The mission of the Refugee Resettlement Program is to help refugees and their families obtain employment, economic self-sufficiency and social integration within the shortest possible time after their arrival into the Commonwealth.
The Refugee Resettlement Program's providers often host special events and distribute articles containing relevant and important information about current refugee populations. Publicizing events, news, and current happenings pertinent to the refugee communities and our program is a major part of our program's effort.
» View All Recent Events and News
Downloadable presentations- Presentations from our statewide consultations are available for download.
PA Refugee State Plan for 2012 Fiscal Year- The revised Refugee State Plan for the 2012 fiscal year is now available.
Refugee 101 Training Materials Now Available!- The Pennsylvania Refugee Health Program's Refugee 101 Training Materials are now available to our service providers.
Since October 1, 1991, refugees from over thirty countries have resettled in the Commonwealth, representing diverse ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds. The Cumulative Arrival figures presented here include refugees per se, Cuban and Haitian entrants, Amerasian immigrants and Kurdish asylees initially resettled in Pennsylvania. Not included are other asylees, and refugees initially resettled in other states.
Most refugee resettlement entails reunification of family members and/or planned placement in regions where there are good prospects for rapid employment and sufficient support services to facilitate adjustment to life in the United States.
» View Recent Refugee Arrival Statistics
Click here to explore and learn more about the various home countries of Pennsylvania's refugees.
Elizabeth Ringler, Northern Area Multi-Service Center
Krissy Kimura, CEED (Christian Evangelistic Economic Development)
Casey Luongo, Department of Human Services Immigrants and Internationals Advisory Council
The Immigrant Family Childcare Project began in spring 2012 as a response to a need identified by the Allegheny County Department of Human Services Immigrants and Internationals Advisory Council for childcare within the community. Many of our families encounter difficulty in balancing multiple work schedules with childcare obligations. We formed an advisory committee with refugee and immigrant-serving agencies and specialists in early childhood development and family childcare in order to design a training program to help address this need. Our goal was to develop a source of employment and income by training immigrant and refugee women to become home-based childcare providers, while also enhancing the level of childcare throughout the community. At the same time, this will provide other women the opportunity to seek employment knowing their children will be in culturally-familiar care.
Participants with a high school diploma or GED equivalent are qualified to become certified family childcare providers through the Department of Public Welfare. Participants without secondary education are able to become Relative/Neighbor providers through Child Care Information Services (CCIS). In Allegheny County, Pa the YWCA administers the CCIS subsidy program. If an individual is within the income limits and working or going to school, they can apply for a subsidy to pay for childcare expenses. Family providers are paid the subsidy at a higher rate than Relative/Neighbor providers due to their increased level of education.
Participants from the first cohort were recruited through Northern Area Multi-Service Center, a local refugee resettlement agency, the Prospect Park Family Center, a refugee-serving agency, and the Union of African Communities in Pittsburgh (UAC), a community group supporting African immigrants and refugees, from Bhutan, Burma, Somalia, Liberia, and Togo. In order to comply with state regulations, the women completed 12 hours of training, which must be done every two years in order to maintain their certification. DHS collaborated with the Southwest Regional Key (SWRK) to provide professional development classes for our immigrant/refugee providers on Pediatric First Aid, Mandated Reporting, Emergency Preparedness, Nutrition, Marketing/Business Plan, Contracts/Policies, and Taxes.
In January 2013 the program transitioned to Christian Evangelistic Economic Development (CEED), a Pittsburgh-based 501 (c) 3 non-profit that provides free small business start-up support with a focus on refugee and immigrant-owned businesses. The project is in line with CEED's mission to enhance community growth and economic self-sufficiency through the development of micro-enterprises. On Thursday, March 28th, 2013, the Immigrant Family Childcare Project congratulated 13 participants in completing their training. Three of these individuals are currently watching children in their homes, while we are working with several others to identify potential clients. In addition, we are happy to announce that our second cohort launched a seven week training series on May 17, 2013 with 21 participants from Iraq, Bhutan, Togo, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Burundi.
Our project would not have been possible without collaboration from numerous organizations, including Christian Evangelistic Economic Development (CEED), Allegheny County Department of Human Services, Northern Area Multi-Service Center (NAMS), Prospect Park Family Center, the Young Men and Women?s African Heritage Association (YMWAHA, Inc.), Bhutanese Community Association of Pittsburgh (BCAP), the Union of African Communities in Pittsburgh (UAC), the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council (GPLC), the Southwest Regional Key (SWRK)/Keystone STARS, and the University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development.