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Arnold School of Public Health


Director Julie Smithwick presents PASOs best practices related to children with deported or detained parents in D.C.

August 5, 2015 | Erin Bluvas, bluvase@sc.edu 

Over 10 years of growth in partnerships and services, PASOs, a South Carolina-based community organization affiliated with the Arnold School of Public Health, has become recognized both locally and nationally for its expertise in connecting Latino families with critical resources. In June, the Migration Policy Institute and the Urban Institute invited PASOs founder and director Julie Smithwick to speak at the convening of the Health and Social Service Needs of Children with Deported and Detained Parents in Washington D.C.

PASOs was chosen out of many organizations nationwide after they helped facilitate a visit from researchers representing the Institutes to South Carolina. The researchers spoke with parents, who either they or their significant others have been detained or deported, about the effects of these situations on children. 

Funded by the Department of Health and Human Services through a contract with the Urban and Migration Policy Institutes, the convening organizers asked Smithwick to provide information about the services PASOs offers children with detained or deported parents. The coordinators also asked her to help spark discussion among attendees by sharing PASOs’ experiences serving this particular population, noting that the organization has been highlighted for using promising approaches in this area.

Smithwick, who was recently named one of University of Georgia’s 40 Under 40 by her alma mater, founded PASOs in 2005. It began as a prenatal education outreach in Columbia and has evolved into a dynamic and thriving statewide organization that facilitates family well-being and early childhood success in partnership with Latino communities.