Department of Human Service Studies faculty member Carmen Monico, and 2018 Leadership Prize Recipient David Duncan presented at the 2018 Latino Social Work Organization held at the University of Illinois-Chicago this past week.
Department of Human Service Studies faculty member Carmen Monico and 2018 Leadership Prize recipient David Duncan presented at the 2018 Latino Social Work Organization held Oct. 17-19 at the University of Illinois-Chicago.
Supported by Elon’s Leadership Prize program, the duo presented preliminary findings of their ongoing research project entitled “The Deportation Threat and Its Health Impact on Hispanic Immigrant College Students” that investigates the mental health and coping mechanisms of North Carolinian immigrant students without secure citizenship statuses within the states.
This research project is critical to a better understanding of college students who are undocumented or who have an uncertain or undefined immigration status, and how to support them in order for them to be successful in higher education and become more productive members of the U.S. society. The study is particularly relevant to the majority of college students interviewed who are Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and whose status could be indefinitely rescinded and who could have their lives disrupted while facing imminent deportation.
Close to 350 social work practitioners and students, human service providers and public service professionals from various states and academics from the United States and Canada participated in the three-day Latino Social Work Organization conference held at University Center of the University of Illinois at Chicago. The conference provided professional training on “La Familia” (the Family) perspective delivered by Latinx/Hispanic faculty from around the U.S. The continued education credits training was grounded in the National Association of Social Work (NASW) Code of Ethics and Cultural Competency Standards. The conference included 10 plenary sessions and 37 concurrent, peer-reviewed workshops, in addition to networking sessions of specific topics of interest. Eighteen social work students prevented their research projects — the highest number of poster sessions ever.
The conference was offered as a continuing education program, and was a unique space for social/human services workers and scholars to network and mentor students aspiring or training in the profession. The theme infused throughout the conference was “La Familia” perspective, as most participants serve the Latino community.
Monico and Duncan delivered a joint presentation at a workshop describing the details of the research they completed during the SURE program in 2018 and its potential implications for social work. This conference marked the second presentation Duncan and Monico have participated in this semester with the first being the Forced Migration Institute held at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in August 2018.
Particular to this presentation was the increased emphasis that Duncan and Monico took on the practical implications the results of the research could have on the Latino community. During data analysis, the team selected to create a risk and protective factor model highlighting potential moderating variables that could influence the degree to which Hispanic immigrant students experience the fear of deportation. This is especially important for social workers looking to format their best practices around understanding how environmental variables impact student experiences.
Monico joined two panel discussions on pursuing higher education through doctoral studies. Years ago, Monico promoted the creation of spaces for faculty participating in the LSWO conference to mentor junior and seasoned social workers about how to navigate and advance in higher education.
In fact, Latinx/Hispanics are underrepresented in this field even if the Latinx/Hispanic community is the fastest growing minority in the United States. For instance, two surveys conducted by the Council of Social Work Education conducted in 2017 reported that 7.1 percent of students enrolled in doctoral programs identify as Chicano/Mexican, Puerto Rican and other Latino/Hispanic, as compared to only 5.2 percent of full-time faculty. This contrasts with the 2017 U.S. Census Bureau estimates regarding U.S. residents of Hispanic origin (14.8 percent or 44.3 million), with an additional 12 million undocumented Latinos/as estimated to be residing in the U.S.
The participation by Monico and Duncan in this conference was supported by Leadership Prize funding. The award provides $10,000 to engage in (a) the intensive study of an issue worthy of study, (b) the development of a plan of action to help address the issue, and (c) the implementation of the solution plan or a test of the solution plan with reportable results. Faculty members are also provided with funding to support the student projects.
For more information on the LSWO and 2018 Conference: http://www.lswo2018.org/