What's New



October 2014
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ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Now available online! BRYCS co-sponsored "Supporting Unaccompanied Children in U.S. Schools" with USCCB's Children's Services. With the new school year underway, communities nationwide will begin to notice a new population of undocumented children within their schools and may be perplexed at how to assist these children and their families. This Webinar provides an overview of current humanitarian crisis and information regarding school enrollment including some of the challenges and best practices. Finally, since many of these children have experienced some type of trauma prior to coming to the U.S., an introduction to trauma-informed education is provided. The audio recording and a copy of the PowerPoint presentation have been archived. Please check back for a supplemental FAQ sheet.  
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) FY 2014 Citizenship Grant Recipients have been announced. These awards will support citizenship preparation services at 40 community agencies.  Congratulations!  
  • FY2015 Statistical Abstract for Refugee Resettlement Stakeholders, from the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), provides an overview of critical information about the domestic refugee landscape for resettlement stakeholders, including a compilation of resources historically available to states for determination of the capacity of communities to serve the diverse needs of refugees. The abstract is created each year to facilitate the FY 2015 refugee consolidated placement planning, supporting the National Security Council's recommended interagency coordination process between the Department of Health and Human Services/Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) and Department of State/Bureau for Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM).  
  • Important Information about Scams against Refugees, from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), includes valuable tips on how to avoid being victimized, and what to do in case you are contacted. Materials are available in several languages.  
  • New email for SIJ inquiries! Some foreign-born children present in the U.S. may qualify for humanitarian immigration protection because they have been abused, abandoned or neglected by a parent. Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) status is a classification that may allow a vulnerable child to immediately apply for status as a lawful permanent resident. SIJ classification is unique in that specific state court findings are required in order for USCIS to determine eligibility. The juvenile court makes factual findings (based on state law) concerning the care, custody and best interests of the child. An email address, USCIS-IGAOutreach@uscis.dhs.gov, is now available for juvenile courts and child welfare professionals to submit general questions and make a request for a USCIS representative to talk to your organization about the SIJ program. Note: Please do not submit case-specific inquiries to this email address. For inquiries about specific cases, call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283.
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EVENTS

  • A free online summit titled "Educating Traumatized Children" will take place September 30-October 10. The summit will bring together the best and latest on creating Trauma-Sensitive Schools.  Topics include how trauma impacts learning, recognizing attachment disorder in the classroom, teaching empathy, strategies for reaching traumatized children, and alternatives to traditional public school.    
  • The 2014 Migrant Education Program and English as a Second Language Conference "Education without Borders: Pursuing Excellence and Exploring Possibilities" will be held on October 15-17, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. This conference is open to school district, intermediate unit, private school, charter school, non-public school and career and technical center personnel, parents, community organizations and agencies, Migrant Education Program and ESL/ELL staff.  Exhibitor registrations are now being accepted.    
  • The 2014 National Refugee and Immigrant Conference: Issues and Innovations will take place October 23-24 in Chicago, Illinois. This conference aims to identify issues, emphasize best practices, and highlight innovations by providing those who work with refugees and immigrants an opportunity to learn from and network with one another.  
  • The 2014 National Immigrant Integration Conference will take place December 14-16 in Los Angeles, California. This year marks the seventh year of NIIC, creating a collegial space across the advocacy, policy, service, corporate, labor, and academic worlds for discussions of practical solutions for immigrant integration.  
  • Save the date! The 29th Annual Conference on the Prevention of Child Abuse will take place February 23-24 in Las Colinas, Texas. The Conference is designed to offer quality training and information on topics and model programs of interest to leaders in child abuse prevention: social workers, counselors, educators, child care and youth workers, law enforcement personnel, medical & legal professionals, foster parents, child welfare board volunteers, elected officials, and other interested child advocates.
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FUNDING

  • 2015 National Migration Week Small Grants Program, from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops/Migration and Refugee Services, seeks to assist Catholic parishes, schools and organizations to more fully integrate Catholic teaching and the bishops' priorities concerning migration into new or existing programs, materials, events, and other activities. The deadline to apply is October 31.  
  • The Office Depot Foundation is now accepting application for its three priority areas: Giving Children Tools for Success, Building Capacity to Serve Communities, and Disaster Preparedness, Relief, Recovery and Rebuilding. Funding is available for non-profit foundations and public/private schools or libraries. Applications are being accepted through October.  
  • National Youth Technology Program Grants, from the Best Buy Foundation, provide underserved teens with access to technology such as computers, digital cameras, and professional software while developing skills to help better prepare them for future education and career success. The deadline to apply is November 1.  
  • Fuel Up to Play 60 Grants, from The National Dairy Council & The NFL, awards grants to schools enrolled in their wellness program that may be used for a variety of activities and tools that jumpstart and sustain healthy nutrition and physical activity improvements. Funds can be used to conduct in-school promotions focused on creating a healthier school and to implement Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Plays. Funds can also be used for professional development, nutrition education materials, and physical education equipment and materials. The deadline to apply is November 5.  
  • National Alliance for Grieving Children and the New York Life Foundation's Voices for Healthy Kids is providing grants for the purpose of expanding grief support services to underserved populations. The deadline is rolling.
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RESOURCES

Migration/Resettlement Awareness

  • The Syrian Refugee Crisis and Lessons from the Iraqi Refugee Experience, an academic report from Boston University Institute for Iraqi Studies, includes presentations from a workshop held in March aimed at gaining a shared understanding of Syria's refugee crisis. Several presentations share fresh data and offer observations from recent field work.  
  • Understanding Central American Migration: The Crisis of Central American Child Migrants in Context, from the Inter-American Dialogue, aims to inform the current debate by integrating data on issues triggering this outflow while also introducing the perspectives of the people and communities they affect. Specifically, it draws on data from 900 municipalities to analyze migrant hometowns in relation to human development, violence, and education. In addition, it presents the results of a nationwide survey in El Salvador and a survey of Central American migrants residing in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. (Description from source)  

For Refugee/Immigrant Children and Youth

  • Children and Youth Poster Contest, from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops/Migration and Refugee Services, aims to highlight the various ways in which migration manifests itself in the United States and around the world. Posters could focus on the experience of refugee children and youth who want to creatively express what resettlement in the United States has meant to them, immigrant children and youth who want to reflect on their immigration experience, and native-born American children and youth who want to express their understanding of migration in our contemporary world and welcoming newcomers. The deadline for submission is October 31.

Cultural Orientation/Integration

  • The Welcome Set, from the Cultural Orientation Resource Center (COR), is now available in Farsi. The set is comprised of two COR Center resources: Welcome to the United States: A Guidebook for Refugees and its complementary DVD, Welcome to the United States: Refugee Guide to Resettlement. These resources are designed to support overseas Cultural Orientation, as well as for use in initial domestic orientation or by refugees directly.

Child Welfare/Families

  • FOCUS: Special Issue on Migration and Child Welfare, from the Foster Family-based Treatment Association (FFTA), addresses migration in child welfare. Articles include information on the changes in demographic trends and patterns of immigrants; meeting the needs of unaccompanied children; using culturally responsive assessment and treatment; supporting transnational families; and strategies to address family reunification with undocumented and foreign-born youth.
  • Map: Deportation System for Minors, from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC), provides a visual of what may happen to immigrant children in the immigration system, from apprehension, to detention, to Immigration Court, and to deportation.  
  • Trauma Informed Child Welfare Practice Toolkit, from the Chadwick Trauma-Informed Systems Project, is designed to assist both individuals and greater systems in their efforts to create a more trauma-informed child welfare system. It includes a variety of tools and resources that are designed to provide guidance, support, and practical suggestions that can be utilized across service systems.   http://www.wilsoncenter.org/publication/how-to-address-child-migration-central-america How to Address Child Migration from Central America, from the Wilson Center, examines the arrival of tens of thousands of unaccompanied migrant children from Central America at the U.S. border from 2013-2014. Factors driving them include both longstanding challenges—chronic violence, economic despair, official corruption, and the pull of family reunification—and the myth recently disseminated by greedy traffickers of lenient U.S. immigration policy. The report stresses a need to focus intensively on the long term factors. (Description from source)

Early Childhood

Education 

  • Connecting English Language Learners to Supportive Community College Resources, a brief from the Community College Consortium for Immigrant Education (CCCIE),  shares seven promising practices that can be easily adopted at community college campuses to help immigrant students take advantage of the wealth of supportive services these colleges provide for all their students. (Description from source)  
  • Subtractive Schooling: U.S.-Mexican Youth and the Politics of Caring provides a framework for understanding the patterns of immigrant achievement and U.S.-born underachievement frequently noted in the literature and observed by the author in her ethnographic account of regular-track youth attending a comprehensive, virtually all-Mexican, inner-city high school in Houston. 

Youth Development

Health/Mental Health

  • Refuge and Resilience: Promoting Resilience and Mental Health among Resettled Refugees and Forced Migrants looks to broaden the refugee mental health field with social and cultural perspectives on resilience and mental health by focusing on resilience and solutions in mental health care and presenting evidence using a range of research methods that is timely and relevant to international and national immigration and health policy.  
  • "Congolese and Somali Beliefs about Mental Health Services", from the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, examines both concepts of mental illness in addition to attitudes and beliefs about treatment as well as potential barriers to accessing mental health services. The study found that mental health concerns, although identified, were often dealt with first in the communities themselves with the help of family or friends and communities of faith. The actual role of mental health professionals was not well understood, and there was apparent hesitancy to use services, which also relates to issues of stigma. (Description from source)  
  • Screening and Assessing Immigrant and Refugee Youth in School-Based Mental Health Programs, from the Center for Health and Health Care in Schools (CHHS), address what is known about best practices in providing school-based mental health services to children of immigrants and refugees.

Trafficking

Program Development

  • Solution Based Casework: Making the Link Fact Sheet, from the Center for the Study of Social Policy's (CSSP) Strengthening Families (SF) Protective Factors Framework, is a research-informed, cost-effective strategy to increase family stability, enhance child development, and reduce child abuse and neglect.  In this fact sheet, the gap is bridged between SF and the Solution Based Casework model.
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