Nearly 200 social work practitioners, health professionals and scholars from the United States and Mexico will converge at The University of Texas at El Paso for the 41st National Institute Conference on Social Work and Human Services in Rural Areas from July 6-8. This year’s theme is “From Surviving to Thriving: New Paradigms in Rural Social Work.”
The conference is hosted by UTEP’s College of Health Sciences and the Department of Social Work, in partnership with the National Rural Social Work Caucus and Kellogg Fellows Leadership Alliance (KFLA).
The aim of the conference is to inform national and regional social work policy and practice while strengthening social work education and the social work mission in rural areas.
Participants will address topics related to rural, frontier, border areas and underserved populations with a focus on immigration, social justice and best practices.
“When we look at some of the rural and frontier communities in America, we see populations that have been traditionally isolated from the infrastructure that urban communities have,” said Eva Moya, Ph.D., associate dean of UTEP’s College of Health Sciences and assistant professor of social work.
“In the case of the U.S.-Mexico Border region and other frontier communities, we see resilient families and higher levels of poverty, high unemployment, limited access to health and human services, challenges associated with educational attainment, workforce recruitment and retention, and health and economic disparities.”
Keynote speaker Michael Daley, Ph.D., chair and professor of the Department of Social Work at Texas A&M University-Central Texas, and others will speak about the challenges and promises of modern rural health care.
The conference also will integrate the KFLA’s forum on “Uniting the Power of Place and Wisdom of People in Rural Americas,” which will take place at UTEP July 5-9. Twenty Kellogg Fellows will have the opportunity to engage in meaningful discussions with like-minded individuals and develop action items regarding the issues associated with life in rural communities.
Organizers will offer tours of community agencies in El Paso, Doña Ana County and Juárez, Mexico on July 8 and 9.
To see the list of speakers and conference’s agenda, visit http://rural-sowk-conf.utep.edu/