Module 11 – Looking Ahead: Think Global—Act Local
Although the numbers of refugees in the U.S. is much lower than in Middle Eastern countries, Europe, and Scandinavia, care and concern about how refugees are treated is important in the U.S. too.
Based on the U.S. Homeland Security data report, asylum was granted to 10,523 persons in 2017. The U.S. State Department has issued warnings for travel to most of the countries listed as home countries of those granted asylum in 2017 due to crime, civil unrest and/or terrorism—also reasons for people to leave their countries for asylum in the U.S.. These countries include: the People’s Republic of China (2,746); El Salvador (1,329); Guatemala (935), Honduras (933), Mexico (558), India (464), Cameroon (218), Albania (122), and Bangladesh (118). [See link: Homeland Security]
The current global political, economic and environmental conditions do not appear to indicate any impending signs of significant decrease in the number of refugees and dislocated people seeking safety and survival—which will undoubtedly have impact on the numbers seeking to enter the U.S.. This has been an ongoing situation through the history of the U.S., and provokes much heated feelings and discussion locally as well as nationally and globally.
What are the key roles for social workers globally, nationally and locally? What is your role? The 2015 EPAS of the CSWE that accredits BSW and MSW programs focuses on competencies and behaviors required for their accreditation. They write: “Social work competence is the ability to integrate and apply social work knowledge, values, and skills to practice situations in a purposeful, intentional, and professional manner to promote human and community well-being” (p.6). For many social workers this “human and community well-being” will include working with refugees and dislocated people and people in host communities. What do you need to do to prepare yourself for this role? [See CSWE 2015 EPAS.]