The Strengthening Refugee Families and Marriages Program has been developed by a grant received from the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration of Children and Families, Office of Refugee Resettlement (DHHS/ORR). The grant proposes a three-year project to strengthen refugee families and marriages by providing communication, listening, parenting, child discipline, financial management, and conflict resolution skills. USCCB/MRS expects that the programs and skills provided will serve to decrease the impact of conflicts in refugee marriages and family life. In addition, this project will increase community awareness of the challenges facing refugees throughout the resettlement experience through collaboration and coordination of service provision.
There are fourteen program sites that have adapted nationally-recognized family and marriage enrichment education models to be culturally and linguistically competent to meet the needs of refugees. These models address a multitude of issues facing refugee families during resettlement and acculturation in the areas of child rearing, marriage education, family roles, intergenerational conflict and family strengthening.
Over the past year USCCB/MRS has been joined by an additional eight agencies that have received funding through DHHS/ORR to expand implementation of the family enrichment programs, incorporate lessons learned by USCCB/MRS in the first year of piloting, and to strengthen the knowledge base of refugee family enrichment.