• November 2016
  • Vol. 17, No. 8

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Delivering Services to Refugee Families

Understanding the perspectives and unique needs of families from refugee backgrounds is an essential component in delivering effective, culturally responsive services. Best Practices Guide for Working with Families from Refugee Backgrounds in Child Welfare, produced by the Center for the Advanced Studies in Child Welfare (CASCW), is designed to help frontline workers understand the strengths and protective factors, different cultural norms, and unique challenges and barriers involved when working with families from refugee backgrounds.

Through an extensive literature review and interviews with refugee families, this best practices guide explains how resettlement into a new culture influences child and family welfare. For example, refugees' prior experiences often facilitate a variety of factors that aid families in the resettlement process, like strong social support and the belief in one's ability to cope. This resource also provides practical tips for utilizing these inherent protective factors, as well as addressing the unique challenges that are associated with refugee families.

These tips include the following:

  • Specific questions to ask in order to ascertain parent background and understanding
  • Topics to address when explaining the child protection system
  • Phrases to avoid when discussing mental health concerns

Access Best Practices Guide for Working with Families from Refugee Backgrounds in Child Welfare on the CASCW website at http://cascw.umn.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/BestPractices.pdf (153 KB).


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