Girasol is a program housed in the Texas Institute for Child and Family Wellbeing at the University of Texas at Austin. Girasol works with community partners to support immigrants by providing services to women and children both during and post-detention, educate service providers and students on migration and trauma, and connect community members with resources. While Girasol itself is a recently formed program, its projects have been operating unfunded for two and a half years.

Seed funding is requested to build foundational capacity for Girasol to serve Central Texas immigrants, particularly those families who have been previously detained.

Funding will provide .5 FTE to support Girasol’s program coordinator. This will also support travel to the Hutto Detention Center located in Williamson County and materials for trainings that Girasol provides to professionals in the community. The trainings cover topics such as trauma-informed interviewing, working with mixed status families, and the link between trauma and migration. Additionally, this funding will cover the cost of printing and translation for workbooks incorporating psychoeducation, mindfulness, and grounding strategies that have been created for detained and previously detained individuals. This funding will support Girasol’s coordination of support groups for women currently and formerly detained. Lastly, this request includes a plan to further the utility of Navegando Austin, a website of resources accessible to the immigrant community.

We will provide a minimum of 16 trainings with professionals in the central Texas area, run a minimum of 40 group psychosocial support sessions for detained or previously detained women, provide a minimum of 600 workbooks to immigrants in the community and in detention, host 2 teach-in events to bring information about immigration and trauma to social work students and the Austin community, and increase the impact of Navegando Austin as a resource for referrals.

At least 160 professionals will benefit from the trainings provided. They will gain an increased understanding of trauma and migration, a heightened awareness of community resources, and practical tools to use with clients. At least 500 immigrants will be provided with group therapy and 600 will receive the trauma workbook, with some overlap between the two groups. Girasol will choose one organization to which it will provide consultation relating to the Navegando Austin resource website as a pilot for future service provision support.