Social Work and Immigration

Bringing social workers into legal settings is not a new phenomenon, social workers are present in child welfare systems, juvenile court systems, and schools. This is not true in the immigration legal services space. Here, the engagement of social workers is new. Now, Social workers and attorneys are tasked with developing ways to center client experiences and stories not just based on a client’s legal needs but their social services needs as well. 

This evolving relationship comes with a lot of growing pains. What can social workers disclose to attorneys? How should attorneys work with social workers? Should we use interdisciplinary models or multidisciplinary models? Part of the work at HILSC is to not just expose social workers to critical roles they play in immigration justice, outside of clinical work, but also to encourage attorneys to embrace a more holistic integration of services that meet the full range of a client’s needs.