We engage and support newcomer families by providing a range of opportunities and services to help families build new futures. Our goal is to assist newcomer families overcome language and cultural barriers and access jobs, health care, social services, and educational opportunities. We want both individuals and families to thrive through sustainable, comprehensive, and long-term solutions.
Successfully navigating life in a new country, with unfamiliar educational systems and civic structures, often requires a concerted family effort. We offer comprehensive family programs that allow all family members to participate. In 2013, we started a Saturday Newcomer Family Engagement program at Franklin Recreation Center, in a neighborhood with very limited services for newly arrived refugee families. Serving pre-schoolers to adults, the program features English language and literacy classes, art activities, community events, and partner-directed activities such as soccer and gardening.
Refugee Transitions routinely offers weekend workshops to newcomer parents. These workshops are designed to assist parents improve their children’s English, become more engaged in their children’s education by fostering a greater understanding of the U.S. school system, and gain U.S. citizenship. Workshops help transition newcomer parents to life in the U.S. and help ensure the long-term health of newcomer families.
We offer regular Field Trips to areas around the San Francisco Bay Area for newcomers to learn more about their new community, bond with their volunteer tutors, and decrease isolation. In the past, we have offered trips to Alcatraz, Disney on Ice, the Exploratorium, SF Giants' Games, and a variety of local museums. Field trips are regularly offered to Home-based Volunteers and their students, along with our After-School students.
Social Adjustment/Care Management/Family Support
We are able to provide supplemental care management and family support to our highest-need families, connecting them to important community resources while preparing them for long-term self-sufficiency and self-advocacy. We continually communicate with our partners to ensure that our students have the family support options they need to thrive. Currently, we offer this service in Oakland only, through our Family Resource Coordinator and Social Adjustment Counselor.