First Presenter's Institution

Augusta University

Second Presenter's Institution

Augusta University

Third Presenter's Institution

NA

Fourth Presenter's Institution

NA

Fifth Presenter's Institution

NA

Location

Vernon

Strand #1

Social & Emotional Skills

Strand #2

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Relevance

The state of Georgia is eighth in the United States when it comes to refugee arrivals. As most refugees received in our country consist of families, these children go to public schools where their home lives and cultures are misunderstood or invisible. Multicultural education is more important in these areas of resettlement where children have not "grown up" in American culture and need sensitivity to their situation. In our experience working in a refugee resettlement organization, we have witnessed these children lose their academic motivation after being tested for a grade level and failing because of their English language level.

Brief Program Description

Georgia has a growing refugee community (Division of Family and Children Services, n.d.). Successful refugee resettlement and K-12 education is dependent on school personnel understanding the emotional wellness and challenges of this population. Advocating on behalf of this population, this presentation will address the state of refugees in Georgia. Information and discussion will address the various emotional roadblocks experienced by refugees that can be an impediment to successful integration in K-12 schools. Presenters will also provide participants with available resources to address these challenges.

Summary

According to Georgia’s Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS), refugees are defined as individuals who are residing outside of their country of origin and are unwilling or unable to get protection from his/her homeland (The Refugee Act of 1980). This can be as a result of nationality, religion, race, political opinion, or membership in a certain social group. Migrating to the United States of America, successful resettlement, including education, is dependent on emotional and physical wellness. In advocating on behalf of K-12 students and their families, it is important to understand the mental health issues experience by refugees, for example, depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder.

This presentation will focus on the plight of refugees in Georgia. Information will be presented on Georgia’s refugee communities and resettlement program and challenges faced by refugees from Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia (specifically Burmese and Bhutanese). Presenters will also facilitate a discussion on the emotional and societal roadblocks experienced by refugees and how this affects resettlement.

Highlighted throughout this presentation is the importance for school personnel to be motivated and advocate for this population because resettlement has an effect on whether or not these immigrants will be successful in school. Educators working with refugee children can benefit from awareness of these challenges and from sensitivity to their cultural backgrounds. Consequently, it is important to know and understand the challenges faced by refugees and being aware of the resources available to assist them in Georgia.

Evidence

Participants will be presented with real life scenarios in order to illicit a deeper understanding of the educational struggles faced by refugees.

Participants will be challenge to brainstorm ways in which educational stakeholders can be more involved in the refugee resettlement efforts.

Division of Family and Children Services. (n.d.). Refugee Resettlement. Retrieved September 15, 2016, from http://dfcs.dhs.georgia.gov/refugee-resettlement

Kirmayer, J. L., Narasiah, L., Munoz, M., Rashid, M., Ryder, A. G., Guzder, J, . . . Pottie, K. (2011). Common mental health problems in immigrants and refugees: general approach in primary care. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 183(12), E959-E967.

Office of Refugee Resettlement. (n.d.). FY 2015 Served Populations by State and Country of Origin (refugees only). Retrieved September 23, 2016, from http://www.acf.hhs.gov/orr/resource/fy-2015-refugees-by-state-and-country-of-origin-all-served-populations

The Refugee Act of 1980.

The UN Refugee Agency. (n.d.). Global Trends 2015. Retrieved September 23, 2016, from http://www.unhcr.org/global-trends-2015.html

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. (n.d.). Refugee Health. Retrieved September 15, 2016, from http://www.acf.hhs.gov/orr/programs/refugee-health

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Kate Crockett is currently pursuing a M.Ed. in Counselor Education from Augusta University. She received a B.S. in Anthropology from Kennesaw State University. Kate has extensive experience in working the immigrant and refugee population in Georgia. After graduating, she worked as a Match Grant Assistant at Refugee Resettlement and Immigration Services of Atlanta (RRISA) and took on a second role as IDA (Individual Development Account) Coordinator. In this role, she helped clients learn about managing finances while they saved for education, housing, business expenses, or a vehicle. She believes in advocating for better mental health services for the immigrant and refugee population.

Daniel Jeng is a graduate student at Augusta University, where he studies clinical mental health counseling. He has a B.A. from Georgia State University in Applied Linguistics and is TEFL certified. He has worked in the Refugee Resettlement field in Georgia for over 3 years. During his work with refugees he has taught English, helped enroll students into school, found employment, and located safe affordable housing in Atlanta, GA.

Keyword Descriptors

Refugee Resettlement, Advocacy, Social Justice, Mental Health, K-12 Education, school involvement, Refugee Integration, Refugee Education

Presentation Year

2018

Start Date

3-7-2018 11:15 AM

End Date

3-7-2018 12:30 PM

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Mar 7th, 11:15 AM Mar 7th, 12:30 PM

Being an advocate for the effective integration and education of refugee children

Vernon

Georgia has a growing refugee community (Division of Family and Children Services, n.d.). Successful refugee resettlement and K-12 education is dependent on school personnel understanding the emotional wellness and challenges of this population. Advocating on behalf of this population, this presentation will address the state of refugees in Georgia. Information and discussion will address the various emotional roadblocks experienced by refugees that can be an impediment to successful integration in K-12 schools. Presenters will also provide participants with available resources to address these challenges.