BRYCS What’s New Updates for November 2020



  • BRYCS illustrated parenting handbooks now available in French! BRYCS Raising Children in a New Country handbooks were 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. 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 American parenting norms and address a number of 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.
  • The Refugee Youth Mentoring Program, run by Catholic Charities Atlanta, aims to support refugee youth by fostering resilience through high-quality, long-term mentoring relationships centered on developing healthy attachment, self-regulation, and competency.
  • The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, together with Refugee School Impact (RSI) sub-grantees in Texas, worked together to record and translate videos designed to inform refugee parents about the American public school system. Given COVID-19, RSI sites will use these videos in lieu of in-person RSI parent orientations whenever necessary. These videos cover 6 topics:
    • Intro to American Public Schools (Created by Dallas ISD)
    • Tips to Support Learning at Home (Created by Austin ISD)
    • Student Progress & Behavior (Created by Catholic Charities TX Panhandle)
    • COVID-19 Hygiene (Created by Catholic Charities Fort Worth)
    • Bullying (Created by Catholic Charities San Antonio)
    • Community Involvement (Created by Catholic Charities Galveston Houston)


  • “Migration Research, Scholarship, and Policy at a Time of Multiple Crises,” The Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) 2020 Academic and Policy Symposium, will take place virtually November 10, 2020. This year’s event will examine migration scholarship and policy at a time of multiple crises for migrants, refugees and their communities. In particular, it will: explore the COVID-19 pandemic, analyze other relevant crises including systemic racial injustice, the ravages of climate change, rising exclusionary nationalism, and the crisis in refugee protection and migration governance, and present how policy-makers and advocates have and should respond to these overlapping crises that shape migration dynamics and what strategies are effective in this context.
  • An Asylum and Refugee System in Tatters: Where Do We Go from Here?, a webinar from Immigration Prof and co-sponsored by the Cornell Migrations Initiative, will take place November 11, 2020 at 12:15PM EST. Bill Frelick, director at Human Rights Watch, will talk about the current status of the U.S. refugee and asylum systems and how they might change over the next four years.
  • he Cultural Orientation Resource Exchange (CORE) will host Remote Cultural Orientation Revisited, a four-part webinar series, throughout the month of November. Drawing on CORE’s Promising Practice: Delivering Effective Remote Cultural Orientation, participants will exchange knowledge and hear promising practices on four specific areas of remote CO delivery. Each one-hour webinar session will also include co-facilitators from the field. To maximize interaction, each webinar is capped at 40 individuals. Participants can register for the topics of most interest to them. All webinars will be recorded and shared on CORE’s online learning platform and paired with virtual discussion boards for wider use.
    • Assessing Need, November 11, 2020 at 2PM EST Guest Co-Facilitator, Evelyn Calderon, CO Trainer, RSC Latin America
    • Determining Method and Structure, November 17, 2020 at 2PM EST Guest Co-Facilitator, Elena Tothazan, AmeriCorps Member, IRC Atlanta
    • Preparing and Troubleshooting, December 2, 2020 at 2PM EST Guest Co-Facilitators, Tiana Gonzalez, HIAS HQ, and Charlie Heil, HIAS Philadelphia, PA
    • Keeping Remote CO Engaging, December 9, 2020 at 9AM EST Guest Co-Facilitator, Ecem Sekizkardes, Acting CO Coordinator, RSC TuME
  • Pandemic, Politics and the Future: Tackling Immigrant Anxiety and Trauma, a webinar hosted by the Immigrant Learning Resource Center (ILRC), will take place November 12, 2020 from 2-3PM EST. Participants will discuss the public health crisis facing immigrants and refugees, how scapegoating, discrimination and anti-immigrant policies, as well as the pandemic and its economic fallout, are impacting new Americans, and strategies to manage these stresses, fears and traumas at interpersonal, institutional and community levels.
  • “I Was Already Burned Out, and Now This…” Strategies for Staff and Supervisors to Mitigate Burnout, Vicarious Trauma, and Other Occupational Hazards, a webinar hosted by Switchboard TA, will take place November 18, 2020 from 2-3:30PM ET. Participants will be able to identify types of occupational hazards related to emotional distress; define two to three best and promising practices in organizational responses to these hazards; recognize how COVID-19 has impacted emotional wellbeing within agencies; develop a personal response to distress; and develop an organizational response to distress.
  • Welcoming Interactive 2020: Inclusive Communities, Strong Economies which was scheduled to take place in-person in Charlotte, North Carolina from April 21-22, 2021 is now postponed until 2022 due to COVID. To keep the movement connected and inspired in 2020, Welcoming America will continue to host a series of remote learning and networking events.


  • 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

  • One Green Apple tells the story of Farah, who has recently arrived in the US from the Middle East. She is not finding it easy to cope with a new culture and language, but on this, her second day of school, she is going on a field trip to an apple orchard and it is a chance for Farah and her classmates to take the first steps towards friendship and learn that there are ways to get over any barrier of language. Recommended for grades PreK-3. (Description from source)

  General Cultural Competency & Migration & Resettlement Awareness

  • “Resettled” Podcast, a six-part series from Virginia Public Media, explores the refugee resettlement process through the eyes of those directly experiencing it. Each thematic episode (arrival, education, health, jobs, culture) aims to bring the listener into the daily lives of refugees as they adjust to life in America.
  • UNSAFE: Chins Seeking Refuge in Malaysia and New Delhi, India, a report from the Chin Association of Maryland, briefly outlines the context of persecution against Chins and other ethnic nationalities from Myanmar/Burma, but especially focuses on their current experiences in Malaysia and New Delhi, India, as urban refugees, asylum seekers, and people seeking refuge.

Cultural Orientation/Integration

Child Welfare/Family Strengthening

Early Childhood Education


  • Understanding the Backgrounds of Refugee Students & Families, a self-paced, online training from Immigrant Connections and English Learner Portal, discusses the U.S. Refugee Program as well as the Refugee School Impact Program; examines best practices and strategies for refugee family and community engagement, addressing social-emotional concerns, and supporting refugee students in school; and identifies the primary refugee populations being resettled by the U.S. government as well as sociocultural and educational characteristics of each. If you have students from Congo, Bhutan/Nepal, Burma, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, or other war-torn countries, this training is for you.
  • The English Language Learner Program Survey for Principals, from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), includes survey questions that state education agencies (SEAs) and district leaders can use with school principals and other administrators to identify and address their gaps in knowledge about EL students and how best to support them.
  • Scholarship Opportunities for Refugees, a Portal from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), is designed to help refugees find accredited higher education academic or scholarship programs verified by UNHCR to allow them to pursue advanced study, skills and professional development.
  • Pathways + and Pathways to English, shows from Pathways to English, aim to help English language learners. The first show, Pathways +, was created for kids ages 8-14, while Pathways to English, was created for students ages 4-8. Both shows are aligned with the common core, so it solidifies and reinforces things that students have or will learn in school! New episodes will be uploaded weekly. 
  • Supporting Multilingual Learners (MLLs)/English Language Learners (ELLs) During the COVID-19 Shutdown, from TNTP, offers general guidance on what to consider as educators determine how to best continue students’ language and literacy development.


Health/Mental Health

  • “Refugee Children’s Drawings: Reflections of Migration and War”, from the International Journal of Educational Methodology, aims to review the warfare-and-migration-themed drawings of the Syrian and Palestinian children living in Turkey as refugees in comparison to the Turkish children’s drawings.
  • Let’s Talk About It: A Graphic Guide To Mental Health, from System of Care in Stark County, Ohio, is an educational comic book, developed for middle and high school students, that destigmatizes the conversation around mental health. While not specific to newcomer youth, the comic was created by mental health experts, educators, and cartoonists and provides knowledge and resources for students to help them be healthier and more resilient.
  • COVID-19 Precautions in Mayan languages, have been compiled by The Alianza Indigena Sin Fronteras in collaboration with the Indigenous Language Office at Casa Alitas Shelter, Tucson, AZ, and the International Mayan League.


Program Development

  • Switchboard’s Evidence Database is now live! This new database of research evidence is designed to help resettlement service providers in the U.S provide evidence-based services for refugees and other ORR-eligible clients. So far, the database includes five evidence summaries that collectively review 70 academic studies: meta-analysis, systematic reviews, impact evaluations, and suggestive studies. Users may also be interested viewing a recent webinar Introducing the Switchboard Evidence Databasewhich discussed what evidenced-based services are and why they are important; what content is included in Switchboard’s database so far; and how to use the database in program design and delivery.