Working with Refugee and Immigrant Populations
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Workshop Outcomes & Objectives:
This workshop is targeted toward anyone who works with refugee or immigrant individuals and families in the state of Iowa. It will focus on the ways that social workers can provide quality mental health care services to these populations, specifically analyzing the myths that often reduce social worker confidence in providing these services. Practical components of services will be covered including interpretation, best practice and evidence-based interventions, and ways to build rapport with immigrant clients. Additionally, the workshop will address systemic issues which reduce services to refugees and immigrants including social work assumptions and biases of what mental health care looks like, cultural components, and issues of war, colonization and racism.
Upon completion of this training, participants will:
- Have a clear understanding of refugee and immigrant communities in Iowa and their mental health needs
- Be able to analyze individual and agency practice to identify areas for growth and barriers to services for refugee and immigrant communities in Iowa.
- Discuss and apply evidence-based practice interventions to mental health care services being provided to refugee and immigrant clients and families.
Alyssa Clayden has been working in the field of refugee and immigrant mental health for 20 years in a variety of roles and across five continents. Alyssa is a Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW),and PhD candidate at the University of Iowa with a research focus in refugee and immigrant mental health and systemic issues in health and practice which reduce efficacy of mental health care. She has presented nationally and internationally on mental health research, racism in mental health care, suicide and trauma, and collaborates on interdisciplinary health research teams both in the US and internationally.
Alyssa works with Physicians for Human Rights across the United States providing asylum assessments for both free and detained asylum seekers. Alyssa is also the Executive Director of ABC’d Therapy & Consultation, an Iowa agency that provides transcultural education and technical assistance for agency diversity and equity outcomes, and education in increasing provider skills and resiliency when providing health and mental health care to refugee and immigrant communities. Alyssa focuses on working toward ensuring the voices of refugee and immigrant communities are heard in the US context, and provides support groups and consultation groups to professionals, interpreters, and to refugee and immigrant community members to enhance mutual understanding and reduce miscommunication and burnout
The NASW IA Chapter has determined that this course meets the requirements of the Iowa Board of Social Work for 3.0 hours of continuing education.