Sook Hyun Kim
- Boston University, PhD, Interdisciplinary PhD program in Sociology and Social Work, 2011
- Boston University, MSW, Macro practice, 1994
- Ewha Women's University, BA, Social work, 1990
My scholarly contributions are mainly focused on: (1) International social work (immigrant and refugee populations), (2) Child welfare, and (3) Human rights and social work. Over the past five years, I have disseminated my knowledge and passion on these three areas of my research via publications. I have also presented at international, national, and local conferences and workshops. My post-MSW practice experience, in addition to training during my doctoral studies, has increased my awareness of issues regarding immigrant and refugee populations and shaped my strengths-based perspective in approaching such issues.
As a social work educator, I believe that the most effective learning happens when students take an active role in their own learning. Boyer (1996) emphasizes developing active learning techniques as an important element of the scholarship of teaching. In order to promote active learning, I integrate a cooperative learning approach and strive to create a positive, safe, and encouraging learning environment. I also believe that instructor characteristics – including passion and sincerity – can help to facilitate effective learning.
Kim, Sook Hyun (2021) Organizational empowerment: A study of community-based welfare organizations for North Korean youth refugees in South Korea. vol. 1. no. 4. pp. Article 81. SN Social Sciences.
Collins, Mary and Kim, Sook Hyun (2020) Governors as Policy Entrepreneurs: Setting the Agenda for Children. vol. 98. no. 2. pp. 1-22. Child Welfare.
Duffy, Joe, Collins, Mary and Kim, Sook Hyun (2018) Linking family engagement with a rights perspective: macro factors influencing practice. vol. 21. no. 1. pp. 45-60. European Journal of Social Work.
Collins, Mary, Kim, Sook Hyun, Garlington, Sarah and Tuyen, Bùi Thị Thanh (2017) Doing research: Supervising doctoral students. Practicing as a social work educator in international collaboration. pp. 284-309. Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Press.
Kim, Sook Hyun (2016) Evidence-based social welfare policy and Social Impact Bond (SIB)/Pay for Success (PFS) in the United States. Report of local government on social welfare programs. vol. 28. pp. 225-263. Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs, Ministry of Health & Human Services.
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- Awards/HonorsDissertation Award: The 24th National Symposium on Doctoral Research in Social WorkPresented by Ohio State University
- Professional MembershipsSociety of Social Work and Research
Council for Social Work EducationThe CSWE is the national association representing social work education in the United States to support quality social work education and provide opportunities for professional development.
International Association of Schools of Social WorkThe IASSW was established to promote the development of social work education throughout the world, provides forums for sharing social work research and scholarship, and promotes human rights and social development.
- Grants and Sponsored ResearchSU Foundation Grant for Professional Development, SU Foundation, Inc
Dr. Dan S. & Bethany E. Berry Endowed Fund, Roberts Wesleyan College
The Sittig Fund, Roberts Wesleyan College
- PresentationsBorders: An International Comparative Analysis of Social Work's ResponseJanuary, 19 2021Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) Annual Conference, Virtual<b><u>Background:</u></b> Borders play a profound role in human life. Although there has been extensive attention to issues of globalization, immigration, and human rights in the social work literature, our analysis of borders is related to, but different from, these issues. Our presentation uses a macro lens to analyze the range of issues that borders raise in both domestic and international social work practice. We address the question: How does social work engage in issues related to international borders? <br><b><u>Methods:</u></b> To address the research question we conducted a comparative case analysis of three borders: (1) U.S.-Mexico; (2) Northern Ireland (U.K.)-Republic of Ireland; and, (3) South Korea-North Korea. These cases were selected because each of them has critical, but different, border-focused issues that are relevant to social work practice. Data sources included the research literature and information from the professional social work organizations. In each case we provide background analysis of the border issue (history, politics, current status of the border). We then compared the cases on the following criteria: (1) forms of social work practice on each side of the border; (2) the border issues relevant to social work; (3) the role of social work organizations in directly or indirectly addressing the border issues. Inductive thematic analysis was used to identify describe elements in each case.<br><b><u>Findings:</u></b> Comparison of these cases identified that borders become challenging when: (a) there is unresolved history (i.e., the border is contested), (b) there are economic disparities between the countries, (c) there is ongoing militarized activity. In the U.S./Mexico case, the social work profession’s focus on human rights requires efforts to advocate for migrants and recognizes ethical challenges for social work practitioners working for agencies in the border region. In the UK/Ireland case, social work is very similar on both sides of the border, but the challenges posed by Brexit are only partially acknowledged in the social work community. In the case of North and South Korea, social work is firmly established in the South but does not exist in the North. In addition to identifying the unique circumstances of each of these cases, cross-case analysis identified more general themes including impacts on domestic social work practice and education, lessons for international social work, and additional consideration relevant to a broader range of border circumstances.<br><b><u>Conclusion and Implications:</u></b> Increased globalization has led to major reconceptualization in our understanding of borders. The COVID-19 epidemic demonstrates the limited relevance of borders in some circumstances (spreading of the virus) but the heightened relevance of borders in other circumstances (actions such as quarantine, travel restrictions, and immigration crackdown). This duality is reflected in the three cases that we examined and their implications for additional cases. Social work practitioners, particularly when engaged in policy practice have a role to play in framing the understanding of borders and the resulting policies.
Unaccompanied children at the US border and current US policies on immigrants and refugeesMarch, 8 2019International Women's Day Conference, SUThe number of alien children that arrive in the United States without their families has increased in recent years. These children have taken a dangerous journey to the United States in order to escape gang violence, exploitation, poverty, and human trafficking in their home countries. In FY 2018, approximately 50,000 children under the age of eighteen were apprehended at the U.S. border (Department of Homeland Security, 2018). In particular, the number of unaccompanied girls crossing into the U.S. has rapidly increased compared to the number of boys. These girls are at a heightened risk of sexual violence. According to the Fusion Media Group (2014), 80 percent of women and girls crossing into the U.S. are raped during their journey. This presentation explores the current influx of unaccompanied children, particularly unaccompanied girls, and US policies on immigrants and refugees.
The experience of unaccompanied refugee minors in U.S. foster care systemNovember, 9 2018Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Annual Program Meeting, Orlando, FloridaUpon arrival in the United States, the refugee minors are placed into the Unaccompanied Refugee Minors program and receive refugee foster care services and benefits (Office of Refugee Resettlement [ORR], 2015). The goal of the study is to explore the experiences of unaccompanied refugee minors (URMs) who are in the American foster care program and to help social work students and practitioners understand the unique life experience of URMs. To gain a deeper understanding of URMs in the American foster care system, an exploratory, qualitative study was conducted. The analysis of the participants’ responses highlighted three themes: (1) silence and suppression regarding their past experience and feeling; (2) religious beliefs in providing meaning and hope for the future; and (3) education as the key to achieving successful resettlement and independence for a better future.
- External Collaboration Highlights
Recently, two scholarly works were published. After working in collaboration with two co-authors of Boston University (MA, USA) and Queen's University (Belfast, Northern Island), the manuscript was published in the European Journal of Social Work. This article offered a comparative analysis focused on family-oriented and rights-based child welfare frameworks of different countries. Also, I participated in writing a chapter in the book entitled “Practicing as a social work educator in international collaboration” with co-authors from multiple external academic institutions. This book was published by the CSWE Press in 2017.
Another opportunity to develop the Scholarship of Integration was my contribution to the non-academic publication that addressed discipline-related concerns. The Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare invited me to join their annual report on the comparative study of social welfare programs in the United States, Germany, and Japan. Through funding by the Korea Ministry of Health and Welfare, I produced a report on Social Impact Bond (SIB)/Pay-For-Success (PFS) programs in New York State. As an innovative type of finance mechanism to fund social programs, SIB/PFS tackles the most challenging social problems (i.e., reducing recidivism of former youth prisoners) through public and private partner collaboration for public programs. My report examined New York’s two major SIBs – the nation’s firsts – to discuss potential benefits and risks of SIBs and the role of the federal government in making this new funding mechanism effective.
One of the research studies on which I am currently working is regarding border issues in the United States, South Korea, and Northern Island. As another international collaboration including colleagues of the Boston University (MA, U.S.) and Queen's University (Belfast, Northern Island), this study examines the border issues in US/Mexico, South Korea/North Korea, and Northern Ireland/Ireland. With the human rights framework, we take the macro perspective about social work engagement at national/international levels.