Erikson Institute

Training & Events

Supporting Immigrant Families – A Framework for Frontline Workers

This workshop will increase participants' understanding of immigration enforcement policy and integrate clinical considerations of the impacts of current immigration policy.

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Latinx immigrants often make up a significant and growing population of young children in this country, and it is in the best interest of children and families for early childhood workers to understand the unique needs of this population. This workshop will increase participants' understanding of immigration enforcement policy and integrate clinical considerations of the impacts of current immigration policy. This will include the threat of separation for children and parents, family separations due to deportation and separations related to immigration, as well as considerations for historical trauma for groups related to race, ethnicity or religion in their country of origin and in the United States. This workshop will include case-based learning to highlight clinical considerations, as well as a panel presentation on policy and service provision.


  • Have an increased knowledge of how current and historical immigration policy affects very young children and their families.
  • Articulate and understand the clinical implications of the intersection of historical trauma, immigration trauma and intergenerational trauma in marginalized families with young children
  • Increase their ability to intervene around the chronic fear of separations, separations due to immigration policy and reunification, assessing and treating families around historical and intergenerational trauma.
  • Identify the social, physical and psychological implications for young children and their families of threats of family disruption, and actual separations, including ambiguous loss, in the context of immigration enforcement and the COVID-19 syndemic.


Ivys Fernández-Pastrana, JD. (Lead Trainer)

Ms. Fernández-Pastrana is a licensed attorney in the State of Massachusetts. She was previously the Program Manager for the Pediatric Navigation Program at Boston Medical Center where she works along a team of Family Navigators and Community Health Advocates in the Department of Pediatrics. Her background working in the fields of special education, autism spectrum disorders and family support includes working with parents and families to help them to navigate and access community resources as well as governmental entitlements and benefits. 

Carmen Rosa Noroña, LCSW, MS.Ed. CEIS (Lead Trainer)

For over 25 years, Ms. Noroña has provided clinical services to young children and their families in a variety of settings. She currently is the Child Trauma Clinical Services and Training Lead at the Child Witness to Violence Project and the Associate Director of the Boston Site Early Trauma Treatment Network at Boston Medical Center. Her interests are on the impact of trauma on attachment; the intersection of culture, immigration, and trauma; diversity-informed reflective supervision and consultation; and on the implementation and sustainability of evidence-based practices in real world settings.  

Sara Phou, LCSW, AM 

Ms.Phou is the current Director of the Center for Children and Families at the Erikson Institute.  She has been working with children and families in a wide variety of settings in Chicago since 2008, including work with Chicago Public Schools, Head Start and Early Head Start programs with a special interest in working with teen parents.  Ms. Phou is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and earned her graduate degree from the University of Chicago and an Infant Mental Health Certificate from the Erikson Institute.  She is trained in Child Parent Psychotherapy and Circle of Security Parenting©.   

Erika Flores, LCSW, MSW, MS

Ms. Flores is a clinical supervisor for Erikson’s Center for Children and Families where she provides counseling services and staff supervision to bilingual clinicians.  She earned a Master of Social Work from Loyola University Chicago and a Master of Child Development from Erikson Institute.  Ms. Flores has extensive experience working with children and families.  The breath of her experience includes working with immigrant families, domestic violence victims, children and families involved with the child welfare system or who have experienced significant trauma, critical life transitions or losses, and children with developmental delays.  

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