Refugee Program

The mission of the Georgia Department of Human Services is to strengthen Georgia by providing individuals and families access to services that promote self-sufficiency, independence and protect Georgia's vulnerable children and adults.

In Georgia, the Department of Human Services’ Refugee Program Unit supports this mission by administering the federally funded Refugee Program. Georgia has a Refugee State Coordinator, who is responsible for coordinating public and private resources for refugees.

The primary goal of Georgia’s Refugee Program is to encourage economic self-sufficiency of refugees after entrance to Georgia. This means the refugees must become self-reliant to meet their basic needs, within the shortest possible period.

Services for refugees are coordinated with the private sector, which provides job development, placement and specialized training opportunities, as well as contracted support service activities with a consortium of refugee voluntary agencies. 

Services

  • Immigration Services

    This service focuses on helping refugees become self-sufficient and meet all their immigration obligations to ensure continued residence in the U.S. Included in this service are:

    • Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) Application Preparation and Orientation
    • Naturalization/Citizenship Application Preparation and Instruction
    • Civics/ELI Classes
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  • Domestic Violence Prevention Services

    This service provides domestic violence (family violence) prevention for the refugee community by combining both prevention and intervention. Included in this service are:

    • Family Violence Intervention Program (FVIP), a program for perpetrators of domestic violence
    • Women’s Support Groups for female partners of men enrolled in the FVIP, and for women and children who are in need of service
    • Community Education Sessions for both refugee communities and refugee service providers
    • Media Outreach
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  • Employability Services

    Employability Services (ES) provide all the necessary support and preparation needed to ensure employment. Employment is defined as unsubsidized work at more than the minimum wage with access to group medical insurance. Successful employment means that a refugee remains employed at least 90 days. Employment Upgrade Services (EUS) are for refugees who are employed at the time of service and are interested in specific training that would provide more income and/or a better working environment for advancement and economic self-sufficiency. Included in these services are:

    • Needs Assessment - an overall assessment of the family unit relating to integration into life and economic self-sufficiency in the U.S. (ES/EUS)
    • Work Plan Development and Management (ES/EUS)
    • Job Orientation (ES)
    • Job Placement (ES)
    • Follow-Up (ES)
    • Integration and Emotional Counseling (ES)
    • Vocational ELI (ES)
    • On-the-Job Training (ES)
    • Vocational Training (ES)
    • Training – includes professional refresher training, skills recertification courses, professional training programs, vocational training, or full-time attendance in a college leading to certification (EUS)

    These services are provided to refugees who have lived in the U.S. for less than 5 years. 

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  • English Language Instruction (ELI)

    English Language Instruction (ELI) services teach English to a level that will permit effective communication through speaking, reading, and writing with emphasis on how it relates to obtaining and retaining a job. Special attention is given to the language needs of women and newly arrived, pre-literate, and elderly refugees. Included in this service are:

    • English Language Evaluation and Assessment
    • Instruction Plan Development
    • Instruction
    • Childcare (as needed)
    • Transportation (as needed)

    These services are provided to refugees who have lived in the U.S. for less than 5 years. 

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  • Information and Referral Services

    Information and Referral Services provide instruction and assistance to refugee families in accessing local, state, and federal programs and community services (i.e. Food Stamps, Medicaid, WIC, energy assistance, low-income housing, childcare assistance, etc). These services are provided in hopes of helping refugees assimilate into their new lives in the U.S. and to encourage self-reliance to the point where the individual and/or family can successfully handle similar situation independently. Information and Referral Services are designed to mainstream refugees into existing local, state, and federal social service programs and to expedite client self-sufficiency. Included in this service are:

    • Assessment and referral to services needed
    • Assistance with completing eligibility forms and applications

    These services are provided to refugees who have lived in the U.S. for more than 5 years. 

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  • Parent/School Involvement Services

    Parent/School Involvement Services are provided to refugee parents in hopes of supporting and encouraging them to become actively involved in their children’s education. Included in this service are:

    • Orientation to educate parents on the school system’s policies and procedures
    • Parenting-ELI Classes with an emphasis on schools and educational terminology
    • School-Related Casework to provide assistance to parents when they visit their children’s schools
    • School-Based Assistance for school staff and administrators

    Support for this program is provided by the Refugee School Impact Grant from the Office of Refugee Resettlement. This support allows DHS contractors to provide services to refugees who have lived in the U.S. for up to and over 5 years.

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  • Refugee Youth Programs

    Refugee Youth Programs focused on the special needs of refugee youth and their families. Included in this service are:

    • After-school programs
    • Summer youth programs and enrichment activities
    • Gang-prevention programs

    These services are provided to refugee youth who have lived in the U.S. for less than 5 years. International Rescue Committee and Refugee Family Services provide Refugee Youth Programs to Georgia’s refugee youth.

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  • Social Adjustment Services

    Social Adjustment Services are provided to help refugees assimilate into their new lives in the U.S. and to encourage self-reliance to the point where the individual and/or family can successfully handle similar situations independently. Included in this service are:

    • Needs Assessment - an overall assessment of the family unit relating to integration into life and economic self-sufficiency in the U.S.
    • Work Plan Development and Management
    • Integration and Emotional Counseling
    • Home Management
    • Emergency/Crisis Intervention
    • Health and Mental Health Services

    These services are provided to refugees who have lived in the U.S. for less than 5 years. DeKalb Board of Health, International Rescue Committee, and Lutheran Services of Georgia provide Social Adjustment Services to Georgia’s refugees. Please contact these agencies for specific information on different services.

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