AUSTIN, Texas- A program at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work’s Texas Institute for Child & Family Wellbeing has received a $10,000 grant from the Texas Bar Foundation to provide targeted training and support to legal professionals working with immigrants, asylum seekers, and refugees.
Since 2018, Girasol Texas has worked to support the wellbeing of immigrant families and those who serve them across Texas and nationwide. This new funding will allow Girasol to implement a Training and Consultation program designed to lessen the impact of vicarious trauma and promote positive mental health for legal professionals working with immigrant populations.
“Thousands of migrants enter Texas each year seeking asylum, and the legal community in our state has been on the frontlines providing necessary services for them,” Girasol Senior Program Coordinator Monica Romo said. “Because migrants typically experience trauma before and during their journeys, legal staff must absorb highly traumatic stories of violence and struggle with grief and burnout. Our Training and Consultation program will fill a critical gap to help legal professionals process their vicarious trauma.”
Over the next year, the funding will help Girasol offer free virtual and in-person training sessions to organizations and private attorneys providing pro bono services in the immigration field. Training will include workshops focused on topics including coping with vicarious trauma, as well as psychosocial support groups aiming to build mutual support among legal professionals.
“Our work with legal professionals allows us to not only encourage self-care and resilience-building, but also to create systems that provide the support legal professionals need to serve their clients without sacrificing their own mental health and wellbeing,” TXICFW Director Monica Faulkner said.
This marks the second year Girasol has received this critical funding. In 2022, the Texas Bar Foundation awarded the program $10,020 to fund an expansion of its Mental Health Collaborative, a project that trains qualified mental health professionals to support immigration cases. Since its inception in 1965, the Texas Bar Foundation has awarded more than $25 million in grants to law-related programs. Supported by members of the State Bar of Texas, the Texas Bar Foundation is the nation's largest charitably-funded bar foundation.
Girasol Texas | Texas Institute for Child and Family Wellbeing
Steve Hicks School of Social Work | The University of Texas at Austin