BRYCS What’s New Updates for January/February 2022

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ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Raising Children in a New Country: An Illustrated Handbook, from Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services (BRYCS), is now available in Dari and Pashto. Help newcomer parents get the basic information they need about U.S. laws and parenting practices. Although newcomers may find this booklet useful by itself, it is primarily intended for case managers and other service providers to use together with their refugee and immigrant clients. This booklet is targeted to those with low levels of English proficiency and/or low literacy levels. Since the often complex concepts illustrated here are necessarily simplified, the resource section provides easy-to-access information for service providers to supplement the basic points in this booklet.
  • Keeping Safe! A Children’s Bilingual Guide, from Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services (BRYCS), is now available in Dari and Pashto. Originally created for unaccompanied children, this simple guide will assist young people in knowing their rights while they are in the United States, and keeping them safe so they can thrive in their life journeys. A teen version is also available.
  • Youth Mentoring, a program of Refugee Services of Texas-Austin, aims to coach and empower refugee youth, age 15-24, to reach their personal, professional, and education goals via one-on-one relationships with a community volunteer mentor.
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EVENTS

  • Assisting Citizens of Afghanistan, a CLINIC webinar, will take place January 14, 2022 from 2-3:30 PM ET.  The presenters will discuss the current legal status of the Afghan arrivals and their options for moving forward to obtain permanent status, including the SIV process, applying for adjustment of status based on a family petition, or asylum. They will also cover options for vulnerable Afghan citizens who remain outside the United States, including humanitarian parole or refugee processing. Finally, they will discuss eligibility for federal services and benefits that may be available to arriving Afghan evacuees, including health and other public benefits.
  • Zoom Chat: A Conversation with Dr. Greenbaum: Trauma Informed Mental Health Services for Unaccompanied Migrant Youth, will take place January 20, 2022, at 1PM EST. Participants will discuss trauma experienced by unaccompanied minors pre/during/post migration, and potential mental health issues they face.  In addition, we will discuss ways to engage youth in addressing mental health issues (overcoming stigma, understanding cultural interpretations of mental health and expectations of therapy) and ways to build resilience.
  • Creating a Safe School and Community Environment for Youth, Part 2: Mitigating Microaggressions and Implicit Bias, a OJJDP webinar, will take place January 20, 2022 at 2PM ET. Presenters will discuss how schools and community stakeholders can work together to create anti-hate policies, mitigate microaggressions and implicit bias in the classroom, and build a safe school climate.
  • Immigration Options and Resources For Victims of Human Trafficking, a USCIS webinar, will take place January 27, 2022 from 1-2:30PM ET. This webinar will include a brief overview of the T visa program; best practices for applicants completing Form I-914, Application for T Nonimmigrant Status, best practices for law enforcement agencies (LEA) and certifying officials completing Form I-914, Supplement B, Declaration of Law Enforcement Officer for Victim of Trafficking in Persons, resources for trafficking victims and interested stakeholders; brief updates in the U visa program; and responses to pre-submitted questions. To register, enter your email address and select “Submit”, select “Subscriber Preferences”, select the “Event Registration” tab, and complete the questions and select “Submit”.
  • CWLA 2022 National Conference, “The Fierce Urgency of Now: Collective Action to Ensure Children and Families Flourish”, will take place April 27-29, 2022 in Washington, DC. The conference aims to create awareness; acknowledge where we have not gotten it right; highlight successful strategies, research, practices, advocacy, and actions that individuals, families, organizations, and communities are using to improve supports and services; and identify what we will collectively do as part of our accountability to address today’s critical child welfare issues. Proposals are now being accepted that present evidence-informed/evidence-based programs and practices, research, and projects.
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FUNDING

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RESOURCES

For Refugee/Immigrant Children & Youth

  • Abdul and Samina, a short story written by staff working in the medical tent at Fort Pickett, is available in English, Dari and Pashto. The story describes one family’s experiences at a US Safe Haven.
  • Children’s Stories, from the Saint Paul Public Library, include two children’s books in the Karen and English languages. The books, Elephant Huggy and The Hen and the Badger, are written by Karen authors from Saint Paul and tell familiar stories often shared by elders. A third book is forthcoming.

General Cultural Competency & Migration & Resettlement Awareness

  • Who are Refugees and How do They Arrive in the United States?, an animated video from Switchboard, explains the process of refugee resettlement, from flight and displacement to arrival and integration, while also sharing the true story of a family and their experience. Click here to stream it! To accompany this video, we hosted a webinar and released a toolkit that includes a reflection activity, a quiz, a glossary of terms, a video transcript, and additional recommended resources. Click here to stream the webinar and access the toolkit!
  • Afghan Backgrounder, from the Cultural Orientation Resource Exchange (CORE), is now available in both a web format and a more detailed PDF. This resource provides an overview of history of Afghanistan, other details about Afghan culture, along with tips for working with Afghans around key Cultural Orientation topics, including cultural adjustment, role of resettlement agency, and rights and responsibilities. The web page also provides links to additional resources. CORE is also planning to conduct additional webinars based on this resource, so sign up for their newsletter if you haven’t already!

Cultural Orientation/Integration

  • Activities for teaching Cultural Adjustment are now available in CORE’s Activity Bank, including updated activities around identity, diversity, cross-cultural communication, and the use of the U-Curve of Cultural Adjustment. Building on lessons learned during CORE’s Virtual Practicum: Creating Inclusive Cultural Orientation, this page includes tips for Cultural Orientation providers on how to more effectively navigate this topic.
  • “Volunteer Mentor Experiences of Mentoring Forced Migrants in the United Kingdom,” from Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, explored the experiences of volunteer mentors in the United Kingdom who experienced a range of emotions as a result of their mentoring: from distress to inspiration. Findings suggest that focusing on achievable changes helps mentors.
  • From Turmoil to Triumph: Assisting Refugees in their Journey to Entrepreneurship, a two-part Switchboard podcast, features a conversation between Rishan Habte, Program Officer for Economic Empowerment at Switchboard and Khalid Ahmadzai, Director of Economic Advancement at Canopy Northwest Arkansas. Khalid shares his story of growing up in Kabul, Afghanistan; his own experiences of entrepreneurship; and how he created the existing microlending entrepreneurship program at Canopy. Click here to stream part one and click here to stream part two!
  • Hiring Afghan Humanitarian Parolees: What Service Providers and Employers Need to Know, an archived Switchboard webinar featured a special guest presentation from the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section. Participants learned about Afghan humanitarian parolees’ work authorization and documentation, including how to support service providers and employers interested in hiring parolees. Click here to stream the recording and for more resources for Afghan new arrivals, click here!

Child Welfare/Family Strengthening

Education

  • Supporting Afghan Youth in Schools & Youth Programs in the United States, a toolkit from Switchboard, is designed to help educators to develop a well-rounded understanding of the circumstances of newly arrived Afghan students and their families, including the challenges they may face as they seek to adapt to the American education system; better understand the Afghan educational systems and possible educational experiences of students; name core considerations for working with Afghan students and their families; adopt skills and strategies that may be helpful in working with Afghan students and families; and access information and resources to support their work.
  • “Teachers’ Views on Parent Involvement for Refugee Children’s Education,” from the Journal of Computer and Education Research, finds that parent involvement is at a low level for refugee students and that parents’ inability to speak Turkish (the native language of the teachers in this study), their perception of their status in Turkey as temporary, the fact that they care about physiological needs more than the education, are found as major reasons of low parent involvement for refugee students.
  • Afghan Students, a resources from USAHello, provides an overview of key highlights, so educators can develop culturally responsive teaching strategies that are in tune with their students’ learning styles. This cultural information was developed for teachers, but it can be used by anyone working or interacting with newcomer families.
  • Effects of the Pandemic on High School English Learners and Ways to Help Them Recover, an archived from the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), illuminates challenges experienced over the last two years. Speakers describe state- and district-level efforts to help ELs re-engage in high school, recover academically, and address mental health needs. The results of new research is also shared on the postsecondary aspirations of immigrant-background Latina/o students and how the pandemic may have helped shape their decision-making.

Health/Mental Health

  • Mental Health Toolkit, from the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center and the Hmong Cultural Center of Butte Count, offers insight into Southeast Asian American mental health needs, solutions, and local resources.

Anti-trafficking

  • Supporting Brighter Futures: Young Women and Girls and Labour Migration in South-East Asia and the Pacific, from the International Organization on Migration (IOM), explores and critically examines the existing evidence base on key aspects of the topic so as to inform potential policy and programmatic responses designed to enhance labour migration impacts for young women and girls in South-East Asia and the Pacific. A chapter on “Trafficking of Young Women and Girls in South-East Asia: A Review of Existing Evidence,” may be of particular interest.

Program Development