Refugee Family Enrichment

"... Finally, preliminary research shows that marriage education workshops can make a real difference in helping married couples stay together and in encouraging unmarried couples who are living together to form a more lasting bond. Expanding access to such services to low income couples, perhaps in concept with job training and placement, medical coverage, and other services already available, SHOULD BE SOMETHING EVERYBODY CAN AGREE ON."

-Barack Obama, Audacity of Hope, p.334 (2006)


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For refugees, adjustment to American life is a very difficult process.

Ultimately, each and every refugee family is in crisis due to their family displacement, made necessary by traumas caused by persecution and violations of their human rights in their homeland. Without providing refugee families the resources to begin a stable life, their resettlement in the United States is incomplete.

With funding provided by the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), HIAS pioneered a unique program that addresses the issue of refugee family stability. The program assists refugee spouses, mothers, fathers, grandparents, and children -- helping them to better understand how their family relationships might be affected by immigration and teaching them new family communication and conflict resolution skills.

The program uses family and marriage education programs created in America and adjusted to the cultural needs of ethnically diverse populations or refugees.

Our program was featured by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (ACF) as one of Best Practice sites.

HIAS implements the Refugee Family Enrichment program through affiliate agencies across the United States, where program specialists conduct family life education workshops.

HIAS collaborated with renowned marriage and relationship educator Kelly Simpson, the author of Active Relationships Programs. HIAS Refugee Family Enrichment sites teach Active Communication and Active Money Personalities curricula. These programs were adjusted to the unique needs of refugee population in close consultations with Mrs. Simpson. The classes are usually taught in native language of refugees attending these classes.

HIAS also provides a comprehensive technical assistance program to all ORR and ACF grantees funded to implement the federal healthy marriage initiative.