With around 51 million international community members in 2020, the United States has the highest number of immigrants by a wide margin. In 2022, over 900,000 immigrants were naturalized in the United States, and research projects that this number has likely grown by 40,000 more people in the last year alone.
With so many new people arriving in the United States, the need to help international community members acclimate is more significant than ever. Adjusting to life in another country is difficult, especially if immigrants have experienced physical, emotional, financial, or sexual trauma before leaving their home countries.
Social workers are uniquely positioned to facilitate immigrants’ access to resources, manage this challenging adjustment, and meet their basic needs.
In this article, we’ll explore how social workers can help immigrants by:
Social workers are trained in navigating community resources and can help people find housing in their new location. Many people may have immigrated to the United States after experiencing financial challenges or psychosocial stressors such as domestic or community violence. Finding a new place to call home—that is both safe and affordable—is an important task that social workers are equipped to handle. Most social workers are staffed by government entities and have access to resources across a continuum of care that can holistically address the housing instability immigrants face.
Providing Job Placement Services
After immigrating to the United States, international community members may need assistance with finding employment. Having a stable source of income to provide for themselves and their family is essential and can provide a sense of purpose and meaning. Unfortunately, it can be hugely challenging for immigrants to find reliable work. Social workers can help job searchers by coordinating with local agencies and employers to offer job placement services.
Coordinating Services for the Whole Family
International community members may have come to the United States with their family members, and immigration can present challenges for the whole family. Social workers can act as one point of contact for the entire family. For example, a case manager may partner with one family to register children for school, facilitate participation in social or cultural groups, and identify physical and mental health care resources.
Referring to Counseling Services as Needed
Adapting to another country’s customs and culture can be challenging and may cause symptoms of depression or anxiety. In addition, the impact of structural factors may cause some to feel unwelcome or out of place, and they may need additional assistance. Social workers also collaborate with local providers and agencies to support immigrants with pre-existing mental health conditions that require continued care.
Case Management Software Provides A Centralized Location for Social Workers to Coordinate Services for Immigrants
Social workers are no strangers to the nonprofit world. But working with international community members means wearing many hats—resource navigator, mental health provider, case manager, and more. Juggling those hats can become more complicated when nonprofits work with limited resources.
CaseWorthy’s case management software offers an intuitive, all-in-one solution that streamlines service delivery. Our platform can be tailored to meet your organization’s distinct needs so you can focus on the people you serve – not cumbersome administrative tasks. Social workers hold an important role in helping immigrants access government services and connecting immigrants with resources in the community. And we’re here to make it easier for social workers to do their jobs well.