Faculty Spotlight - Julián Hernández


Full name: Julián Hernández

Degrees earned and Universities attended: Masters of Social Welfare, specialization in Mental Health (UCLA) B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies, concentration in Public Health (UC Berkeley)

1st and 2nd year internships: * 1 st Year: St. Vincent’s Cardinal Manning Center (men’s homeless shelter in Los Angeles Skid Row neighborhood) * 2 nd Year: Child and Family Guidance Center (outpatient mental health agency in Northridge, CA, for children and adolescents)

Jobs after finishing your degree? * First job after graduate school was at the Child and Family Guidance Center (my 2nd year placement). I worked with infants and toddlers, school-age children, adolescents, families, via home visits and the outpatient mental health clinic, as well as adults through the CalWorks program. * Second job and current position is with the Department of Mental Health as a psychiatric social worker at the San Antonio Family Center in Huntington Park, CA. I work primarily with school-age children, adolescents, and their families via outpatient mental health services.​

Classes you are teaching at CSUDH? 1. MSW 592 Diagnostic Assessment in Social Work Practice (Fall 2016, Fall 2017) 2. MSW 582 Seminar in Mental Health Issues (Spring 2018)

Your aspirations before you began your MSW program: I was inspired to apply to the MSW program after years in the HIV prevention field working directly with queer youth of color and their families around issues of HIV and stigma, homophobia, immigration, racism, and family acceptance.

Your aspirations after you finished your MSW program: Continue developing as a clinician and social worker. Although I haven’t worked in a program specific to queer youth of color, I have been present and helped make space at the San Antonio Family Center in Huntington Park for competent and responsive services to lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender and queer youth of color and their families.​

Have you accomplished the goals you once had as a student? My ultimate goal is to be a healer and work with families as they navigate, survive, and thrive despite multiple challenges rooted in discrimination and injustices. This is a work in progress.

What do you love the most about being a Social Worker?

I continue to value my role as a life-long learner and the wealth of knowledge that communities share when you remain open and listen. I’ve had the privilege of learning through work with families and being present, holding space for their pain and resilience.

Advice you would give current students about school or the future? Listen and be ready to learn beyond your comfort zone. The last group I thought I would ever specialize in was children but 8 years later I continue to provide therapy and work with children and families. My plan in graduate school was to work with young adults but life often has other plans. Be prepared to go with the flow and learn as you go.

Anything you want us to know about you such as your favorite color or favorite food? Self-care is essential and for me it takes the form of fiction and narratives that move my soul and inspire awe. Reading a novel like Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, listening to Calle 13 or Café Tacvba, or enjoying thought-provoking sci-fi like the re-imagined Battlestar, Galactica, all of these transport me and help me mediate on possibilities and hope.​

Anything you’d like to add? After 8 years of clinical practice as a social worker, I am transitioning away from direct client services to more meso/macro-level social work practice. In a couple of months, I will be starting a new position within the Department of Mental Health, working closely with DCFS to provide program evaluation and training support to Intensive Field Capable Clinical Services (IFCCS). IFCCS programs work with foster youth and their families to minimize psychiatric hospitalizations, placement disruptions, out-of- home placements and involvement with the juvenile justice system.​