Chicago Sister Cities International and its Casablanca Committee, Dominican University’s Graduate School of Social Work, IDMAJ and the International Social Work Exchange Program hosted seven social services delegates and an interpreter from Chicago’s sister city of Casablanca, Morocco from July 25-August 1. The exchange explored how social service providers in Chicago and Casablanca are engaging at-risk youth in their respective cities. This involved learning about gang culture and mitigation efforts, shelters and services for homeless, trafficked, immigrant and refugee youth and various policies and approaches in the two countries. The group engaged with experts at multiple agencies and not-for-profits in Chicago, organized by the professional social workers on the committee.
This exchange is the first of an ongoing dialogue between the two cities on similar social issues that each is experiencing. As part of this dialogue, delegates from Chicago will be visiting Casablanca in 2016. The culmination of the 2015 Casablanca – Chicago Social Service exchange was a symposium in which the delegates from Casablanca and their Chicago counterparts shared their observations of the similarities and differences in their efforts to engage disaffected youth, along with recommendations for future action in our sister cities.