CEU: Social Work Practice with Refugees & Immigrants

Jun 29, 2021

09:00 AM - 05:00 PM

North Hall, 219

20 Davenport Street, Iowa City, IA 52245

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flags from various nations flying on the Iowa Memorial Union Bridge with Hawkeye flag in the foreground

Social Work Practice with Refugees & Immigrants
June 28-29, 2021
9:00 am – 5:00 pm both days
UI School of Social Work / 219 NH
15 CEUs - $95

Registration required: https://bit.ly/2SpstE9

Students who wish to take this course for academic credit should contact Kate Kemp in the School of Social Work: kate-kemp@uiowa.edu

($40 for School of Social Work Adjuncts, Field Instructors and Practicum Coordinators)
There will be a 30-minute lunch break each day. Participants should bring their own lunch.

This 2-day intensive course examines complex dimensions facing social workers working with refugee and immigrant clients. The course includes how individuals become refugees, experiences before and after arrival in the United States, culture shock and cultural adjustment, post-traumatic stress, and surviving war and terror. Particular focus will be paid to family needs and issues, intergenerational trauma and adjustment, and inter-group conflict, as well as high-risk groups (asylum seekers, detainees and their families, survivors of torture and human trafficking). Changing political and social issues facing refugees and immigrants since Sept 11, including current US policies, will be discussed, as well as the unique role social workers are capable of filling to address key social justice needs and gaps. 

Learning Objectives:
•    Explain the relationship of globalization on immigration politically, socially and economically, and how various factors impact refugees and immigrants locally. 
•    Predict possible ethical dilemmas that occur in practice with immigrants and refugees.
•    Analyze the intersection of individual, family, community and organizational factors that contribute to, and impact, problems and solutions related to migration and vulnerable populations. 
•    Develop awareness and skills to analyze biases in self and others (individual, community, and organizational levels) and how these influence work with refugees and immigrants. 
•    Begin structuring an action plan for empowering refugees and immigrants in practice settings


Day One: Monday, 6/28        
9 AM – Noon:    
Globalization and Migration
Historical context
Challenges (generally)
        Challenges in practice for helping professions
        Role of local, national, and international groups
        Refugees and Immigrants in the US and in Iowa (intro)
Noon – 12:30 PM – Lunch break
12:30 – 5 PM    
Refugees and Immigrants in the US and in Iowa (cont.)
        Immigration policy: past & present 
Political, economic, social dimensions
Language and law
        Populations and their needs
        Culturally Appropriate Practice (intro)

Day Two: Tuesday, 6/29
9 AM – Noon     
Culturally Appropriate Practice (cont.)
        Principles and Ethics
Social Work’s role
Bias awareness, education, and application
Noon – 12:30 PM – Lunch break
12:30 – 4:45 PM 
Successful practice with refugees and immigrants (intro)
Successful practice with refugees and immigrants (cont)
Theory and concepts
Values and empowerment
Problems and solutions
Community-based support, knowledge, organizations, and interventions
4:45 -5 PM     Conclusions, evaluations

About the Presenter
Alyssa Clayden is a Licensed Independent Social Worker with 20 years of experience with culturally and linguistically diverse populations. She is a PhD student at the School of Social Work with a concentration in Public Health. Alyssa works alongside Iowa’s Bureau of Refugee Services to support and provide mental health services and community education. Her research focuses on complex trauma in Iowa’s migrant populations and best practices for practitioners of health and mental health when working with refugee patients.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa–sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact in advance at

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