- June/July 2003
- Vol. 4, No. 5
Strengthening Services for Refugee Families
Refugee families face tremendous challenges. The stresses of war and trauma, and major changes in roles as families adapt to a new culture, can disrupt even the most harmonious family life. As refugee families come to the attention of the child welfare system, service providers need access to in-depth information about refugee cultures, trauma, and resulting family dynamics to effectively address the special needs of these youth.
Bridging Refugee Youth and Children's Services (BRYCS), supported by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has developed a new training curriculum to address this need. "Cross-service trainings" provide an opportunity for public child welfare agencies, refugee service providers, and refugee community representatives to share information and promote collaboration.
The full-day training includes:
- Presentations by local agencies about their services and organizational structures.
- An interactive problem-solving session that maps agency resources and service gaps.
- Definition of next steps to increase resource sharing and collaboration.
The training was piloted in Atlanta and St. Louis with positive results. A curriculum developed by BRYCS to help local communities implement their own cross-service trainings will be available in July.
Other notable BRYCS resources include a comprehensive manual to guide agencies in strengthening services for refugee families, a clearinghouse of resources on refugee youth and child well-being, and various technical assistance services. For more information about any of these resources, visit the BRYCS website at www.brycs.org.