Growing Up in a New Country: A Positive Youth Development Toolkit for Working with Refugees and Immigrants

Growing Up in a New Country: A Positive Youth Development Toolkit for Working with Refugees and Immigrants

“This “Toolkit” pulls together articles, resources and programs which can assist agencies in adopting a Positive Youth Development (PYD) approach to working with newcomer youth. Mainstream and newcomer service providers alike should benefit from these resources and examples of “promising practices” in youth programming. The Resource Charts are organized according to stages of the program development cycle, and include the following “Toolboxes”:

Section 1: Introduction

Section 2: Overview: Positive Youth Development

  • Defining Positive Youth Development
  • PYD as a Culturally Appropriate Approach
  • Assets for Newcomer Youth
  • Ideal Program Elements for Working with Refugee and Immigrant Youth
  • Programming Challenges and Critical Issues
  • Additional BRYCS Resources

Section 3: Resource Toolboxes

It is important to keep in mind that, although these sections are listed as discrete stages, they are actually integrated processes. For example, Program Evaluation is listed last; however, it should be integrated into Program Planning and every stage thereafter. The majority of the resources in this Toolkit are brief, practical, and available for free download to encourage ease of use by busy practitioners. BRYCS is providing this Toolkit to enable service providers to learn more about the Positive Youth Development approach, to develop new programs, and to enhance and sustain existing programs. Most of all, it is hoped that this effort will encourage and support the development of more effective programming for refugee and immigrant youth, so that all youth may reach their potential.

You can download the full toolkit here.

This publication developed out of staff experience, BRYCS research, and technical assistance requests from refugee serving agencies. Lyn Morland conceived of and led this effort, and contributed research, writing, editing, and layout. Under her direction, Susan Schmidt developed the first draft of the Toolkit. Jen Rose worked on the resource charts and was instrumental in pulling together program descriptions. Allison Spring assisted with editing and Information Crossroads, LLC, provided all Web site technical support for this resource.
We appreciate the contributions of those agencies included in the Promising Practices section, including: Shaneen Jones-Sabra, Arab American and Chaldean (ACC) Youth Programs & Services; Wida Amir, South Asian Youth Action (SAYA!); Nou Yang, Girl Scout Council of St. Croix Valley; Tara Peters, World Relief Dupage/Aurora, IL; Genny Lange, Catholic Charities Community Services of Central and Northern Arizona; Christina Piranio, International Rescue Committee; San Diego, CA; Jennifer Skuza, Center for 4-H Youth Development and the University of Minnesota; Leonard Wakefield, Lutheran Children and Family Service; Jenny Crawford, Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization; Nick Bowen, Refugee Women’s Alliance; Laura Vaudreuil, Refugee Transitions; Alan Lee, Wilderness Inner-City Leadership Development (WILD) Program; Linda Gensheimer, South East Asian (SEA) Services, Amherst H. Wilder Foundation.
We are grateful for the continued support of Sue Benjamin and the Office of Refugee Resettlement which has made this publication possible through its funding of the Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services program.
Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services (BRYCS), a joint project of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), provides national technical assistance to “bridge the gap” between public child welfare and other mainstream organizations, refugee serving agencies, and refugee communities. BRYCS’ overarching goal is to strengthen the capacity of service organizations across the United States to ensure the successful development of refugee and newcomer children, youth, and families through targeted training, consultation, development of cutting-edge resources, and a web-based clearinghouse. Please visit https://www.brycs.org for more information.
BRYCS is supported by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services, Grant No. 90 RB 0018. Any views expressed in BRYCS’ resources are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent views held by the Office of Refugee Resettlement.
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