BRYCS What’s New Updates for February 2021



  • BRYCS illustrated parenting handbooks now available in Swahili! BRYCS Raising Children in a New Country handbooks were created for agencies serving refugees and immigrants to support their efforts to ensure that newcomer parents have the basic information they need about U.S. laws and parenting practices. The booklets are broken down by age: early childhood, adolescents, and teenagers. These resources are targeted to newcomer parents and the service providers that help them adjust to parenting in the U.S. and address several themes includes family well-being, safety and protection, guidance and discipline, cultural identity and more! Additional translations along with audio recordings and pre/post tests can be found in BRYCS Refugee Portal under Parenting/Family Strengthening.
  • Refugee Youth After School Program, run by Catholic Charities Atlanta, assists 30 refugee youth and their families at an elementary school in Clarkston, GA. The primary focus of the program is to develop the cultural concepts and skills these children need to successfully integrate into the classroom.
  • Charting a Course to Rebuild and Strengthen the US Refugee Admissions Program, a report from the Center for Migration Studies (CMS) and Refugee Council USA, is the result of the three national listening tours convened by RCUSA in the fall and winter of 2019 and follow up survey conducted by CMS commonly referred to as “Resettlement 2.0”. These tours and survey represent a first-of-their-kind effort to bring together refugees, resettlement workers, and community and government partners to reflect openly and honestly on the present and future of the US refugee resettlement program.
  • The New Annual Survey of Refugees (ASR), a scientific study funded by the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) and conducted by the Urban Institute and SSRS, collects information about how recently resettled refugees are adapting to life in the US. The data collected will cover a wide range of issues on the refugee resettlement experience, including but not limited to public assistance receipt, employment, English language acquisition, health insurance coverage, and permanent residency status. The new ASR will more effectively capture refugee self-sufficiency and integration by collecting information on additional factors affecting resettlement experiences, such as experiences before arrival, social connection, health, and other topics.


  • Helping Young English Learners at Home: Simple and Fun Activities to Strengthen Language Development, a webinar developed by RELs West, Northwest, and Northeast and Islands, hosted by REL Northeast and Islands, will take place February 3, 2021 at 3–4:30PM PT. The event is designed for district and school staff working with English learner students in grades K–5 and their families. It will highlight the 2014 What Works Clearinghouse Practice Guide, Teaching Academic Content and Literacy to English Learners in Elementary and Middle School and share activity sheets based on the practice guide as well as an associated Educator’s Guide.
  • Enhancing Interpretation during Cultural Orientation, a Cultural Orientation Resource Exchange (CORE) webinar, will take place February 3, 2021 at 8AM EST and again at 2PM EST.  CORE will provide guidance on using the new Multilingual Cultural Orientation Glossary to enhance session interpretation. The webinar will also highlight other resources to improve collaboration between Cultural Orientation providers and interpreters. CORE created the Cultural Orientation Glossary to harmonize the translation of terms across the overseas-to-domestic resettlement continuum.
  • Cultivating Connections Remotely: Building Social Capital with People from Refugee Backgrounds during the COVID-19 Pandemic, STARTTS webinar, will take place February 19, 2021 at 9:30AM-1PM. The COVID-19 pandemic and related social restrictions place individuals and communities at higher risk of social isolation. This is especially true for individuals and communities from refugee backgrounds. It is now more important than ever to identify ways to build and maintain connections, while remaining safe. This workshop unpacks the concept of social capital, its heightened importance at this time, and how social capital is impacted by the experiences of torture, trauma, resettlement, and the COVID-19 pandemic. It also explores innovative ways in which social capital and feelings of connectedness can be cultivated remotely, particularly within the resettlement context.
  • Cross-Border Families under Covid-19 will take place June 22-23, 2021. The workshop will explore the impact of the Covid-19 crisis and its regulation on cross-border families. Deadline for abstract submission February 28, 2021.
  • A Virtual Forum for Migrant and Community Health, hosted by The Northwest Regional Primary Care Association, National Center for Farmworker Health, and North Carolina Community Health Center Association, will take place the week of March 22, 2021. Stay tuned for more updates and information regarding the call for Proposals/Abstracts submissions.
  • Save the Date! Catholic Charities USA’s 2021 Annual Gathering will take place September 20-23, 2021 in San Diego, California.


  • Community Sponsorship Assistance Grant, from The Refugee Council USA, through the support of Open Society Foundation, aims to help community sponsor groups interested in supporting refugees and other forcibly displaced individuals with whom they have been matched by their local Resettlement Agency affiliate.  Pending availability of funds, applications will be considered through March 31, 2021.
  • COVID-19 Telehealth Program, from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), aims to help health care providers provide connected care services to patients at their homes or mobile locations in response to the novel Coronavirus. There is no deadline.
  • As a way to augment your agency’s funding, try reaching out to local and national organizations for resources and donations that help your agency’s goals in serving the refugee population. Some resources to locate local foundations with grant opportunities: Community Foundations Locator, Foundation Center’s free online Foundation Directory, and United Way Worldwide.


For Refugee/Immigrant Children & Youth

General Cultural Competency & Migration & Resettlement Awareness

  • Paper Children explores America’s refugee crisis by documenting one family’s struggle to seek protection build a better future in America as four siblings flee gang violence in Honduras.
  • Rebuilding the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program, a paper from the Center for Migration Studies (CMS), offers a historic review of the U.S. refugee resettlement program. It spans the colonial era, to the establishment of the first distinct U.S. admissions policies for persons fleeing persecution in 1917, to the creation of the formal U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) in 1980, and following the Trump administration, proposes ways that a new presidential administration can rebuild this crucially important program and put it on more secure footing. (Description from source)

Cultural Orientation/Integration

Child Welfare/Family Strengthening

  • Connecting Cross-Border Families, a podcast episode from Child Welfare Information Gateway, features a conversation with International Social Service USA’s Elaine Weisman. The discussion provides insight on the diverse types of cross-border cases and the supports and information that may help State and local caseworkers connect cross-border families.
  • Unaccompanied Children, UC Care Providers, and Planning for the End of the COVID-19 Pandemic, from the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI), discusses the need for HHS to develop and implement policies that ensure availability, accessibility, and acceptability of COVID-19 vaccines for UCs and front-line staff at care providers. (Description from source)



Health/Mental Health


Program Development

  • By Refugees, For Refugees: Refugee Leadership Beyond the Pandemic, a webinar from The Local Engagement Refugee Research Network (LERRN) and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), highlighted the critical role refugee-led organizations play as first responders during emergencies like COVID-19.
  • What Works to Reduce Burnout and Vicarious Trauma among Refugee Service Providers?, Switchboard’s new evidence summary, assesses the evidence surrounding the effectiveness of several interventions to reduce burnout among staff, including organizational and individual approaches. It includes tips for organizations that are most effective in reducing staff secondary traumatic stress, compassion fatigue, and more. (Description from source)