Programs and Information

California Newcomer Education and Well-Being | Refugee School Impact | Services to Older Refugees | Unaccompanied Refugee Minors

In addition to the Refugee Resettlement Program (RRP) and Cuban/Haitian Entrant Program (CHEP).  The California Department of Social Services (CDSS), Refugee Programs Bureau (RPB) has oversight responsibilities for the following programs:

California Newcomer Education and Well-Being

The California Newcomer Education and Well-Being (CalNEW) project provides funding to school districts with a significant number of eligible students to improve their well-being, English-language proficiency, and academic performance.  CalNEW project funding is intended to assist school districts in planning, designing, and implementing supplementary instructional and social adjustment support services.  The CalNEW project intends to address the needs of eligible students by fostering collaborative relationships between participating school districts, community based organizations, and service providers.

The CDSS hosted a webinar addressing the purpose, project components, beneficiaries, allowable services, application, and administrative requirements of the CalNEW project.  We compiled the list of questions and their respective answers.

Refugee School Impact

The Refugee School Impact (RSI) Program provides funding for activities that lead to the effective integration and education of refugee children. State and state-alternative programs receive grants to support impacted school districts services for school-age refugees.  Students between the ages of 5 and 18 participate in activities that include:

  • English as a Second Language instruction
  • After-school tutorials
  • Programs that encourage high school completion and full participation in school activities
  • After-school and/or summer clubs and activities
  • Parental involvement programs
  • Bilingual/bicultural counselors
  • Interpreter services

Services to Older Refugees

The Services to Older Refugees (SOR) Program provides funding to assist refugees who are 60 years of age or older.  Services provided under the SOR Program:
  • Establishes and/or expands working relationships between refugee service providers and local Area Agencies on Aging to ensure that older refugees are linked to mainstream senior services; and
  • Assists older refugees with the naturalization process, particularly those individuals who have lost, or are at risk of losing, their Supplemental Security Income benefits due to their noncitizen status.

Unaccompanied Refugee Minors

The Unaccompanied Refugee Minors (URM) Program provides culturally and linguistically appropriate child welfare, foster care, and independent living services to youth who do not have parents in the United States (U.S.), or who enter the U.S. unaccompanied by a parent, an immediate adult relative, or an adult having documentable legal evidence of custody of the minor.  Refugee children who enter the U.S. with family, but later experience a family breakdown may be eligible for the URM program.

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