Social Work Practice with Immigrants and Refugees

What is clinical practice with immigrants and refugees?

Clinical practice with immigrants and refugees takes into consideration the factors associated with voluntary and forced immigration. These factors include grief and trauma associated with the loss of homeland, loss of identity, and loss of family members, among others. It also includes mental health distress such as anxiety and depression. It recognizes the cultural factors that contribute to mental health among immigrants and refugees.

Why is it important?

Clinical practice with immigrants and refugees is important because these populations are on the rise in the U.S. and yet they remain largely underserved. Our nation is becoming increasingly diverse, and social workers will find themselves working with immigrants and refugees in most professional settings.  Refugees and immigrants have unique needs and challenges which can be effectively addressed by social workers who are knowledgeable, sensitive, and responsive to their needs.


Area of Emphasis in Practice with Immigrants and Refugees (AEIR) Scholars

AEIR Scholars come together with faculty, alumni/ae, and community members with expertise in work with immigrants and refugees, in a two-year program that includes:

  • Courses, course assignments and events specific to immigrants, refugees, their families and communities
  • Leadership opportunities within their AEIR cohort 
  • Field practicum that serves the needs of immigrants, refugees, their families and/or their communities
  • Clinical research paper topic related to immigrants and refugees
  • Tuition stipend of $1,000

AEIR Scholars will take the following electives

  • GRSW 541: Family Resiliency and Diversity: Immigrants and Refugees
  • GRSW 626: Clinical Practice for the Treatment of Trauma
  • GRSW 628: Clinical Practice with Immigrants and Refugees