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2018 Annual Conference Keynotes
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Clinical Work with Immigrants at Risk of Deportation as a Matter of Social Justice
(3 Clinical, Social/Cultural CE Credits)
Monday, April 30 from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM


This keynote session will explore how, compared with other segments of the population, first-generation immigrants tend to experience a higher number of traumatic events throughout their lives, many times starting in early childhood. Many of these immigrants are undocumented and live in poverty in the United States. Their exposure to repeated traumatic events may trigger long-term detrimental consequences at the emotional, physical, cognitive, and spiritual levels. These consequences are not limited to individuals and families.

The policies and procedures related to immigration being stated and implemented by the current US federal government are creating terror among immigrant and refugee communities. The risk of deportation which some of their members face has become a new serious traumatic event in their lives. Beyond our individual political affiliation, social workers have the ethical mandate to enhance human wellbeing with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty. Social workers are called to promote social justice and social change with and on behalf of clients (Preamble, NASW Code of Ethics, 2017).

Expanding on the above enumerated concepts, Dr. Cifuentes will present some specific ways to enhance the well-being of vulnerable immigrants at risk of deportation, their families and communities, from a clinical perspective.

Before pursuing Social Work, Mauricio Cifuentes practiced and taught Labor Law for twenty years in Colombia. In 2003, he received an MSW from Loyola University Chicago and for almost seven years worked at the community level for Saint Anthony Hospital in Chicago. There, he designed and implemented a mental health program for Latino immigrants. In 2010, he received a Ph.D. in Social Work also from Loyola University Chicago. He has provided clinical supervision to interns and professional social workers, consultation to social service agencies providing services to Latin@s, and psychotherapy to clients of diverse social identities. Dr. Cifuentes has taught social work at the doctoral, master and bachelor levels as an adjunct professor at The Institute for Clinical Social Work, as a part-time faculty member at Loyola University Chicago, and as an assistant professor and an adjunct professor at Augsburg College in Minneapolis. He has done research, written, and presented to national and international audiences on several topics particularly related to Latinxs. For almost five years he was the Senior Director of Health and Wellness at Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio (CLUES) in Minneapolis. Currently he works as a consultant and a clinician in private practice.


Don’t Re-Traumatize Me:
Ethical Dilemmas While Serving Some of the Most Vulnerable

(2 Clinical, Ethics CE Credits)
Tuesday, May 1 from 8:30 AM – 10:30 AM


This keynote presentation seeks to translate, educate and motivate (TEM) the profession about trauma. What is it? What are our roles and responsibilities towards vulnerable populations that may be experiencing challenges to their activities of daily living? Are we part of the problem or can we assist them with viable solutions without the infusion of our own bias.

Dr. Perkins is a Diplomate of the Board, American College of Certified Forensic Counselors and credentialed as a Clinically Certified Forensic Counselor and Clinically Certified Juvenile Treatment Specialist with a specialty in youthful offender counseling. He is also certified by the NC DHHS as a Certified Forensic Screener and Evaluator. Dr. Perkins has extensive
experience working with the juvenile justice and court systems and has engaged in direct practice with high and at-risk children and families as well as service-members, veterans and their families. All of which are populations that struggle through trauma. He has served as consultant, collaborator, and trainer with local, state and national agencies such the National Resource Center for Children and Youth Services at the University of Oklahoma, Tulsa and the North Carolina Justice Academy. In addition, Dr. Perkins was selected to join the NASW and People to People as a delegate on the US-China Joint Social Work Delegation to Beijing China. He is frequently featured in the local media regarding mental health issues and has served as host to "Focus on Mental Health," a public affairs television program. 

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