Refugee Resettlement Program Overview

In Georgia, the Department of Human Services, Office of  Stratgeic Planning and Outreach has responsibility for the administration of the Refugee Program. The Refugee Program Unit has responsibility for funding the delivery of services and to perform the functions of the State Refugee Coordinator. Each state has a Refugee State Coordinator, who is responsible for coordinating public and private resources for refugee resettlement. The State Refugee Coordinator is assisted by six Business Operations Specialist.

The Refugee Resettlement Program is a federally funded program that provides English Language Instruction, employment services, health screening, social services, medical and cash assistance to refugees. Services are coordinated with the private sector, which provides job development and placement and specialized training opportunities, as well as support service activities sponsored by religious and civic organizations and a consortium of refugee voluntary agencies. 

The primary goal of Georgia’s Refugee Resettlement Program is to encourage effective resettlement and economic self-sufficiency of refugees after entrance to Georgia. This means the refugees must become self-reliant to meet their basic needs, within the shortest possible period.

Social services are provided through public and private agencies contracted by the State. Services include employment services (job development, job orientation, and placement services), vocational training, English language instruction, social adjustment services (emergency services, health-related services, and translation/interpreter services), domestic violence services, youth services, and parent/school involvement services.

Services

Immigration Services
Domestic Violence Prevention Services
Employability Services
English Language Instruction (ELI)
Information and Referral Services
Parent/School Involvement Services
Refugee Youth Programs
Social Adjustment Services

Immigration Services

This service focuses on helping refugees become self-sufficient and meet all their immigration obligations to ensure continued residence in the U.S. Included under this service are:

  • Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) Application Preparation and Orientation
  • Naturalization/Citizenship Application Preparation and Instruction
  • Civics/ELI Classes

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Domestic Violence Prevention Services

This service provides domestic violence (family violence) prevention for the refugee community by combining both prevention and intervention. Included under this service are:

  • Family Violence Intervention Program (FVIP), a program for perpetrators of domestic violence
  • Women’s Support Groups for female partners of men enrolled in the FVIP, and for women and children who are in need of service
  • Community Education Sessions for both refugee communities and refugee service providers
  • Media Outreach

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Employability Services

Employability Services (ES) provide all the necessary support and preparation needed to ensure employment. Employment is defined as unsubsidized work at more than the minimum wage with access to group medical insurance. Successful employment means that a refugee remains employed at least 90 days. Employment Upgrade Services (EUS) are for refugees who are employed at the time of service and are interested in specific training that would provide more income and/or a better working environment for advancement and economic self-sufficiency. Included under these services are:

  • Needs Assessment - an overall assessment of the family unit relating to integration into life and economic self-sufficiency in the U.S. (ES/EUS)
  • Work Plan Development and Management (ES/EUS)
  • Job Orientation (ES)
  • Job Placement (ES)
  • Follow-Up (ES)
  • Integration and Emotional Counseling (ES)
  • Vocational ELI (ES)
  • On-the-Job Training (ES)
  • Vocational Training (ES)
  • Training – includes professional refresher training, skills recertification courses, professional training programs, vocational training, or full-time attendance in a college leading to certification (EUS)

These services are provided to refugees who have lived in the U.S. for less than 5 years. 

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English Language Instruction (ELI)

English Language Instruction (ELI) services teach English to a level that will permit effective communication through speaking, reading, and writing with emphasis on how it relates to obtaining and retaining a job. Special attention is given to the language needs of women and newly arrived, pre-literate, and elderly refugees. Included under this service are:

  • English Language Evaluation and Assessment
  • Instruction Plan Development
  • Instruction
  • Childcare (as needed)
  • Transportation (as needed)

These services are provided to refugees who have lived in the U.S. for less than 5 years. 

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Information and Referral Services

Information and Referral Services provide instruction and assistance to refugee families in accessing local, state, and federal programs and community services (i.e. Food Stamps, Medicaid, WIC, energy assistance, low-income housing, childcare assistance, etc). These services are provided in hopes of helping refugees assimilate into their new lives in the U.S. and to encourage self-reliance to the point where the individual and/or family can successfully handle similar situation independently. Information and Referral Services are designed to mainstream refugees into existing local, state, and federal social service programs and to expedite client self-sufficiency. Included under this service are:

  • Assessment and referral to services needed
  • Assistance with completing eligibility forms and applications

These services are provided to refugees who have lived in the U.S. for more than 5 years. 

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Parent/School Involvement Services

Parent/School Involvement Services are provided to refugee parents in hopes of supporting and encouraging them to become actively involved in their children’s education. Included under this service are:

  • Orientation to educate parents on the school system’s policies and procedures
  • Parenting-ELI Classes with an emphasis on schools and educational terminology
  • School-Related Casework to provide assistance to parents when they visit their children’s schools
  • School-Based Assistance for school staff and administrators

Support for this program is provided by the Refugee School Impact Grant from the Office of Refugee Resettlement. This support allows DHS contractors to provide services to refugees who have lived in the U.S. for up to and over 5 years.

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Refugee Youth Programs

Refugee Youth Programs focused on the special needs of refugee youth and their families. Included under this service are:

  • After-school programs
  • Summer youth programs and enrichment activities
  • Gang-prevention programs

These services are provided to refugee youth who have lived in the U.S. for less than 5 years. International Rescue Committee and Refugee Family Services provide Refugee Youth Programs to Georgia’s refugee youth.

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Social Adjustment Services

Social Adjustment Services are provided to help refugees assimilate into their new lives in the U.S. and to encourage self-reliance to the point where the individual and/or family can successfully handle similar situations independently. Included under this service are:

  • Needs Assessment - an overall assessment of the family unit relating to integration into life and economic self-sufficiency in the U.S.
  • Work Plan Development and Management
  • Integration and Emotional Counseling
  • Home Management
  • Emergency/Crisis Intervention
  • Health and Mental Health Services

These services are provided to refugees who have lived in the U.S. for less than 5 years. DeKalb Board of Health, International Rescue Committee, and Lutheran Services of Georgia provide Social Adjustment Services to Georgia’s refugees. Please contact these agencies for specific information on different services.

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