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Refugee School Impact for Adults

Empowering parents of refugee children

Refugee School Impact (RSI) Program for Adults

Informational seminars, workshops and engagement activities for refugee parents

The Refugee School Impact (RSI) Program for Adults provides services that support both refugee parents, children and school districts impacted by foreign student arrivals.

Refugees, asylees, humanitarian parolees and victims of sex-trafficking with school-aged children (aged 5-21) are able to access RSI services. The program focuses on families who have lived in the U.S. for five years or less.

How Does RSI Help Refugee Parents?

Planning the First Day of School

RSI enrolls kids in school, provides backpacks, school supplies and winter coats (if necessary). Case managers walk families to school on the first day or help them find their bus stop. 

RSI staff advocates for an interpreter on the first day of school, as well as a school tour. When families arrive, parents are able to see the classrooms their children will be in and meet their teachers, which hopefully makes them feel a little more comfortable. After kids are dropped off at school, orientations take place in the homes of refugee parents.

Engagement Workshops

Refugee adults and children can face integration and acclimation struggles upon arrival in the U.S. RSI for Adults provides opportunities for fellow refugee parents to meet and interact with other parents in the program. Group activities provide a chance for parents to bond with other parents and share collective stories of their journeys.

Transportation Services

Bus or volunteer-driven transportation is arranged for both refugee parents and their children. In-home family seminars and orientations are provided as an option if transportation is unavailable.

Family Seminars & Orientations

Informational sessions provide refugee parents valuable insights into what education will look like in the U.S. Case managers also help refugee parents enroll their child in school and connect them with the appropriate contacts and aids a child will need to have a successful school year. 

In addition to what is noted above, these courses help refugees learn:

  • How to request interpreter services
  • How to support your child in school
  • Homework help resources
  • Truancy and mandatory attendance laws in the U.S.
  • Elementary, middle and high school ages and eligibility
  • Grading system and how grades (1st, 2nd, 3rd and 9th) are determined

Contact Us

Use the form below to contact the Refugee Learning Center.
Please submit other questions to our general Contact Catholic Charities page.

Interested in volunteering with the Refugee Learning Center? Check out our Refugee Volunteer Opportunities!


Hope Stories and Blog Posts about Our Refugee & Immigration Services