Clearinghouse Resource


Strengthening Refugee Families: Designing Programs for Refugee and Other Families in Need


Scheinfeld, Daniel R.
Wallach, Lorraine B.
Langendorf, Trudi


Chicago, IL: Lyceum Books, Inc.

Source Information (Journal Title, Date, Length)

1997, 256 pages

Description of Resource

Documents the principles, practices, and results of a program serving Southeast Asian and other refugee families in Chicago, Illinois. Supported by the United Way of Chicago and the State of Illinois Department of Education, the Refugee Families Program assisted 150 families from Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, and China as well as Afghanistan and East Africa over a 6-year period. Most of the families lived below poverty level, had limited English-speaking proficiency, experienced difficulties connecting with medical, educational, housing, welfare, and occupational institutions, and faced many other pressures, including life-threatening situations. Among the goals of the program were to prepare children for entry into public school and to promote family stability. To this end, the program instituted child-parent preschool and after-school homework classes and provided direct hook ups to needed social service resources in the city. Practical information in the manual covers: (1) language instruction for parents; (2) recruitment, training, and supervision of teachers, bilingual staff, and volunteers; (3) aspects of program coordination and evaluation; (4) the theoretical framework and curriculum for child-parent classes; and (5) other considerations in designing a program for refugees or other marginal populations.




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