Future Directions in Policy and Refugee Family Support
There are great needs, both internationally and nationally, for integrated support for refugee families. One international concern is the lack of protection for internally displaced persons. Those seeking a referral for refugee status complete the process from within the country to which they have fled. Internally displaced persons are not eligible for refugee status unless specifically identified by the President to be approved for refugee status. Additional steps may be necessary to protect those who face persecution but cannot, for whatever reason, flee to another country. In the United States, there is no unified approach to relocating and supporting refugees. Procedures vary by state and by VOLAG. President Obama created the White House Task Force on New Americans specifically to create unified plans to “create welcoming communities and fully integrating immigrants and refugees” (White House, 2014), and more work can be done in this area. Particularly given the Trump administration’s drastic reduction in the number of refugee admissions and associated funding cuts, refugee resettlement programs must focus on providing support effectively and efficiently. The Migration Policy Institute has recommended development of two-generation approaches to support families (MPI, 2018).
Paul Orieny, Sr. Clinical Advisor for Mental Health at the Center for Victims of Torture (CVT), discusses the importance of services when families arrive (6:40-10:23).