2012 National Refugee and Immigrant Conference: Issues and Innovations

2012 National Refugee and Immigrant Conference: Issues and Innovations

United States

2012 National Refugee and Immigrant Conference: Issues and Innovations

Thursday, October 18, 2012-Friday, October 19, 2012 Chicago, Illinois

The aim of this national conference is to identify issues, emphasize best practices, and highlight innovations by providing those who work with refugees and immigrants an opportunity to learn from and to network with one another.

Families of refugees and immigrants in the U.S. must do their best to manage transitions into new communities. Many of these families encounter financial hardship, difficulty in gaining employment, cultural adjustments, health and mental issues, intergenerational conflicts, and the stresses of unfamiliar school experiences.

Services for preschool and K-12 refugee and immigrant youth and their families may be compromised by differing perceptions and misunderstandings (by both the families and those who provide services) concerning the cultural adjustment process; health, health care, and nutrition; public education enrollment and assessment, academic roles and expectations, the provision of bilingual education services and special education services, when appropriate; and American education law requirements.

To address these and other refugee and immigrant issues, individuals and nonprofit organizations need access to resources on successful practices and processes as well as solutions for challenges in refugee and immigrant integration.

Efforts to help youth and families will have a better chance of succeeding if they are based on shared understandings and collaborative partnerships among families, schools, health and mental health providers. In particular, as delineated in federal Title III of No Child Left Behind legislation, linking educators and families together can provide positive academic experiences and successful integration of refugee and immigrant children into our society.

Organizations also need to build their capacity to assist families by gaining resources through grant writing, and assisting adults to become self-sufficient in this economy through employment services and innovative practices such as microenterprise.

2012 Refugee and Immigrant Conference Committee

The Center/Adult Learning Resource Center
Chicago Public Schools
Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights
Heartland Health Outreach
Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
Illinois Department of Human Services
Illinois Department of Public Health
Illinois State Board of Education
Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago

Behavioral Scientist, Community Activist, Nurse, Nurse Researcher, Physician, Policy Analyst, Psychologist, Public Health Expert, Public Health Worker, Public Servant, School Nurse, Social Worker.
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