Girasol strives to help immigrant communities in Texas through education, support, and connection.

Girasol is housed in the Texas Institute for Child and Family Wellbeing at the University of Texas at Austin. The Girasol team works with community partners to support immigrants by educating and providing processing group session to service providers and students on immigration, trauma, and connecting community members with resources. Visit the official Girasol Texas website for the latest updates and resources!

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Current Girasol Projects

Social Work Detention Response – Girasol provides opportunities for professionals and students to support detained immigrant families and children.

In collaboration with RAICES and the UT Immigration Law Clinic, Girasol Texas provided legal support services to immigrant women and children in detention. Interdisciplinary teams of social work and law students oriented immigrants to the credible fear interview and asylum system, assisted them with preparing for their interviews, and provided emotional support to women and children undergoing this process. The team served an average of 15 women per month for two years.

In the fall of 2018 in collaboration with Catholic Charities and RAICES, we trained volunteers to provide direct support to individuals and families in McAllen and San Antonio, TX, including families separated at the border. This program provided processing groups and other mental health supports to lawyers working directly with individuals and families. Girasol’s support groups program used the model of Supporting Women in Detention developed by the YWCA Greater Austin. This group provided therapeutic support to women in detention. The support group served over 2,500 women in five years.

Trainings & ConsultingGirasol provides training and technical assistance support to social service practitioners and legal professionals.

Girasol trains direct service providers on the impact of trauma and immigration by providing trainings and consultation services. Girasol offers trainings for lawyers, social service, and mental health providers to mitigate the risks of re-traumatization while in the asylum process. Secondary trauma trainings and processing groups focus on lessening the impact of vicarious trauma, grief, and burnout that often results from working within the immigration system.

Mental Health CollaborativeGirasol maintains a nationwide network of social workers and mental health professionals working in immigration.

Girasol trains mental health professionals on conducting mental health evaluations to support and serve as expert witnesses for immigration relief cases. The aim of this project is to create a network of trained professionals to provide expertise for the cases of individuals and families seeking asylum, U visas, and T visas and other forms of immigration relief.