Carmen Chausse is an inspiring woman who is impacting the field of social work, both in San Diego and Tijuana. Carmen was born in Tijuana, Baja California. Her first language was Spanish. Becoming a social worker was a not a difficult decision for her she saw her mother and siblings helping neighbors and friends by always giving a good advice, sharing clothes, and giving food to families in need.
Carmen completed her bachelor’s degree at UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico), Tijuana’s School of Social Work. After finishing her bachelor’s degree, she temporarily moved to Mexico City to complete her “practice service”(1 year volunteer service) at the biggest (during the time) Children’s Hospital in Latin America (Instituto Nacional de Pediatra, Mexico City). She also worked at DIF (Tijuana’s Child Welfare Service), Hospital Del Nino DIF, DIF Orphanage, and as a professor at the School of Social work and in high schools.
In 1991, Carmen moved to San Diego and worked as a teacher assistant and volunteered at Safe Path Program, while learning a new language. Carmen also attended Southwestern College to improve her vocabulary. Preparing herself to apply to San Diego State University’s Masters in Social Work program, she continued working as a social worker in San Diego, working at Children’s Hospital, National City Collaborative, South Bay Community Services, Bay View Hospital and San Diego County Health and Human Services–Children Welfare Services (CWS). Carmen completed her Master’s Degree in 2006 from San Diego State University. She continued to work at CWS and became a field practice supervisor for SDSU. In 2013-2014, she became the first international field practice supervisor for MSW students placed at Ciudad de Los Ninos in Tijuana, Mexico. In conjunction with Ciudad De Los Ninos, she was selected by SDSU’s School of Social Work as 2013-2014 Field Instructor of the Year.
Currently Carmen is working at Fresenius Kidney Care providing counseling, completing assessments, community referrals, crisis intervention, working in collaboration with patients, family members, staff and other institutions (hospice, palliative Care, APS, CWS, day treatment) to support patients on improving their quality of life. Her clients are patients with end of stage renal disease. Carmen continues to work internationally as active participant for Colegio de Trabajadores Sociales de Baja California (Baja California’s Board of Social Workers) and as an active member of the Latino Social Work Network. She is currently registered at the Board of Behavioral Sciences as an Associate Clinical Social Worker and has completed her 3,200 hours and in the process of becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
In the future, Carmen will like to continue in international work between the US and Mexico related to social work education and social work practice. She will also like to travel to other states in Mexico and extend the networking between the social workers in the US and Mexico. She also see herself going back to her roots and return to Tijuana’s School of Social Work as one their professors again. Carmen says, “Becoming a social worker has been helping me find and enjoy part of the meaning of this life. I am proud of my roots, family and education received in both countries. I am proud to be a Latina (bicultural, bilingual). Proud to be raised in the border, since this experience gives the best knowledge of both worlds.”
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–Written by Melissa Sanchez, BSW