The National Refugee and Immigration Conference will be held Sept 25-26/08 in Chicago. The aim of the 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. Children and families are a focus of this conference.
From The Center website:
“Refugees and other immigrants in the U.S. must do their best to manage transitions and adjustments in new communities. Many families endure poverty, low wage employment, and attend schools under strain. Frequently, it is these families’ first experiences with formal education and urban life. Both adults and children experience tension in family relationships since cultural adjustment puts additional stress on marital and parental structures. Along with these struggles, however, comes evidence of strength and resilience, including healthy families, strong work ethic and aspirations, cohesive communities and faith.
Services for pre-school and K-12 refugee youth and their families may be compromised by differing perceptions and misunderstandings concerning the cultural adjustment process, health, health care, and nutrition, public education enrollment and attendance, academic roles and expectations, and American conventions and laws. Efforts to help refugee 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.
Proposals are being accepted that address these and other related issues”.