I Came All This Way For Them, Refugee Parents in Their Own Words: Newcomers and Parenting

  1. A Toolkit on Positive Discipline with Particular Emphasis on South and Central Asia. Regional Working Group, Save the Children Sweden 206 page s . 2007. English . http://www.crin.org/docs/Toolkit%20on%20Positive%20Discipline%20final.pdf

    This toolkit outlines an approach that parents can utilize in place of physical and psychological punishment. Though the Toolkit was designed primarily for those working abroad, it is extremely applicable to service providers working with refugee and immigrant families in the United States. Of particular relevance to service providers are the sections on: natural and logical consequences (p. 76), establishing norms and limits in families/schools (p. 77), conflict management (p. 89), and managing aggressive behavior (p. 106). The Toolkit includes case scenarios that can be used for discussion and other activities suitable for parenting classes.

  2. Are there Universal Parenting Concepts among Culturally Diverse Families in an Inner-City Pediatric Clinic?. McVoy, Mimi , Lee, Connie , O'Neill, Allison 142-150 page s . 2005. . http://download.journals.elsevierhealth.com/pdfs/journals/0891-5245/PIIS0891524504002986.pdf

    Cultural Competence is necessary in providing care to culturally diverse families. Numerous studeis have emphasized similarities and differences between predetermined cultural groups, yet few have  studied groups across cultures. This project aimed to investigate parenting concepts, which in this context pertains to philosophy of parenting and child care practices across cultures.

  3. Caught Between Cultures: Hmong Parents in America's Sibling Society. Kaiser, Tamara L. . 2004-05. English . http://www.hmongstudies.com/TamaraKaiserHSJ5.pdf

    Focuses on Hmong parents and children caught between traditional, sometimes hierarchical Hmong values and aspects of American culture that celebrate freedom and equality. Study results revealed that a rejection of hierarchy compromises the ability of many Hmong to be effective parents. The study's findings have important implications for those who work with Hmong youth and families, among them that: (1) it is both ineffective and potentially destructive to expect Hmong families simply to assimilate; and (2) while some changes are positive, such as educating the Hmong community about customs that are detrimental to women and children, some changes are quite negative, such as challenges to family values that result in children being attracted to gangs. In traditional Hmong society, leaders do not inherit their power; rather they earn their status and authority. This notion of hierarchy acknowledges that adults know more than children and are responsible for their care, that children have much to learn from those who came before them, and that being adult imbues responsibility for the care and preservation of the larger community. A culture based on non-hierarchical sibling-like relationships may jeopardize the well-being not only of Hmong families but of society as a whole.

  4. Cultural Orientation for Children with Refugee Backgrounds. Phrasavath, Thavisouk , Kuras, Ellen 51 page s . June 2009. English . http://www.brycs.org/documents/upload/UtahCO.pdf

    This guide was created by a research team at the University of Utah in collaboration with Catholic Community Services and other refugee resettlement agencies in Utah.  It is designed to help refugee children ages 8-14 adjust to U.S. culture and includes interactive lessons on laws and safety, school rules and skills, social skills, money management, emotional health, claiming your culture, and family roles. 

  5. Culture and Parenting:. A Guide for Delivering. Parenting Curriculums to Diverse Families. Ontai, Lenna L. , Mastergeorge, Ann M. 26 page s . 2007. English . http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/files/filelibrary/5264/20355.pdf

    This publication from the University of California Cooperative Extension is an information guide for practitioners for delivering parenting curricula. It provides research-based tips and checklists regarding cultural sensitivity of programs and services offered to families. Cultural frameworks are described. Topics include communication, discipline, bonding, family structure, gender-roles, play, and sleeping.

  6. Developing Culturally Competent, Effective Parenting Programs. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children Services (BRYCS) 3 page s . February 2005. English . http://www.brycs.org/documents/upload/brycs_spotfeb2005.pdf

    In our work around the country, BRYCS has listened to refugee families talk about many of the challenges they face in raising children in a culture vastly different from the one in which they grew up. Although the majority of refugee children eventually do well here and go on to be successful adults, there is also much pain and struggle in many of these families. These struggles are similar to the ones all parents face, but may be compounded by the circumstances under which families fled their country, the traumatic experiences and separations endured, and the often major changes in family roles and expectations that accompany life in a new culture. This Spotlight examines resources for developing culturally competent, effective parenting programs.

  7. Family Strengthening Across Cultures: Parent Support Programs for Refugees. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children's Services (BRYCS) 2 page s . October 2005. English . http://www.brycs.org/documents/upload/brycs_spotoct2005.pdf

    Even experienced refugee parents can face difficulties in blending the cultures and practices of different countries. This Spotlight article highlights how refugee parents need support in maintaining strong relationships with their children and in preventing problems that can limit their children's success in a new country.

  8. Issues for Immigrant Parents and Their Children. Direnfeld, Gary 1 page . English . http://www.yoursocialworker.com/p-articles/immigrant-family-adaptation.pdf

    This is a one page overview of issues that immigrant parents may experience when raising their children in the U.S. or Canada. For instance, the article discusses children who acculturate more quickly than their parents, challenges related to children who socialize with youth of the opposite sex or culture, and differences in demands placed on daughters versus sons.

  9. Parenting for Academic Success: A Curriculum for Families Learning English - Research Base. Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) 8 page s . 2005. English . http://www.cal.org/resources/pubs/parenting_academic_success.html

    "Principle 1: Language teaching is most effective when instruction is provided in a context that is meaningful to students' lives. This is especially true for adult learners, who bring years of experience to the classroom. Best practices in English as a second language (ESL) education integrate language and content instruction. ... Principle 2: Language learners need to have opportunities to practice the structures, vocabulary, and strategies they are learning. ... Principle 3: All parents play a critical role in supporting their children's language, literacy, and cognitive development. Parents learning English should recognize that second language learning and literacy are built upon a strong foundation of first language (L1) and culture, which should be explored and celebrated in the home. ... Principle 4: All parents should share books with their children. Parents and other family members should read to and with their children in whatever language they feel most comfortable using. Literacy in two languages is an academic advantage." - Publisher's description

  10. Promoting Healthy Parenting Practices Across Cultural Groups: A CDC Research Brief. Lubell, Keri M. , Lofton, Teresa , Singer, Helen Harber 20 page s . 2008. English . http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/images/DVP/Healthy_Parenting_RIB_a.pdf

    This research brief explores cultural issues around parenting in five different U.S. cultural groups: Asian Americans, Latin Americans, African Americans, American Indians, and non-Hispanic white Americans.  The CDC brief recognizes that culture plays a major role in parenting and can even determine how a parent judges and responds to “good” or “bad” behavior.  This study also found such variations within one culture, depending upon the country or tribe of origin.  All in all, the brief emphasizes that healthy parenting programs and messages are most effective when they are sensitive to cultural norms.

  11. Que Significa ser Padres? (What Does it Mean to be Parents?). National Institute of Child Health and Human Development 70 page s . June 2006. English . http://www.nichd.nih.gov/publications/pubs_details.cfm?from=&pubs_id=5050

    This free Spanish-language publication geared toward Hispanics who are seeking advice on parenting gives practical suggestions for successful parenting that parents can adapt for their own lives and situations. It also includes real-life examples of how some parents have incorporated these strategies into their own day-to-day parenting activities.

  12. Raising Children in a New Country: A Toolkit for Working with Newcomer Parents. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children's Services (BRYCS) 41 page s . November 2005 (Revised). English . http://www.brycs.org/documents/upload/raisingchildreninanewcountry_web.pdf

    Refugee parents need support in maintaining strong relationships with their children and in preventing problems that can limit their children's success in a new country. To aid refugee serving agencies in helping parents, BRYCS has created Raising Children in a New Country: A Toolkit for Working with Refugee Parents. The Toolkit includes: - An overview of research and good practice in parent education programs for refugees - Detailed information about free and fee-based parent support and education resources for refugee-serving agencies, including free access to certain curricula, handouts in different languages and reports - Program development guidance, including fundraising resources and evaluation tools. This Parenting Toolkit is ideal for mutual assistance associations (MAAs), refugee resettlement agencies, and other organizations providing parent support and education programs for refugees and newcomers. BRYCS' goals in developing this parenting toolkit have been twofold: (1) To summarize the "state of the field" in parent support and education with refugee families, and (2) To gather concrete parenting resources, appropriate for use with refugee families, in an easily-accessible format for refugee-serving agencies. This BRYCS resource is designed to make it easier and feasible for refugee-serving agencies to establish effective parent support programs.

  13. Raising Children in a New Country: An Illustrated Handbook. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children's Services (BRYCS) 36 page s . September 2007. Arabic Burmese English Hmong Karen Nepali Somali Spanish . http://www.brycs.org/documents/upload/RaisingChildren-Handbook.pdf

    This booklet was created for agencies serving refugees and immigrants in order to support their efforts to ensure that newcomer parents have the basic information they need about U.S. laws and parenting practices. Although newcomers may find the booklet useful by itself, it is primarily intended for case managers and other service providers to use together with their refugee and immigrant clients. The booklet is targeted to newcomer parents with low levels of English proficiency and/or low literacy levels. Since the often complex concepts illustrated here are necessarily simplified, the resource section (pages 28-31) provides easy-to-access information for service providers to supplement the basic points in this booklet. For best results, BRYCS recommends using this booklet in culturally appropriate parent support groups, preferably run by at least one experienced newcomer parent of the same ethnicity and one U.S.-born parent, where refugee and immigrant parents can ask questions, try out new behaviors, and find positive support to help ease their transition. (See the BRYCS publication Parenting in a New Country: A Toolkit for Working with Newcomer Parents for more information on parent support groups, including curricula and other educational information).

    This booklet has been translated into Arabic, Burmese, Karen, Nepali, Spanish, Somali and White Hmong by local refugee agencies and public schools.  Contact BRYCS at info@brycs.org for more information.

  14. Referrals Among Asian and Pacific Islander Families. Children's Bureau, Administration for Children and Families (ACF) , U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) 7,5 page s . June 2006. English . http://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/index.cfm?event=website.viewArticles&issueid=75&articleID=1169&keywords=Referrals%20Among%20Asian%20and%20Pacific%20Islander%20Families

    A recent study validates past claims that Asian Americans, as a whole, constitute relatively lower risk for reports of child maltreatment. However, the study also found that within this group, patterns of child maltreatment exist among different Asian and Pacific Islander ethnic groups. Two years of child maltreatment referrals for Asian and Pacific Islander families in Washington State were analyzed. Data were recorded for 1,263 families from 12 Asian and Pacific Islander groups: Asian Indian, Cambodian, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Lao, Thai, Vietnamese, Hawaiian, Samoan, and Guamanian. Researchers found certain variations among the different ethnic groups. Samoan, Cambodian, Thai, Lao, and Vietnamese families were overrepresented in CPS reports, compared with their representation in the State's Asian and Pacific Islander population. For example, Samoan families make up only 1.7 percent of the Asian American population in Washington but had the largest proportion of CPS referrals. The overrepresented groups tended to be those that have experienced higher levels of social and economic stress. On the other hand, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Filipino families were underrepresented. These findings highlight the importance of culturally sensitive child welfare practices. As Asian and Pacific Islanders continue to be one of the fastest growing racial groups in the United States, the need for culturally competent services for this community also will expand. Service providers should be aware of the differences among the ethnic groups within the Asian and Pacific Islander population, including differences in their social and economic backgrounds, immigration history, and parenting practices.

  15. Report on Physical Punishment in the United States: What Research Tells Us About Its Effects on Children. Gershoff, Elizabeth T. 57 page s . 2008. English . http://www.phoenixchildrens.com/PDFs/principles_and_practices-of_effective_discipline.pdf

    This report provides data on the effects of physical punishment on children.  Among other findings, the report concludes that physical punishment rarely improves children’s long-term behavior and instead makes children more defiant and aggressive in years to come.  See page 19 for a section on “cultural perspectives” and page 29 for a chart on what is considered allowable physical punishment by state.

  16. Southeast Asian Fathers' Experiences with Adolescents: Challenges and Change. Xiong, Zha Blong , Detzner, Daniel F. 23 page s . 2005. English . http://hmongstudies.org/XiongandDetznerHSJ6.pdf

    "The purpose of this paper is to examine the fathering experiences of Southeast Asian immigrant men who are parenting their adolescent children in the United States. Focus group discussions were conducted with twenty-two Cambodian, Hmong, Lao, and Vietnamese immigrant fathers. The study found that most fathers wanted to become closer to their children and be more involved in their children's daily activities. Common fathering roles such as the family provider, teacher, supervisor, and disciplinarian also emerged from the analyses. Parent educators, social service providers, policy makers, and practitioners who work with Southeast Asian families should understand the complex and critical roles of fathers and include them when designing, developing, and delivering programs and services for families." - Publisher's description

  17. Strengthening Families and Communities: 2009 Resource Guide. US Department of Health and Human Services, Children's Bureau, Office on Child Abuse and Neglect , Child Welfare Information Gateway , FRIENDS National Resource Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP) 87 page s . 2009. English . http://www.childwelfare.gov/preventing/res_guide_2009/

    This Resource Guide was developed to support service providers in their work with parents, caregivers, and their children, to prevent child abuse and neglect. It was created primarily to support community-based child abuse and prevention professionals who work to strengthen communities and support parents, caregivers, and their children. However, other such as policymakers, parent educators, family support workers, health care providers, program administrators, teachers, child care providers, mentors, and clergy, also will find the resources helpful. Chapters discuss: Laying the Groundwork; Working with Families; The Five Protective Factors; Engaging Your Community; Protecting Children; Resources; and Tip Sheets for Parents and Caregivers.

  18. Strengthening Services for Refugee Parents: Guidelines and Resources. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children's Services (BRYCS) 192 page s . 2003. English . http://www.brycs.org/documents/upload/parenting_manual.pdf

    This comprehensive, 192-page manual was developed to assist agencies working with refugee parents. BRYCS interviewed 28 agencies in 13 states to learn more about their strengths, challenges, and promising practices. The manual includes components such as detailed profiles of each agency interviewed, a summary report of trends and practices of all agencies, program development and evaluation guidelines, as well as guidelines for programs for refugee parents of adolescents. It also includes an extensive list of resources. This manual provides essential instruction in program evaluation and development and identifies promising practices, trends and resources instructive to organizations working with newcomer families.

  19. The Teenage Years: Making them Easier for Parents and Young People. Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers . 2004. Amharic Arabic Chinese Dinka English Farsi French Hindi Punjabi Somali Spanish Tigrigna Urdu Vietnamese . http://edmonton.cmha.ca/mental-health/multi-language-brochures/

    This information sheet provides an overview of the types of behaviors exhibited by teenagers and what parents can do to deal with them in a positive way. It is stressed that, although teenagers can face difficult challenges, parents should not accept inappropriate and unacceptable behavior. It is important, however, to deal with the problems in positive ways. It is noted that teenagers who have a positive relationship with one or both parents are less likely to get into serious trouble. The resources present a short list of good ways for parents to improve their relationships with their children.

  20. Young Latino Infants and Families: Parental Involvement Implications from a Recent National Study. U. S. Government Accountability Office page s . June 2007. English . http://www.gse.harvard.edu/hfrp/projects/fine/resources/digest/infants.html

    "This article describes the findings from a recent study examining parenting behaviors and children's developmental outcomes. The study provides a deeper understanding of how cultural practices combine with other factors to shape parenting behaviors among families in the U.S. in the first year of children's lives. Several findings provide information about ways in which practitioners and Latino families can more effectively engage with young Latino children to influence their cognitive, social, language, and literacy development, and therefore facilitate their school readiness." - Publisher's description