instructor of Social Work at Bridgewater State University,
    @karenzgoda
  • Network for Social Work Management (NSWM),
    @TheNSWM
  • Rachel West, The Political Social Worker,
    @poliSW
  • University at Buffalo School of Social Work,
    @ubssw
  • Sunya Folayan, MSW, ACSW, founder/executive director, The Empowerment Project, Inc.,
  • @SunyaFolayan
  • Laurel Hitchcock, PhD, Assistant Professor of Social Work, University of Alabama at Birmingham, @LaurelHitchcock
  • Kristin Battista-Frazee, MSW, Author and Marketing Consultant,
    @porndaughter

Social Workers Respond to Jihadism – Part I – Rationale and Resources

by Pat Shelly

The School of Social Work at the University at Buffalo has a Global Interest Group (GiG), which organizes events exploring social issues in a global context and bringing it into a local discussion. This encourages our MSW students to think outside the box of U.S. culture and look beyond its particular strategies for social change. At our monthly lunches, students, faculty, staff and community members listen an invited speaker, and join in the discussion that follows.

Topics for 2014-15 included working with survivors of torture, international field placement and its challenges, experiences of women in the Arab Gulf, social work issues in Tanzania, and immigration and human rights.

For the final Global to Local event of the academic year,”Social Work Responses to Jihadism: Promoting Peace and Human Rights” was held as an informal dinner discussion.

purple flower is growing up from cracked earth

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