Best Practices for Social Work with Refugees and Immigrants

Best Practices for Social Work with Refugees and Immigrants

MIRIAM POTOCKY-TRIPODI
Copyright Date: 2002
Pages: 504
Stable URL: http:/stable/10.7312/poto11582
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  • Book Info
    Best Practices for Social Work with Refugees and Immigrants
    Book Description:

    Social work practice with refugees and immigrants requires specialized knowledge of these populations, and specialized adaptations and applications of mainstream services and interventions. Because they are often confronted with cultural, linguistic, political, and socioeconomic barriers, these groups are especially vulnerable to psychological problems. Among these problems are anxiety, depression, alienation, grief, even post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as biological concerns stemming from inadequate or underutilized medical services. Best Practices for Social Work with Refugees and Immigrants is the first book to offer a comprehensive guide to social work with foreign-born clients that evaluates many different strategies in light of their methodological strengths and weaknesses.

    Part I sets forth the context for empirically based service approaches to such clients by describing the nature of these populations, relevant policies designed to assist them, and service delivery systems. Part II addresses specific problem areas common to refugees and immigrants and evaluates a variety of assessment and intervention techniques for each area. Maintaining a rigorous empirical and broadly pan-cultural approach throughout, Miriam Potocky-Tripodi seeks to identify the most practical, "best practices" to meet the various and pressing needs of uprooted peoples.

    eISBN: 978-0-231-50608-3
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
  3. LIST OF TABLES
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  4. PREFACE
    (pp. xv-xviii)
    Robin Williams
  5. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. xix-xxii)
  6. PART I CONTEXT FOR SOCIAL WORK WITH REFUGEES AND IMMIGRANTS
    • CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION
      (pp. 3-52)

      Many social workers practice in settings that serve immigrant and refugee clients as part of their caseloads. Most social workers can expect to encounter such clients at some time in their careers. The population of immigrants and refugees in the United States is growing rapidly. It is estimated that by 2040, immigrants and refugees and their offspring will account for over one-quarter of the U.S. population (Fix & Passel 1994). And immigrants and refugees will account for 65 percent of the country’s population growth by 2050 (Doyle 1999). Thus it is essential that social workers be prepared to work effectively...

    • CHAPTER 2 IMMIGRATION AND REFUGEE POLICIES
      (pp. 53-95)

      Immigration and refugee policies provide the legal context for social work practice with these populations. These policies include international law and national laws. International law provides guidelines about how countries should treat their citizens and aliens. National laws determine which aliens are eligible for admission, and which aliens are eligible to receive public services and benefits after arrival. These laws have changed over time, and will continue to do so. The following discussion presents the major historical and contemporary immigration and refugee policies, and examines their causes and consequences. An understanding of these policies and the social, political, and economic...

    • CHAPTER 3 SERVICE DELIVERY SYSTEMS
      (pp. 96-120)

      A large and diverse network of organizations and personnel delivers human services to refugees and immigrants. This network includes international, national, state, and local agencies, both public and private. It also includes professionals and paraprofessionals from a variety of disciplines. This chapter describes these organizations and workers, and the major service delivery strategies that they use.

      INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS PROVIDE ASSISTANCE during the premigration, departure, and transit stages of the migration process. Most immigrants do not require assistance during these stages, and they make their departure and travel arrangements on their own. However, some immigrants and all refugees do require international...

  7. PART II BEST PRACTICES
    • CHAPTER 4 CULTURALLY COMPETENT SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE
      (pp. 123-182)

      This chapter begins Part II of this book. Whereas Part I focused on establishing the context for social work practice with refugees and immigrants, Part II now turns to the practice itself. The chapters in this part will describe specific problems faced by refugees and immigrants, and best social work practice responses. This book advocates and focuses on using empirically based practice in social work with immigrants and refugees. A social worker who uses empirically based practice is one who:

      Makes maximum use of research findings.

      Collects data systematically to monitor the intervention.

      Demonstrates empirically whether or not interventions are...

    • CHAPTER 5 HEALTH
      (pp. 183-255)

      Immigrants and refugees have been identified as a vulnerable population that has high risk for poor health (Riedel 1998). Therefore, social work with members of this population must address their health status and health care needs. Whether social workers are employed in health care settings or other settings that serve immigrants and refugees, they should be familiar with the unique health issues of this population, and with appropriate interventions. This chapter will begin by describing the relevant health issues, including the reasons for this population’s vulnerability to poor health. The chapter will then discuss best practices for addressing these issues....

    • CHAPTER 6 MENTAL HEALTH
      (pp. 256-309)

      “Migration is a condition of risk for developing mental disorder. If one migrates as a refugee, the jeopardy to emotional well-being is even greater. . . . But risk is not destiny. The social and historical contingencies surrounding resettlement as well as personal strengths which individuals bring to the situation determine whether exposure to risk results in break-down or in personal fulfillment” (Beiser 1990, p. 52).

      Refugees and immigrants are at risk of developing mental health problems due to the unique stressors experienced during the pre-migration and departure, transit, and resettlement stages of the migration process. This chapter will begin...

    • CHAPTER 7 FAMILY DYNAMICS
      (pp. 310-355)

      It has been observed that “migration is one of the most obvious instances of complete disorganization in the individual’s role system” (Bar-Yosef 1980, p. 20). The stressors of the migration process typically lead to changes in family roles and family dynamics, or the ways in which family members relate to one another. These role changes in turn place additional stress on the family members. As in the case of individual response to stress, family response to stress is affected by the family’s coping resources and protective factors. If families are highly adaptable, meaning they are able to change their power...

    • CHAPTER 8 LANGUAGE, EDUCATION, AND ECONOMIC WELL-BEING
      (pp. 356-415)

      Immigrants’ and refugees’ english language ability, educational attainment, and economic well-being are closely interrelated. These issues form the major area of concern with regard to immigration among policymakers and the general public. They are also most often the primary concern among immigrants and refugees themselves. Therefore, social workers working with immigrants and refugees need to be well-prepared to address these issues. This chapter will first summarize research findings in this area. Then, best practices for enhancing language ability, educational attainment, and economic well-being of refugees and immigrants will be presented. The chapter will conclude with several case study exercises for...

    • CHAPTER 9 INTERETHNIC RELATIONS
      (pp. 416-478)

      Throughout this book there has been discussion of the negative impacts of prejudice, racism, and discrimination upon immigrants and refugees. It has been demonstrated how discriminatory behaviors, practices, and policies adversely affect immigrants’ and refugees’ health, mental health, family dynamics, and educational and economic status. Preceding chapters have addressed macro- and meso-level strategies for reducing institutional discrimination (i.e., discriminatory policies and practices) in these specific problem areas. Such strategies are aimed at changing social policies and social service delivery systems. This chapter addresses these issues at a broader and more fundamental level—that is, prejudice, racism, and discrimination among individuals...

    • CHAPTER 10 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
      (pp. 479-492)

      This final chapter will summarize and synthesize the material presented in preceding chapters. The chapter will conclude with recommendations for future practice and research with refugees and immigrants.

      THE FIRST PART OF THIS BOOK presented background context and knowledge that is necessary as a foundation for practice with refugees and immigrants. This includes an overview of refugees and immigrants; immigration and refugee policies; and service delivery systems. Each of these topics is summarized below.

      THE POPULATION OF IMMIGRANTS AND REFUGEES in the United States is growing rapidly. Within the next four to five decades, immigrants and refugees will account for...

  8. REFERENCES
    (pp. 493-524)
  9. INDEX
    (pp. 525-538)