Strengthening Refugee Families and Marriage Program: Implementation and Best Practices Manual
Washington, DC: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)
2006, 46 pages
Describes detailed approaches to help develop or improve a Strengthening Refugee Families and Marriage program (SRFM) designed to meet the unique needs of refugees who experienced trauma and the stress of transition to a new culture. The SRFM Initiative began in 2002 at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to serve low-income families, and the model was adopted by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) in 2003 and used to develop 11 sites managed in partnership by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Office of Migration and Refugee Services, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, and the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services. Chapter one outlines three curricula - family wellness, the Power of Two (a marriage strengthening program), and Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP) - as well as methods to adapt this structure to a local population. Chapter two discusses challenges that may cause problems in areas such as: recruitment and retention, collaboration, funding, language, evaluation, hiring staff, space constraints, administrative support, scheduling, cultural sensitivity issues, and transportation. Chapter three clarifies staffing issues including educational/language requirements and intangible qualities such as warmth, flexibility, and team-focus. Chapter four discusses promising practices based on the best ideas gleaned from current programs to assist with customizing a SRFM program to fit local circumstances.