Girasol, a program at the Texas Institute for Child & Family Wellbeing, has released its 2018-2020 report. The program strives to create a network of trauma-informed professionals working at the intersection of mental health and immigration, and to ensure access to integrated systems of support for the well-being of all immigrant families. Girasol has four main programmatic areas:
- Training and consultation services for professionals such as attorneys and social service providers to help them build skills to support the wellbeing of immigrant families.
- Volunteer and advocacy opportunities for social work students through trips to detention centers and the U.S.-Mexico border.
- Collaboration with a statewide network of social workers and mental health professionals working in immigration.
- Creation and updating of Navegando Austin, a website with a comprehensive list of available immigration resources.
Girasol was launched in September of 2018 as a culmination of more than two years of Steve Hicks School faculty and students’s volunteer work with immigrants in Texas detention centers.
The program takes its name after the sunflower, girasol in Spanish, which is native to the Americas and is a symbol of joy and life as well as loyalty and longevity. Standing up to twelve feet tall, these resilient flowers turn their faces to the sky and follow the sun throughout its daily journey.