Using diverse, robust methodologies and building social work science towards socially-just and culturally-responsive resettlement services, this symposium identifies the current gaps in various refugee programs and their impacts on both refugee newcomers and refugee service providers. Specifically, using qualitative methods, the first paper presents how the lack of information about global events and populations that have not before been resettled to the US affects resettlement experiences among Rohingya unaccompanied refugee minors, emphasizing the role of cultural orientation for both newcomers and resettlement staff and the importance of transferring up-to-date knowledge and research into practice. The second paper examines self-efficacy in patient centeredness and cultural intelligence among healthcare providers working with refugees and asylum seekers. Using sequential mixed methods, authors investigated how compassionate trauma-informed practice and patient-centered communication may foster a sense of safety and communication between refugee clients and providers, therefore providing essential services to improve refugees' overall wellness. The third paper presents the implementation and evaluation of state-wide capacity building interventions to bridge the gaps between mental health services and resettlement/psychosocial programs. Using a retrospective pre- and post-training survey and free listing, this study examines how cross-cultural trauma-informed care models help build collaborative care and community partnerships across multiple service sectors.
The last two papers further examine the devastating impacts and amplified disparities in resettlement services during the COVID-19 pandemic. The fourth paper utilized a cross-sectional multi-methods survey to investigate socio-political stressors and work-related factors in relation to refugee resettlement provider wellbeing during the pandemic. The analyses revealed statistically significant differences in key measures (e.g. burnout, stressors, self-care) based on worker category and sociocultural factors. The findings suggest that addressing key work-related factors and reducing stress are critical to improve and sustain the wellbeing of refugee resettlement providers. The last paper draws on qualitative data collected in summer 2020 to examine grassroots refugee-led organizations' (RLOs) crisis response and advocacy efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings point to RLOs' flexibility and adaptability, and reimagined roles of RLOs in collaborative practice and participatory planning for community resilience and sustainability of the refugee program.
Collectively, these papers shed light on how current challenges in refugee resettlement services may be tackled through improved capacity and preparedness among providers and collaborative partnerships for socially-just, community-grounded and culture-informed programs across the refugee-serving communities of practice.