Working with Refugees

Recently resettled refugees learning English at their local resettlement agency

Working with Refugees

This page provides a broad overview for effectively working with refugee populations, along with resources to use when working with refugees resettling to the United States. Refugees are processed by the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP), administered by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Refugees arrive to the U.S. having a well-founded fear of persecution and are deemed unable to return to their home countries. Resettlement Agencies (RAs) are funded by PRM to resettle refugees, providing required core services and basic necessities during the refugee’s first 30-90 days in the U.S. through the Reception and Placement (R&P) Program. For more detailed information about specific refugee populations, visit the About Refugees page.

Service Delivery Approaches

The following section identifies two approaches to consider when working with refugee populations: a strengths-based approach and a trauma-informed approach. The information provided is summative and you are encouraged to review resources provided under the Learn More section for each approach. For detailed guidance on delivering effective Cultural Orientation, visit the Provider Onboarding page.

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Taking a Strengths-based Approach

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Deepen Your Knowledge

Access the following resources to learn more about specific refugee populations and hear from refugees about their experience resettling to the United States.

Resources for Refugees

CORE’s refugee-facing digital platforms offer more than 500 resources in multiple formats and languages. These platforms and resources prioritize visual simplicity and design clarity, low-literacy and low digital literacy needs, and cultural and linguistic adaptability.  If you’re new to CORE, below is an overview of our resources for refugees.

Additional Resources