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Supporting Resettlement Workers with Lived Experience: Individual, Organizational, and Policy-Level Strategies

Hosted on June 6, 2024, the training was delivered by Caroline Dilts, LICSW, Refugee Program Manager at the Research Program for Children and Adversity at the Boston College School of Social Work; Rochelle Frounfelker, ScD, assistant professor in the College of Health at Lehigh University; Farhad Sharifi, MSW, recent Afghan evacuee who was initially at Camp Atterbury; Chelsea Lafferty, LLMSW, Director of Refugee Services at St. Vincent Catholic Charites (STVCC) in Lansing, MI; and, Zohra Danish, Afghan Family Strengthening Interventionist and in-home educator and health navigator for Afghan families at St. Vincent Catholic Charities (STVCC) in Lansing, MI.

Social services is one of the most common sectors in the United States where resettled refugees and newcomers often work. Resettlement staff with lived experience identify as a refugee, immigrant, or newcomer and underwent or are undergoing the resettlement process themselves. Newcomers who begin working in the resettlement field face unique stressors and barriers on their path to a fulfilling career, including under-employment and the potential for re-traumatization. This webinar will discuss supportive solutions that individual service providers and agency leaders can implement to alleviate these challenges. We will also offer guidance on advocating for funding and improved policies that address the deficits in refugee employment practices.

By the end of this webinar, you will be able to:

– Explain the importance and impact of having a diverse and representative resettlement staff

– Identify the unique challenges encountered by resettlement workers from refugee or newcomer backgrounds

– Apply key organizational and individual strategies to support resettlement staff from refugee and newcomer backgrounds

– Plan and advocate for more equitable systemic policies and organizational practices for resettlement staff from refugee or newcomer backgrounds