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Building Trust with Immigrant and Refugee Families: Spreading and Adapting 2Gen Working Practices

April 22, 2022

Trust between social service organizations and their clients is crucial to effectively provide services to immigrant and refugee families. Our brief on building trust with these groups explores how we can form these relationships and sustain them long-term to best serve these vulnerable communities.

Better Responses to Differing Immigration Statuses: Spreading and Adapting 2Gen Working Practices

April 22, 2022

What does it take to deliver 2Gen services to families, youth, and children whose various immigrant statuses may dictate different access to benefits and make sure all family members are supported, healthy, and feel welcome and safe in their place? Our brief on immigration status examines how service organizations can provide a sense of stability and security and create a supportive environment in which immigrant and refugee communities feel safe enough to seek help around immigration statuses. When organizations are prepared for this sensitive topic, they can serve an even more valuable role in ensuring that these communities feel safe and prepared for whatever tomorrow may bring.

Growing Language Skills with Immigrant and Refugee Families: Spreading and Adapting 2Gen Working Practices

April 22, 2022

What can be done to help immigrant families with the language barrier as they work on improving their language skills? This brief focuses on the linguistic challenges many face as they try to acclimate to life in the United States or abroad when their native language is no longer dominant in their surroundings. From designing ESOL programs and curricula around the needs of families to recognizing and accounting for dialects when sharing resources or providing services, we took an in-depth look at how we can help families overcome the language barrier.

Cultural Competency Secrets to Success with Immigrant and Refugee Families: Spreading and Adapting 2Gen Working Practices

April 22, 2022

The cultural shift for immigrant and refugee families can be welcomed for some and terrifying for others, but what are the cultural competency secrets to success that can best support these groups? As service providers build their understanding of and responsiveness to the cultures of their newer customers, they can more equitably engage with and effectively serve them, which leads to better outcomes for immigrant and refugee families and the local communities.

Responding to the ECEC Needs of Children of Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Europe and North America

April 1, 2018

This report explores the findings of a nine-country study of ECEC policies and practices designed to serve young children of refugees and asylum seekers. It draws on fieldwork conducted in Belgium, Canada, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Turkey, and the United States—major host countries with varied refugee and asylum-seeker populations, migration-management policies, and ECEC systems—to highlights both common challenges and promising practices.

Unlocking Skills: Successful Initiatives for Integrating Foreign-Trained Immigrant Professionals

February 27, 2017

With nearly 2 million college-educated immigrants and refugees in the United States unable to fully utilize their professional skills, better understanding of the elements of successful programs and policies that reduce the waste of advanced education and skills can benefit immigrants, their families, and the U.S. economy more generally. This report explores a range of frontline programs and policy reforms that are providing cutting-edge career navigation, relicensing, gap filling, and job search assistance for foreign-trained professionals in a wide range of occupations. It also examines different state policy and licensing contexts that affect these highly skilled individuals, with a focus on the dense thicket of state laws and regulations that slow or prevent qualified individuals from practicing in a wide range of occupations.

Serving Immigrant Families Through Two-generation Programs: Identifying Family Needs and Responsive Program Approaches

November 19, 2016

This report shares key facts about immigrant parents with young children and examines 11 programs that have successfully served immigrant and refugee families using a two-generation approach. Readers will learn about the difficulties these programs face, what they are doing well, and what policymakers and community stakeholders need to know to support this vulnerable -- and growing -- demographic.

Improving Education for Migrant-Background Students: A Transatlantic Comparison of School Funding

June 22, 2016

The educational needs of migrant-background students in primary and secondary schools pose a growing challenge for policymakers and educators around the world. Some national, regional, and local governments have well-designed systems of support for such students, while others are just beginning to establish targeted policies and practices to meet the needs of this growing and diverse population. For policymakers, school funding designs are an important means of influencing how schools and school districts serve their students who are immigrants or the children of immigrants. The rules guiding such funding design usually both reflect and drive the larger goals and priorities of the education system. By providing supplementary funding for high-need groups, such as migrant-background students, policymakers signal that helping these students access the services they need to succeed on par with their peers is a priority. This report focuses on four countries--Canada, France, Germany, and the United States--shedding light on supplementary funding mechanisms targeted to migrant-background students, and some of the key challenges and strategies decisionmakers are wrestling with as they attempt to ensure that additional resources are used effectively.

Lessons From the Local Level: DACA's Implementation and Impact on Education and Training Success

January 5, 2015

This report examines the ways in which local educational institutions, legal service providers, and immigrant youth advocates have responded to the first phase of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Based on extensive interviews with stakeholders in seven states -- California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, New York, and Texas -- the report identifies initiatives undertaken by educational institutions and other community stakeholders to support DACA youth's education and training success, and examine the impact of deferred action on grantees' academic and career pursuits. It provides examples of promising practices, additional challenges, and key takeaways at the high school, postsecondary, and adult education levels, as well as an exploration of the nature and scope of DACA legal outreach initiatives.

Critical Choices in Post-Recession California: Investing in the Educational and Career Success of Immigrant Youth

June 18, 2014

California's success in integrating immigrant youth is critical, not just to the state but the nation. Sheer numbers demonstrate this significance. The state is home to one-quarter of the nation's immigrants, and as of 2012, more than half of young adults in California ages 16 to 26 were first- or second-generation immigrants (compared to one-quarter of youth nationwide). California educates more than one-third of U.S. students designated as English Language Learners (ELLs). This report examines the educational experiences and outcomes of first- and second-generation immigrant youth ages 16 to 26 across California's educational institutions, encompassing secondary schools, adult education, and postsecondary education. ELLs are a central focus of the analysis at all levels, as this group has unique educational needs. The findings draw from qualitative fieldwork -- including interviews with educators and community leaders in California -- and quantitative analyses of the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau and state education agencies.

Immigrant Parents and Early Childhood Programs: Addressing Barriers of Literacy, Culture, and Systems Knowledge

June 2, 2014

Immigrant parents face significant barriers as they try to engage with their children's early educational experiences, including greatly restricted access for many due to limited English proficiency and functional literacy. Parental engagement is critical for young children's early cognitive and socioemotional development, and for their participation in programs that are designed to support early learning. Reducing the barriers to parent engagement in early childhood education and care (ECEC) programs would encourage school success, and help many young children of immigrants close the gaps in kindergarten readiness with their native peers.Recent years have seen a rapid increase in the size and share of the U.S. young-child population with at least one immigrant parent, posing challenges to policymakers and front-line programs in the early childhood arena. These demographic changes are converging with efforts in many states to expand early childhood services and improve their quality. With one in four young children in the United States living in an immigrant family, efforts to build trust and establish meaningful two-way communication with these families is an urgent priority if system expansion efforts are to realize their purpose.Many programs face difficulties engaging with immigrant and refugee parents who often require support building U.S. cultural and systems knowledge and in overcoming English language and literacy barriers. These difficulties have been exacerbated in recent years as adult basic education and English instruction programs, which early childhood programs such as Head Start had previously relied on to support parents in need of these skills, have been significantly reduced.Against this backdrop, this report identifies the unique needs of newcomer parents across the range of expectations for parent skill, engagement, and leadership sought by ECEC programs, and strategies undertaken to address these needs. The study is based on field research in six states, expert interviews, a literature review, and a sociodemographic analysis.

Education Reform in a Changing Georgia: Promoting High School and College Success for Immigrant Youth

March 12, 2014

A classic "new growth" state, Georgia has experienced one of the fastest rates of growth from immigration in the United States over the past two decades. Today, one in five Georgia youth is an immigrant or has immigrant parents. While Georgia's native-born white population is aging rapidly, the Latino population in particular remains much younger, and stands to play a decisive role in the state's current and future workforce competitiveness. The educational outcomes of the state's first- and second-generation young adults are cause for concern, however. Many are English Language Learners (ELLs) and they lag considerably behind their nonimmigrant peers in terms of high school graduation, college access, and postsecondary degree completion. they often face extra hurdles as they seek to develop academic English-language skills, complete high school course requirements, navigate the transition to college and careers, and finance postsecondary education-often while juggling work and family responsibilities. This report explores these hurdles, and shows that Georgia's most recent education reform efforts- while ambitious in scope-often do not address the unique needs of immigrant youth and ELLs. Moreover, state policies have created barriers to entry into the state's adult education programs and flagship universities, not just for unauthorized immigrants but also for youth who are granted legal permission to remain in the United States under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. As part of a five-state series, this report examines the educational experiences and outcomes of first- and second-generation youth ages 16 to 26 across the education systems in Georgia, encompassing K-12, adult education, and postsecondary education.