198239 Refugee Families strength-based services: An academic and community collaborative

Monday, November 9, 2009: 8:50 AM

Gonzalo Bacigalupe, EdD, MPH , Graduate School of Education/Counseling and School Psychology, University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, MA
This collaborative partnership between a refugee re-settlement and refugee services non-governmental institution and a university counseling department offers mental health counseling services to refugee and immigrant families. The team of faculty, students, and organizational partners is developing a strength-based model of attention to refugee families that it also addresses the policy and preventive aspects. The refugee services organization is one of the oldest in the country and fundamental to all of the Institute's programs is the promotion of self-sufficiency. Traditionally, the institution has provide newcomers with direct and practical assistance in the form of English & literacy courses, refugee resettlement services, citizenship education, economic development, employment training & placement, legal aid and social services (e.g. crisis intervention, mental health counseling, human trafficking prevention). Building on program evaluation, supervisory, and consultation experiences between leading faculty at a state university through support of clinical, social services, and a trafficking project, this project is committed to a long-term collaboration in which staff, faculty, and students work collaboratively. The design of direct clinical services to refugee families that is not psychopathology based and that accommodates to the actual needs of the refugee families is the cornerstone of the collaborative. Faculty supervisors and students coordinate services, participate in quality improvement and program evaluation activities, and design training and consultation. This presentation describes the emerging clinical and preventive model, the organizational dilemmas in changing the clinical culture of refugee assistance, and the developing of a model that empowers families.

Learning Objectives:
Participants will identify core principles of collaborative work and its intersection with a preventive health and culturally affirming model. Participants will discuss what barriers refugees encounter at the present in attempting to access counseling services Participants will acquire culturally competent skills in addressing systematically and systemically appropriate services for refugee families.

Keywords: Refugees, Mental Health Services

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Several papers related to the subject of immigration, cultural competency, collaborative services. Recent grant on serving refugee families.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.