Leticia Villarreal Sosa, professor, School of Social Work, co-authored a policy brief for Harvard University's Immigration Initiative on the barriers to equity faced by immigrant students in public K-12 schools, particularly during the current xenophobic climate, and how educators and administrators can address them. The brief summarizes findings from a study of school social workers to explain their role and contributions in the collective effort to advance equity for all. 

"School social workers play a vital role in promoting equity for immigrant students. However, there has been very little research on the role they play in acting as advocates, building trust with immigrant families, and connecting them with community resources. Furthermore, school social workers' practice is on a multi-systemic level, which means that they also work to impact the school climate to create more welcoming schools for immigrant students.  Despite the important role of school social workers, many face constraints to fully supporting immigrant students due to high caseloads or lack of support in their schools. As emphasized in this brief, all school personnel must do their part to support immigrant students, particularly in this climate of xenophobia. Other school professionals can learn from school social workers about how to accompany immigrant students and their families as they navigate complex systems, and school administrators and policy makers can ensure that school social workers and other school based personnel receive adequate professional development focused on the needs of immigrant students and support funding for such vital professionals in immigrant serving schools." said Villarreal Sosa.

You can read the policy brief here