News From The Field: June 2018

NFTF June 2018This month we are featuring a letter from our director about the separation of families seeking asylum in the United States. We also announced our child welfare conference theme and opened up the call for presenters! As always, we listed some upcoming professional development opportunities to check out and some summer reading on child welfare topics.

Our monthly feature, News from the Field, is an extension of the bottom of our newsletter. We will be providing you with some of the latest news, resources, and local & national professional development opportunities. If you haven’t already, sign up to get our monthly e-newsletter in your inbox.


From our Director:

In 2017, my esteemed colleague, Dr. Laurie Cook Heffron, and I published this piece in multiple news outlets regarding the separation of families seeking asylum.

Read it here:

At that time, there were a small number of mothers who were separated from children whose stories we were hearing from those on the ground in detention centers. Even though the practice of separating children and parents has stopped (at the moment), there is an incredible need and ongoing suffering. Children who were separated remain separated. Even after they are reunified, the trauma will live with them forever.

I urge everyone to continue to support the non-profits working with these families.  Remember, the government separated children from their families, not the non-profits who are trying their best to help.  For agencies housing children, consider donating to Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley or Upbring’s New Hope facility. For agencies providing legal assistance and advocacy, consider donating to RAICES, American Gateways or The Young Center.

For the past several years, our institute has collaborated with Laurie to run the Social Work Detention Response Team. We take social work students to the Karnes Detention Center to work with women and children seeking asylum. For me personally, the work has re-invigorated my passion for social work direct practice. I continuously am amazed to meet mothers who seem to have infinite strength. In many discussions that I have heard regarding immigration in the past two weeks, some people are asking why migrants from Central America are coming to the US. I thought it would be a good time to re-introduce a blog series that some students and I had started reflecting on our work at Karnes.

Read the blog series here:
The Journey to Safety: Let’s humanize Central American women seeking asylum in the US.
The Journey to Safety Part 2: How do you travel 1,500* miles?
The Journey to Safety Part 3: How Credible is Your Fear?

Several students are working to mobilize our Social Work Detention Response Team. Stay tuned in to our social media accounts for information about how you can help our students as they volunteer in The Valley this summer.

-Dr. Monica Faulkner

News From The Field

Call for presenters is now open! Applications due August 17th!
We’ve partnered up with Starr Commonwealth to offer a 2-day training to Austin-area helping professionals who work with children, adolescents and families including, but not limited to: teachers, school administration and staff, psychologists, social workers, counselors, and hospice workers. Join us September 25-28th!

Free Webinar: July 11th, 3 pm CT

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