Home Health & Wellness Why Social Workers Are Integral for Immigrants to Start a New Life in America

Why Social Workers Are Integral for Immigrants to Start a New Life in America

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For immigrants coming to America to forge a new life for themselves and their families, the process can be difficult for many reasons. As a result, not having the proper help and resources can make the process extremely daunting. 

Fortunately, immigration social workers play a key role in helping immigrants adjust to their new environments and find success in their new lives. Understanding the various ways that social workers achieve this is key to gaining a deeper and more nuanced perspective of immigration in America today. 

Here is why social workers are integral for immigrants to start a new life in America. 

What the aim of immigration social work is

Before understanding the many ways that social workers aid immigrants in their journey of settling into a new home, it’s important to understand the key aims of social workers. This will provide more context as to why they perform the roles they do for the clients they serve. 

In immigration social work, there are three key aims that social workers aim to help the immigrants they serve to achieve. These are safety, permanency, and well-being. Ultimately, all of the various types of support that social workers provide to immigrants aim to accomplish one of these aims. Becoming aware of key examples of how social workers do this can give you more insight into these processes. 

Connecting new immigrants with key resources and services

When starting a new life in America, immigrants typically need assistance in a range of areas. Unfortunately, it can be extremely difficult for many immigrants to find and access the various resources and services that they need to thrive in their new homes. 

Social workers, however, are extremely dialled into all the services and resources available to immigrants in the areas they work in. As a result, social workers are able to connect new immigrants with a variety of services that can help them acclimate to their new environments. 

These resources and services include:

  • Organisations that help immigrants obtain visas and citizenship
  • Services that help immigrants find housing
  • Services that help immigrants find employment
  • Language-learning resources
  • Healthcare available to immigrants
  • Food banks
  • Childcare services
  • Community support
  • Religious organisations and places of worship

By helping to connect immigrants with these key resources, social workers play an important role in helping immigrants navigate the process of settling into a home in a new country. 

Providing mental health support

While immigration in America is commonly talked about subject, the mental health status of new immigrants is rarely addressed in public discourses. Though this is disheartening, new immigrants are fortunate that social workers take a marked interest in the mental health states of new immigrants. 

Moving to a new country can be extremely difficult and mentally taxing for many reasons. From having to quickly find housing and employment to adjusting to a new culture, there is no shortage of stressors in the process of immigrating. As a result, it’s extremely common for immigrants to feel mentally unwell throughout the process of adjusting to their new homes. 

Luckily, social workers play a key role in helping new immigrants reach optimal mental health states. From helping immigrants find security in their lives to talking through issues with them to connecting them with mental health professionals, social workers are clearly integral for immigrants starting their new lives in the US. 

Helping educate new immigrants about American processes

While social workers dedicate their lives to helping people find security, they can’t always be there to help in every instance. What they are able to do, however, is help their clients learn the proper skills to navigate American society and build skills of their own. 

For new immigrants, gaining an understanding of how American society functions, especially in terms of laws and government processes, can be extremely useful. By imparting this type of knowledge to new immigrants, immigrants can cultivate the skills they need to navigate American life on their own. 

This is beneficial to new immigrants in a number of important ways. Some examples include teaching immigrant parents how to support their children in educational pursuits and engage with schools and financial literacy that is conducive to American life. Ultimately, social workers help immigrants learn the facts and skills they need in order to forge their own unique lives in America. 

Social workers are helping immigrants thrive

Moving to a new country with a completely different culture can be a daunting and difficult process. Thankfully, immigration social workers are aiding immigrants in adapting to their new lives in key ways. From finding employment to receiving mental health care, social workers are helping immigrants thrive in America. 

As time goes on, many are hopeful that more resources will become available to new immigrants in America to help make their transition into their new homes as smooth and beneficial as possible.

Adam Mulligan, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.

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