The U.S. Census Bureau projects that by 2060 Latinos will comprise more than one quarter of the country’s population. In Texas, where the Latino share of the population is 36%, there is a growing demand for Spanish-speaking social workers who can work with Latinos on a cultural level. Here’s how professors in the Steve Hicks School are making difference in Latinx communities.
- The Steve Hicks School is accelerating the recruitment and education of bilingual master’s students for careers in the health and mental health workforce of Central Texas through the St. David’s Foundation Bilingual Social Work Scholars program.
- The school offers a Spanish for social workers course that helps students develop ethical and effective communication with diverse Spanish-speaking populations and their corresponding environments.
- During the master’s program, students have the opportunity to sharpen their bilingual skills with internships in the numerous Texas agencies that serve the needs of Spanish-speaking clients and internships in Oaxaca, Mexico.
- The Steve Hicks School offers a dual degree with the nationally recognized Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies (LLILAS). Through the three-year program, students acquire clinical skills, develop cultural and linguistic competency suited to diverse Latino and Latin American populations, conduct research in the United States or in Latin American countries, and write a thesis.
- Through the Girasol program at the school’s Texas Institute for Child & Family Wellbeing, researchers and students work with community partners to support immigrant children and families healing from trauma. Girasol includes initiatives such as Navegando Austin, a website that compiles resources accessible to the Spanish-speaking undocumented community in Austin, and the Social Work Detention Response Team, which collaborates with UT-Austin’s School of Law’s Immigration Law Clinic to provide legal support services to immigrants and children in the Karnes detention center.
- Many Steve Hicks School faculty focus their research on Latino populations. Students with a personal or professional interest in Latino issues have the opportunity to meet them for conversation, mentorship and network opportunities through the Latinx Students and Scholars Network. The professors participating in the network are: