Tag Archives: refugee

Catholic Charities: Refugee and Immigration Services

Author: Claire A. Carroll

Refugee and Immigration Services (RIS) is the arm of Catholic Charities dedicated to supporting refugee families as they become fully participating members of their new communities in the United States. RIS offers an array of integrated services to help Albanian and other refugee newcomers achieve self-sufficiency including:

Resettlement Assistance
To ensure that newly arrived refugees have adequate housing, food, clothing and referral to employment and social services.

Citizenship Preparation
Civic classes and individualized counseling to prepare for the citizenship exam.

English as a Second Language (ESL)
Evening ESL classes at parishes and community-based sites throughout Greater Boston.

Interpreter Services
Training interpretation skills for bilingual individuals and direct services to agencies with non-English speaking constituents.

Employment Counseling and Placement
English language training that is needed before, during, and after placement in jobs. Job search activities are structured to address the particular needs of each refugee. At the same time, RIS develops leads with employers that match refugees’ interests and aptitude.

Immigration Legal Counseling
Information, assistance, representation and referral to immigrants of all nationalities.

For more information, please contact:

Catholic Charities/Greater Boston
Refugee and Immigration Services
270 Washington Street
Somerville, MA 02143
Tel: (617) 625-1920
Fax: (617) 629-5768

Frosina thanks Claire A. Carroll, Director of Refugee and Immigration Services, for providing the above information.

A Foster Care and Volunteer Program for Refugee Youth

Author: Diane Mitchell of Commonwealth Catholic Charities

The Refugee Unaccompanied Minors Program (RUMP) began placing refugee youth in foster homes in 1982. Since that time, more than 500 young people have been served throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. Currently, RUMP serves youth from Kosova, Cuba, Haiti, Southeast Asia and Africa. RUMP is a statewide program and is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Services for Families and Children.

RUMP links refugee youth with nuturing foster families and mentors who serve as short and long term surrogate parents and role models. Foster parents and mentors help refugee youth adjust to the United States and become independent, self-sufficient adults. RUMP receives the youth after they escape their homeland due to the threat of religious or political persecution. These children arrive in the United States without parents or other adult relatives.

RUMP offers a safe haven in which they can build new life and a brighter future. Youth live in foster homes or independently in the community. Regardless of their living situation, the youth receive intensive support services from social workers, bilingual workers and other program staff members. Youth remain in RUMP until the age of 21 if they are attending a full-time educational program. Foster parents, volunteers and staff work closely together to provide the highest quality services ot insure a smooth transition to U.S. culture.

Foster Parents and Mentors are:

  • Commited to helping youth build new lives
  • Interested in other cultures
  • Willing to share their homes and their lives
  • Of any nationality
  • Single, married, or divorced
  • With or without children of their own
  • Different ages, income levels, and religions

Benefits include:

  • Monthly stipend
  • Training and support counseling
  • Medical and dental coverage for the youths
  • Helping a refugee youth build a new life
  • Opening your heart to the hopes and dreams of youth
  • Gaining a global perspective by sharing your home with a youth from another culture

Services provided to foster families, volunteers and youth:

  • Bilingual and translation services
  • Specialized training focusing on foster parenting and mentoring
  • Cultural orientation and training
  • On-going support services and 24-hour emergency services
  • Support groups for foster parents, volunteers, and youth
  • Educational support services

For more information, please contact:

Commonwealth Catholic Charities Refugee Unaccompanied Minors Program
PO Box 6565 Richmond, VA 23230-0565
Tel: (804) 285-5900

Frosina thanks Diane Mitchell of Commonwealth Catholic Charities for helping with the above information.