Foster Care for Unaccompanied Children

Since 1980, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops department of Migration and Refugee Services (MRS) has served as a leader in the protection of unaccompanied, refugee, and immigrant children. With support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of State, MRS provides a continuum of care through its collaboration with a national network of 12 state licensed Unaccompanied Refugee Minor (URM) foster care programs.

Our network of foster care programs is unique in its fusion of child welfare and refugee protection by incorporating unaccompanied children into the United States' existing child welfare framework through agencies with expertise in serving children and families with forced migration experiences. Programs provide trauma-informed services specific to the needs of this vulnerable population, to include integration while preserving heritage culture and religion, development of independent living skills, English language acquisition, educational needs and goals, and employment preparation.

Recognizing the special training needs of those who care for unaccompanied children, BRYCS has hand-selected the following resources on the Highlighted Resource List for foster families, direct care providers, attorneys, mentors, and others working with refugee and immigrant children in foster care.

Highlighted Resources: Foster Care

The resources on the following Highlighted Resource List have been hand chosen by BRYCS staff to assist service providers in working with unaccompanied children in foster care. It includes the following topical areas:

Foster Care for Unaccompanied Refugee & Immigrant Children (Back to Top)

  1. Current Challenges in the Resettlement of Minors through UNHCR and the Best Interest Determination (BID) Process. Duncan, Julianne 7 page s . June 2003. English . http://www.unhcr.org/protect/PROTECTION/3ee6dbab4.pdf

    Summarizes the challenges inherent in the repatriation or resettlement of separated minors. Half a million of the world's refugees are children separated from their parents or caregivers, many of whom languish in refugee camps for years. Using the "best interest determination" (BID) process, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United States have successfully resettled some 3,700 Sudanese unaccompanied children and youth. The BID process needs to be carried out consistently for separated refugee children throughout the world. The process includes analysis of the circumstances of the camp or other location of the child; analysis of options available for that child or population; interviews conducted by child welfare professionals to assess the child's well-being and wishes; and recommendations on both short-term interim care needs and durable solutions. Although difficult to implement, the ideal priorities for the refugee child are return to parents or customary caregiver and, failing that, placement with appropriate caregivers who can provide stability. Resettlement must be one of the tools available to protect separated refugee children, so that they do not remain wasting their crucial development years in refugee camps.

  2. Foster Care at a Cultural Crossroads: Refugee Children in the Public Foster Care System, Roundtable Report. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children's Services (BRYCS) 34 page s . 2003. English . http://www.brycs.org/documents/upload/roundtable.pdf

    Focuses on the establishment of cultural competence within organizations so that professionals can work effectively in cross-cultural situations. Cultural competence is defined as the integration of knowledge about different individuals and groups of people into standards, policies, practices, and attitudes used in appropriate cultural settings to increase the quality of services. Sponsored by the Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice, this web site explains the 5 essential elements that contribute to a system's ability to become more culturally competent: to value diversity, to have the capacity for cultural self-assessment, to be conscious of the dynamics inherent when cultures interact, to institutionalize cultural knowledge, and to develop adaptations to service delivery reflecting an understanding of diversity between and within cultures. The Web site provides answers to a number of key questions, including why cultural competence is important and how it differs from cultural awareness or sensitivity; what research has been conducted; what organizations are addressing cultural competence through policy, education, or interagency collaboration; how cultural competence is integrating into education; and how cultural competence benefits children. Visitors to the site also are directed to numerous resources, including training workshops, conferences, reading lists, and a calendar of events.

  3. Foster Care: A Fact Sheet for Prospective Muslim Families. Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) 6 page s . September 17, 2002. English . http://www.brycs.org/documents/upload/FosterCare_FactSheet_ProspectiveMuslimFamilies.pdf

    Describes the requirements and rewards of fostering a Muslim child in a home that adheres to the tenets of Islam. Stability of placement is the goal, and licensed foster parents who provide safe, supportive homes can help refugee children both heal and work toward independent self-sufficiency.

  4. From Identification to Durable Solution: Analysis of the Resettlement of Unaccompanied Refugee Minors to the United States and Recommendations for Best Interest Determinations. MacDonnell, Margaret , Lummert, Nathalie 23 page s . July 2011. English . http://old.usccb.org/mrs/urm-mapping-white-paper.pdf

    This report is intended to assist with educating the international audience about the population of unaccompanied refugee minors identified for resettlement to the U.S. It builds upon and compares results from a previous USCCB report. The report concludes with concrete suggestions regarding best interest determinations in refugee settings.

  5. Improving Access: Immigration Relief for Children in Federal Foster Care Before and After the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008. Children's Services, Special Programs, Migration and Refugee Services (MRS) 27 page s . 2012. English . http://www.brycs.org/documents/upload/immigration-relief-for-children-in-foster-care.pdf

    This report uses quantitative and qualitative data to assess the impact of TVPRA 2008 on immigration legal outcomes for UAC and outlines some remaining challenges to the fair and timely adjudication of these cases.   

  6. Serving Foreign-Born Foster Children: A Resource for Meeting the Special Needs of Refugee Youth and Children. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children's Services (BRYCS) 59 page s . 2003. English . http://www.brycs.org/documents/upload/fostercare-2.pdf

    This document addresses the special challenges in serving foreign-born children in U.S foster care systems. It is intended for administrative and casework staff of child welfare agencies and other public and private organizations that work with refugee children and families. The document draws on the experiences of existing foster care programs to suggest practical means of meeting the assessment and placement needs of foreign-born children in foster care. In addition, the paper highlights potential areas for collaboration between public and private entities and identifies the laws, policies and professional standards relevant to serving refugee and immigrant children. The appendix includes resources on topics such as developing refugee foster families, identifying the particular service needs of refugee children in foster care, and assisting trafficked children.

  7. Serving Refugee Children in Foster Care: Fundamental Considerations (Appendix 2). Bridging Refugee Youth and Children's Services (BRYCS) 6 page s . 2003. English . http://www.brycs.org/documents/upload/fostercare_app2.pdf

    This information sheet contains suggestions for meeting the special needs of refugee children in out-of-home care; that is, ways to help them draw on their culture, language, ethnic tradition, and religious faith as supportive and protective factors while they adjust to a new life in the United States. Although most of the information contained in this information sheet applies to minors of all ages, most children in the specialized refugee foster care system funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) are adolescents. The term "youth" is used for instances that apply more to adolescents than to children. The phrase "bicultural staff" is used loosely to refer to staff of the same ethnic group or country of origin as the children in care as well as those who share some facet of the culture, language, or religion of a refugee group. Most bicultural staff have personal experience adjusting to a new culture and draw on that experience in helping refugee children do the same. Similarly, for brevity the term "refugee foster families" refers to foster families in which the parents are refugees or other foreign-born persons, such as asylees or immigrants."

  8. Shifting the Lens: A Family-Focused Approach to the Treatment of Unaccompanied Children. Peck, Kristyn , Kuennen, Katie , Feasley, Ashley 16 page s . September 2015. English . http://www.usccb.org/about/children-and-migration/upload/Shifting-the-Lens_2015.pdf

    This paper from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops re-frames unaccompanied children as part of a family unit and draws from principles from Catholic Teaching and U.S. Child Welfare best practice on supporting and strengthening families. The recommendations in this paper promote policy and programming for unaccompanied migrating children that is family-focused, sustainable, and in the best interest of the child.

  9. SIJS Caseworker's Toolkit for Children in Federal Custody. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops/Migration and Refugee Services (USCCB/MRS) . 2008. English . http://www.brycs.org/sijs-toolkit/

    This toolkit was primarily developed for foster care caseworkers assisting children in the federal custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement's Division of Children's Services (ORR/DCS), to ensure that SIJS-eligible children receive the assistance and case monitoring they need during the SIJS application process. In addition, this toolkit may also help social service and legal practitioners working with other children who may be eligible for SIJS. This toolkit consists of nine products, which include flow charts, Q & As, and lists of resources.  It was updated in 2012.

  10. Study on Unaccompanied Children: Factors in Successful Integration. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services (BRYCS) page s . August 2016. English . http://www.brycs.org/webinar-successful-integration-of-unaccompanied-children.cfm http://www.brycs.org/documents/upload/Study-on-Unaccompanied-Children-8-9-16.pdf http://brycsblog.blogspot.com/2016/08/unaccompanied-children-factors-in.html

    Join USCCB Foster Care and Family Reunification staff to learn about the findings from their recent study on factors in successful integration of unaccompanied children. Themes were gleaned from interviews with youth, caregivers, and case managers, as well as surveys from USCCB's network of foster care and family reunification providers. The presentation will address promising practices in case management and key service areas such as education and legal services, and the importance of youth strengths and relational support.

  11. The Changing Face of the Unaccompanied Alien Child: A Portrait of Foreign-Born Children in Federal Foster Care and How to Best Meet Their Needs. Children's Services, Special Programs, Migration and Refugee Services (MRS) 31 page s . 2012. English . http://www.brycs.org/documents/upload/foreign-born-children-in-foster-care.pdf

    This report provides an in-depth analysis of the profile of children coming into federal foster care and how that profile has changed over the years in regards to gender, country of origin, age, reported reason for migration, etc. The report ends with recommendations for improved care.   

  12. The Flow of Unaccompanied Children Through the Immigration System: A Resource for Practitioners, Policy Makers, and Researchers. Byrne, Olga , Miller, Elise 38 page s . March 2012. English . http://www.vera.org/pubs/flow-unaccompanied-children-through-immigration-system-resource-practitioners-policy-makers-and

    This publication draws on knowledge gained through administering this program, as well as data from the Office of Refugee Resettlement, to document the path unaccompanied children follow through this system. In describing current policy and practice, it serves as a tool for practitioners, policy makers, and researchers working on issues affecting unaccompanied children nationwide.

  13. The Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Program of the U.S. Refugee Program: Information on Reclassification. Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) , United States Conference of Catholic Bishops/Migration and Refugee Services (USCCB/MRS) 2 page s . November 2007. English . http://www.brycs.org/documents/upload/urm_prog_desc.pdf

    Describes the specialized resettlement and foster care services for unaccompanied refugee minors provided by the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops/Migration and Refugee Services (USCCB/MRS), through a network of licensed child welfare agencies and under authorization of the U.S. Department of State. Services offered include indirect financial support for housing, food, clothing, and other necessities; medical care; mental health services; education; job skills training and career/college counseling; ongoing family tracing, where possible; cultural activities; and legal assistance.

  14. The Unaccompanied Refugee Minors Program (Web site). U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) . English . http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/orr/programs/unaccompanied_refugee_minors.htm

    Describes the Unaccompanied Refugee Minors (URM) Program, which offers specialized resettlement and foster care services. Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS) and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops/Migration and Refugee Services (USCCB/MRS) work through a network of licensed child welfare agencies to provide these services. This 2-page Web fact sheet covers the program's legal responsibilities, eligibility requirements, target populations, specific services, and geographic locations. It provides links to other sites vital to the URM Program.

  15. The United States Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Program: Guiding Principles and Promising Practices. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops/Migration and Refugee Services (USCCB/MRS) 90 page s . 2013. English . http://us7.campaign-archive1.com/?u=4d488badbdb1e5aaccce9c569&id=75ec9746dd

    This resource shares practice strategies, stories and tips from across the national program network. It also includes a chapter on program practice implications for victims of human trafficking. The e-book is available for free download however, tax-deductible donations are welcome! 

  16. Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Program (Brochure). Children's Services, Special Programs, Migration and Refugee Services (MRS) 2 page s . 2007. English . http://www.usccb.org/about/children-and-migration/upload/urm-brochure-english.pdf

    If you work with a foreign-born child who is in need of a stable living environment, this brochure covers the basics of the Unaccompanied Refugee Minor (URM) program: how to identify youth, eligibility, services and long term foster care.

  17. Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Program: Frequently Asked Questions. Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) , United States Conference of Catholic Bishops/Migration and Refugee Services (USCCB/MRS) 3 page s . February 2006. English . http://www.usccb.org/about/children-and-migration/upload/URM-FAQ-s.pdf

    Provides basic information, in a question-and-answer format, about the fostering of unaccompanied refugee minors, including the locations of current refugee foster care programs and telephone numbers for further information. Questions address (1) who unaccompanied refugee minors are; (2) who is eligible for refugee foster care programs and for how long; (3) what services are available; (4) how the programs are funded and monitored; (5) what kind of foster family or other care arrangements are provided to the minors; (6) how these children respond to foster care and how they fare in the American educational system; (7) who can become a foster parent; and (8) whether unaccompanied minors are ever reunited with their families.

Cultural Diversity & Responsiveness (Back to Top)

  1. A Place To Call Home: Rebuilding Lives in Safety and Dignity - World Refugee Day, 20 June (World Refugee Day 2004 Information Kit). United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) 60 page s . 2004. English . http://www.unhcr.org/events/EVENTS/409f8d2e5.pdf

    "In this information kit you will find a number of stories of individual refugees who have successfully returned to their original homes, or integrated into the societies of the countries in which they sought refuge, or who have resettled in asylum countries. Other articles provide examples of how UNHCR has tackled the refugee crises created by various conflicts around the worlds in the recent past. And there are also a dozen background articles on UNHCR, its mandates, its initiatives and agendas, its mission, its statistics, and a glossary. All may be quoted or reproduced freely, and further information can be obtained by contacting local UNHCR offices or visiting www.unhcr.ch." - Publisher's description

  2. A Woman's Country? Addressing the Fears and Misconceptions Impacting the Cultural Adjustment of Refugee Families. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services (BRYCS) 35 page s . July 2016. English . http://www.brycs.org/webinar-a-womans-country.cfm http://www.brycs.org/documents/upload/Woman-s-Country-7-20-16.pdf http://brycsblog.blogspot.com/2016/07/a-womans-country-addressing-fears-and.html

    BRYCS Consultant, Goli Bellinger, MSW, LCSW-C, focuses on strategies to raise awareness  and invite acculturation discussions on family safety within the refugee service provider and educational communities. She emphasizes how to identify and connect to refugee goals, fears, and family conflict after immigration. The webinar also includes an introduction to Situational Couples Violence, as differentiated from Classic Domestic Violence. This webinar expands upon BRYCS Blog.

  3. From We to Me : A Curriculum on Working with Transitioning Youth from the Perspective of Culture. Berdie, Jane 121 page s . September 2003. English . https://library.childwelfare.gov/cwig/ws/library/docs/gateway/Record?rpp=10&upp=0&m=1&w=+NATIVE%28%27recno%3D44072%27%29&r=1

    This resource provides social services trainers with four curriculum activities and participant handouts to understand youth within the context of culture and how to use the culture to motivate, provide assistance, and effectively frame interactions and interventions for youth clients. Section I, Orientation to Culture, defines and identifies cultures and cultural indicators and how culture impacts independent living skills using case studies. Section II, Talking to Youth about Culture: Ethnographic Interviewing, presents questions about behavior based on the cultural context of the client. Section III, Cultural Resources for Working with Youth, assists the social worker to create a robust network of traditional service providers. Section IV, Incorporating Cultural Issues into Working with Youth, outlines case planning, assessing progress, and developing strategies for utilizing cultural knowledge into practice using case studies as seminar discussion tools. (IP)

  4. Integration Barriers: Perspectives from Refugee Youth. 5 page s . 2016. English . http://www.brycs.org/youth/integration-barriers-perspectives-from-refugee-youth.cfm http://www.brycs.org/webinar-integration-barriers.cfm http://www.brycs.org/documents/upload/Integration-Barriers-6-1-16.pdf

    In February 2016, 25 refugee youth gathered in Washington, DC to identify and discuss the biggest barriers they face adjusting to life in America. They analyzed the causes and impacts of each barrier and then discussed what could be done to fix them. Solutions ranged from what can be done better overseas in refugee camps to what can be done here by schools and local communities. These barriers, causes, impacts, and solutions all came from the refugee youth themselves.

    A supplemental webinar and blog further discuss these barriers.

  5. Journey to Resettlement: Refugee Experiences in Countries of Asylum. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services (BRYCS) page s . August 2017. English . http://www.brycs.org/webinar-journey-to-resettlement.cfm http://www.brycs.org/documents/upload/BRYCS-Webinar-Journey-to-Resettlement.pdf http://brycsblog.blogspot.com/2017/09/journey-to-resettlement-refugee.html

    If you encounter refugee families and children in your community, you may wonder what their lives were like just prior to arriving in the United States. What is it like to go to school in a refugee camp? How do urban refugees find work or medical care? What does the typical daily routine look like? Refugee resettlement is often a long process, and is a unique experience of hardship, triumph and hope. Learn about these experiences from two former refugees, Paw Ku from Burma and Suhad Khudhair from Iraq, as they give us a glimpse into their stories of migration. 

  6. Muslim Refugee Youth: Stories & Strategies Addressing Discrimination & Bullying. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services (BRYCS) , International Intercultural Center (ICC) page s . 2016. English . http://www.brycs.org/webinar-muslim-refugee-youth-stories-strategies-addressing-discrimination-bullying.cfm http://www.theicc.net/ourcauses/washington-post-reports-on-iccs-survey-of-the-impact-of-bullying-on-muslim-students http://brycsblog.blogspot.com/2016/07/muslim-refugee-youth-stories-strategies.html

    Anti-Muslim sentiment is on the rise and affects Muslim refugee youth and families in unique ways. This webinar shares statistics and stories on bullying and discrimination among diverse Muslim youth. These stories are contextualized within a wider discussion on cultural competency when working with Muslim refugee youth and psychological and sociological concerns that this population may experience. This webinar provides best practices and recommendations for individuals, families, schools, and the wider community in meeting these challenges. BRYCS co-sponsored this webinar with the International Intercultural Center (ICC).

  7. Next Door Neighbors. . 2009. English . https://ndn.wnpt.org/documentaries/

    This series includes videos on the Bhutanese, Somalis, Kurds, and Latinos living in Nashville, TN.   Across the United States, mid-sized cities like Nashville, TN are experiencing unprecedented growth in their immigrant/refugee populations.  These videos may be useful to those in other locations, particularly other mid-sized cities seeking to integrate new populations. 

  8. Refugee 101: With a Special Look at Child-Specific Issues. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services (BRYCS) page s . 2016. English . http://www.brycs.org/webinar-refugee-101-with-a-special-look-at-child-specific-issues.cfm http://www.brycs.org/documents/upload/Refugee-101-6-22-16.pdf http://brycsblog.blogspot.com/2016/05/refugee-101.html

    What questions do you most commonly get in your workplace or community about refugees and resettlement? Do you feel well poised to answer these questions and advocate for newcomers? In today's political climate, it is critical that we understand the refugee resettlement process, especially if working with this vulnerable population. This webinar aims to humanize the refugee experience and will cover some of the basics: what is a refugee and the push/pull factors of migration. Presenters discuss the pre-arrival process, including security measures, and post-arrival services. There is a special emphasis on child-specific issues.

  9. Refugees as English Language Learners: Issues and Concerns. Seufert, Peggy 6 page s . September 1999. English . http://www.brycs.org/documents/upload/refugeesasELLs.pdf

    Culture orientation training is received by the approximately 78,000 to 90,000 refugees settled in the United States each year. In this text, commonly asked questions concerning refugees' ethnic origins and English language abilities are explored as well as program considerations for serving this population. Topics of discussion are: who are the refugees and where are they from; a comparison of overseas training to past training and the implications for U.S. service providers; factors considered in setting up instructional programs for refugees; recommended curricular approaches; how employment skills can be integrated with English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) training; and how ESL programs with limited funds offer support services, curriculum innovations, and technology access to refugees. (Contains 25 references.) (Adjunct ERIC Clearinghouse for ESL Literacy Education) (KFT)(ERIC Order No. ED438741)

  10. Strong Roots and Bright Futures: Promoting Successful Adjustment for Refugee Youth. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children's Services (BRYCS) , Refugee Health Technical Assistance Center (RHTAC) page s . February 2012. English . http://usccb.adobeconnect.com/p4xmj4qpqkm/ http://www.brycs.org/documents/upload/BRYCS-RHTAC-Webinar-2-8-2012.pdf

    In this Webinar, Heidi Ellis, PhD, Center for Refugee Trauma and Resilience, Boston Children's Hospital, discussed the risk and protective processes most critical to refugee youth adjustment; Lyn Morland, MSW, MA, BRYCS, provided effective family strengthening models that promote positive youth adjustment; and Dina Birman, PhD, BRYCS Consultant and Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago, discussed the latest research on mentoring for refugee and immigrant youth. 

Trauma & Mental Health (Back to Top)

  1. Child Victims of Human Trafficking: Outcomes and Service Adaptation within the U.S. Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Programs. Chester, Hilary , Lummert, Nathalie , Mullooly, Anne 42 page s . July 2015. English . http://www.usccb.org/about/children-and-migration/upload/URM-Child-Trafficking-Study-2015.pdf http://www.brycs.org/webinar-child-victims-of-human-trafficking-outcomes-service-adaptation-within-the-urm-program.cfm http://www.brycs.org/documents/upload/Child-Victims-of-Human-Trafficking-6-30-16.pdf

    This report shares the results of an outcome study of all child victims of human trafficking placed into USCCB/MRS' URM programs between October 2004 and September 2011. All 12 URM programs were interviewed on how they have adapted their service model to meet the special needs of this population.

    A supplemental webinar provides an overview of children and youth served, methodology, and discusses key findings on keeping victims safe in community-based care, child well-being, foster family selection and placement, and foster parent training and retention.

  2. Child Welfare Trauma Training Toolkit. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) page s . 2008. English . http://www.nctsnet.org/nccts/nav.do?pid=ctr_cwtool

    Outlines a course of instruction for child welfare professionals to assess trauma, uses case analysis methods, and teaches intervention techniques to effectively support the unique needs of each child and his biological and resource families. Developed by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, the toolkit includes a Trainer's Guide and a Comprehensive Guide for students which contain back-ground reading material and teaching plans for seven modules: (1) Creating Trauma-Informed Child Welfare Practice: Introduction to the Essential Elements, (2) What is Child Traumatic Stress?, (3) The Impact of Trauma on Children's Behavior, Development, and Relationships, (4) Assessment of a Child's Trauma Experiences, (5) Providing Support to the Child, Family, and Caregivers, (6) Managing Professional and Personal Stress, and (7) Summary. A Powerpoint Slide Kit can be used for visual assistance during each module session. Supplemental handouts provide additional learning tools such as case studies, fact sheets, a list of treatments and promising practices, and sample interview questions. An audio file of an actual 9-1-1 call made by a child is used to guide discussion in the first module. A 40-minute tutorial illustrates how the toolkit can be used for a two-day training workshop.

  3. How Schools Can Help Students Recover from Traumatic Experiences: A Toolkit for Supporting Long Term Recovery. Children's Bureau, Administration for Children and Families (ACF) , U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) 47 page s . March 2006. English . http://www.rand.org/pubs/technical_reports/2006/RAND_TR413.pdf

    "Many changes in students' performance and behavior stem from the emotional and behavioral problems that they may experience following such traumas as witnessing violence, undergoing assault or abuse, living through natural disasters, or experiencing acts of terrorism. This paper groups the programs to help support the long-term recovery of traumatized students according to the kinds of trauma they address, and describes how to select students for a program. Finally, it gives a one-page summation of each program selected. This summation describes the objective, intended population, and format of the program and provides details on implementation, personnel training and materials, and contact information." - Publisher's description

  4. Managing Trauma: Tips for Supporting Refugee Teens in Schools, Refugee Resettlement, & Other Contexts. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services (BRYCS) page s . November 2017. English . http://www.brycs.org/webinar-managing-trauma-tips-for-supporting-refugee-teens-in-schools-refugee-resettlement-and-other-contexts.cfm http://www.brycs.org/documents/upload/Managing-Trauma-11-29-17.pdf https://brycsblog.blogspot.com/2017/12/managing-trauma-tips-for-supporting.html

    This webinar builds off of BRYCS previous webinar on Understanding Trauma in Refugee Youth. Hugo Kamya, PhD, Professor  and Fulbright Specialist Roster Scholar at the Simmons College School of Social and Lisa Fontes, PhD, Senior Lecturer at the University of Massachusetts encourage you to reflect on your work and relationships with refugee teens. Participants will learn about some of the dilemmas facing refugee teenagers, how to converse helpfully and meaningfully with refugee teens, as well as ways to intervene more effectively with refugee teens, their families, and schools.  

  5. Sex Trafficking of Minors: Know the Process, Look for the Signs. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services (BRYCS) page s . March 2016. English . https://usccb.adobeconnect.com/_a833422997/p6szgxxrom5/?launcher=false&fcsContent=true&pbMode=normal&proto=true http://www.brycs.org/upload/Sex-Trafficking-of-Minors-3-31-16.pdf http://brycsblog.blogspot.com/2016/02/sex-trafficking-of-minors-know-process.html

    This webinar discusses the process by which many minors fall victim to sex trafficking, as well as some of the signs and indicators that may point to a potential child trafficking situation. It is intended for service providers working with at-risk youth, teachers, school social workers, and for anyone charged with the responsibility for the safety of minors, including parents and guardians. It also addresses some of the prevalent misconceptions about child sex trafficking, as well as highlight aspects of the phenomenon that quite literally "hide in plain sight."

  6. To Speak or Not to Speak about Past Trauma: Shifting the Focus to the Present Impacts of Current Events and Assimilation on Immigrant Children. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services (BRYCS) page s . September 2016. English . http://www.brycs.org/webinar-to-speak-or-not-to-speak-about-past-trauma.cfm http://www.brycs.org/documents/upload/To-speak-or-not-to-speak-9-15-16.pdf http://brycsblog.blogspot.com/2016/08/to-speak-or-not-to-speak-about-past.html

    BRYCS Consultant, Goli Amin Bellinger, MSW, LCSW-C, focuses on how to assess and respond to a child's current difficulties arising from assimilation and tragic events in news reports.  An emphasis is placed on avoiding the experience of a toxic trauma story by completing it with stories of resiliency from the past and present.  The webinar includes how to recognize stress induced reactions in children and what to recommend to both children and their parents to support adjustment and healing.

  7. Trauma, Spirituality, and Faith: An Overview of the Interplay as Survivors Risk Connection and Recovery. Power, Elizabeth page s . November 2014. English . http://gulfcoastjewishfamilyandcommunityservices.org/refugee/2014/11/20/trauma-spirituality-and-faith-an-overview-of-the-interplay-as-survivors-risk-connection-and-recovery/

    This webinar provides a broad overview of the role of spirituality and faith in recovery from trauma, and in fostering mental health. A supplemental information guide is also available.

  8. Understanding Trauma in Refugee Youth: Pre-flight, Flight, & Post-flight. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services (BRYCS) page s . November 2017. English . http://www.brycs.org/webinar-understanding-trauma-in-refugee-youth-pre-flight-flight-and-post-flight.cfm http://www.brycs.org/documents/upload/Understanding-Trauma-11-9-17.pdf http://brycsblog.blogspot.com/2017/11/understanding-trauma-in-refugee-youth.html

    Refugee youth often face multiple traumatic experiences due to forced migration throughout their resettlement journey. With the aim of better understanding refugee trauma and mental health, this presentation offers a foundational knowledge of relevant theories; case vignettes illustrating refugee youth in the community, family, and school; and school-specific considerations.

Education & School Systems (Back to Top)

  1. Creating Compassionate Schools: Supporting Unaccompanied Refugee Children. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services (BRYCS) page s . September 2013. English . http://www.brycs.org/webinar-creating-compassionate-schools.cfm http://www.brycs.org/documents/upload/Compassionate-Schools.pdf http://brycsblog.blogspot.com/2016/09/creating-compassionate-schools.html

    What is it like for an unaccompanied, undocumented child to be apprehended at the border, reunified and transitioned into the public education? During this webinar you will learn what happens when an immigrant child is taken into custody, the services available upon his or her release, and barriers with the education.  In addition, the discussion will include cultural affirming practices that child welfare agencies can incorporate to better serve this population.  Through video clips, case studies, group discussion, and a review of best practices, participants will gain a greater understanding of the strengths, and challenges facing these children and how to best meet their overall needs in an educational setting. In addition, best practices to support educational professionals to support them in working with this population.

  2. Enrolling Refugee Children in U.S. Schools. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services (BRYCS) page s . September 2016. English . http://www.brycs.org/webinar-enrolling-refugee-children-in-us-schools.cfm http://www.brycs.org/documents/upload/Enrolling-Refugee-Children-in-US-Schools.pdf http://brycsblog.blogspot.com/2016/08/enrolling-refugee-children-in-us-schools.html

    "He doesn't have a birth certificate."
    "You have only lived in the U.S. for a couple of months."
    "She is not the child's legal guardian."
    "They don't have any previous educational documents."

    This webinar focuses on the challenges of enrolling children into the local public school system and the current protections in place at the federal level such as Plyler v. Doe and the McKinney-Vento Act. Additional recommendations are discussed.

  3. How Schools Can Help Students Recover from Traumatic Experiences: A Toolkit for Supporting Long Term Recovery. Children's Bureau, Administration for Children and Families (ACF) , U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) 47 page s . March 2006. English . http://www.rand.org/pubs/technical_reports/2006/RAND_TR413.pdf

    "Many changes in students' performance and behavior stem from the emotional and behavioral problems that they may experience following such traumas as witnessing violence, undergoing assault or abuse, living through natural disasters, or experiencing acts of terrorism. This paper groups the programs to help support the long-term recovery of traumatized students according to the kinds of trauma they address, and describes how to select students for a program. Finally, it gives a one-page summation of each program selected. This summation describes the objective, intended population, and format of the program and provides details on implementation, personnel training and materials, and contact information." - Publisher's description

  4. Language Access and Schools: Federal Requirements and School Experiences. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children's Services , National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy (NCIIP) page s . 2011. English . http://migrationpolicy.podbean.com/2011/10/06/language-access-and-schools-federal-requirements-and-school-experiences/ http://www.migrationpolicy.org/ppt/webinar_20111006_LA_schools.pdf

    BRYCS' joint Webinar  with the Migration Policy Institute’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy (NCIIP) explores federal requirements for providing interpretation and translation in schools, looking at how select school districts in Minnesota and Colorado have managed these requirements.

  5. Managing Trauma: Tips for Supporting Refugee Teens in Schools, Refugee Resettlement, & Other Contexts. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services (BRYCS) page s . November 2017. English . http://www.brycs.org/webinar-managing-trauma-tips-for-supporting-refugee-teens-in-schools-refugee-resettlement-and-other-contexts.cfm http://www.brycs.org/documents/upload/Managing-Trauma-11-29-17.pdf https://brycsblog.blogspot.com/2017/12/managing-trauma-tips-for-supporting.html

    This webinar builds off of BRYCS previous webinar on Understanding Trauma in Refugee Youth. Hugo Kamya, PhD, Professor  and Fulbright Specialist Roster Scholar at the Simmons College School of Social and Lisa Fontes, PhD, Senior Lecturer at the University of Massachusetts encourage you to reflect on your work and relationships with refugee teens. Participants will learn about some of the dilemmas facing refugee teenagers, how to converse helpfully and meaningfully with refugee teens, as well as ways to intervene more effectively with refugee teens, their families, and schools.  

  6. Promoting Equity and Excellence for All: Welcoming and Teaching Newcomer Children in U.S. Schools. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services (BRYCS) , Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium page s . 2012. English . https://sas.elluminate.com/site/external/jwsdetect/nativeplayback.jnlp?sid=vclass&psid=2012-08-29.1025.D.A90790C7989CA50875986820CAD413.vcr http://www.safeschools.info/images/stories/Mid-Atlantic-Equity/SLIDES-MAEC-BRYCS-Webinar-8-29-12.pdf

    BRYCS co-sponsored this webinar with with the Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium. The presentation addresses the diversity, strengths and needs of the growing number of immigrant students with a focus on creating a welcoming and positive school climate and strategies for teaching content to English Language Learners.   A school system that recently transformed as a result of an influx of Karen refugees describes their experiences and "lessons learned" and resources for further information and technical assistance are provided.

  7. Serving Children With Little or No Previous Formal Schooling. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children Services (BRYCS) 2 page s . March 2005. English . http://www.brycs.org/documents/upload/brycs_spotmar2005.pdf

    Several groups of refugees have recently resettled in the U.S. after having waited for years in refugee camps for resettlement: the Somali Bantu, the Hmong, and the Liberians. The majority of these new arrivals are originally from rural areas, are more likely to be pre-literate, and many of these children and youth may have had limited or no access to formal schooling. Due to these gaps in education and differences in background, these refugees often undergo an extensive process of adjustment to the school setting here in the U.S. At the same time, educators and other service providers are looking for resources in order to better understand and to assist these students and their families. This spotlight gives an overview of some of the issues and questions raised as we serve these newest arrivals and provides resources that can help address these concerns.

  8. Serving Diverse Families: Strategies for Early Childhood Service Providers. Kasinitz, Philip (ed.) , Mollenkopf, John H. (ed.) , Waters , Mary C. (ed.) page s . May 9, 2008. . http://www.pacer.org/webinars/?webinar_id=1

    This webinar is devised for early childhood intervention and early childhood special education professionals, who want to effectively reach out to children with disabilities from diverse cultural backgrounds. This two hour footage provides strategies, practical tips and a concluding case study to help illustrate how best to employ the lessons learned from the webinar.

  9. Supporting Unaccompanied Children in U.S. Schools. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children Services (BRYCS) , Children's Services, Special Programs, Migration and Refugee Services (MRS) page s . September 2014. English . http://usccb.adobeconnect.com/p51j43h5ya4/ http://www.brycs.org/documents/upload/Unaccompanied-Children-in-US-Schools.pdf

    BRYCS co-sponsored this Webinar 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.

Spanish-language Trainings (Back to Top)

  1. Attending School in the Anchorage School District. Anchorage School District page s . 2010. English Hmong Nepali Nuer Russian Samoan Somali Spanish Tagalog . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qq46ME9hqgE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuUHrx2SOY4 https://www.asdk12.org/Page/5344

    This online video is shown to immigrant and refugee families when they register for school in Anchorage, Alaska.  Their Web site also includes video success stories from students who attend their district's Newcomers' Center.

  2. Look Beneath the Surface: Identifying Victims of Human Trafficking in the U.S.. Rescue & Restore Victims of Human Trafficking , U.S. Department of Health and Human Services page s . January 2014. English Spanish . https://www.acf.hhs.gov/otip/partnerships/look-beneath-the-surface

     This informational video on human trafficking and how to identify and assist victims is part of the Rescue & Restore Victims of Human Trafficking public awareness campaign, an initiative of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Refugee Resettlement.

  3. Welcome to School. Granite School District page s . March 7, 2016. Arabic Burmese Dari English Farsi French Karen Nepali Portuguese Somali Spanish Swahili Tigrinya Vietnamese . https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLbhV0RA86HlRsTygrz1frTjzIwEGBlxnv

    This video is an orientation video to the school district where newcomer parents and their children can get a sense of what a typical school day is like. The video is available in multiple refugee languages.