Refugee Services (RS)

OTDA Home Programs & Services Refugee Services Programs


The Making A Connection Program (MAC)

MAC is an employment preparatory academy for newly arriving refugees ages 16 through 21. The program provides activities to connect refugee youths and young adults to the world of work. In addition, it provides refugee youths and young adults with the skills and knowledge to make healthy choices which will result in socially and economically self-sufficient refugee adults.

The New York State Enhanced Services to Refugees Program (NYSESRP)

NYSESRP provides enhanced services to newly arrived refugees in the U.S. Such services include, but are not limited to, case management; employment and training services; and support services such as English language training, assistance with health and medical services and post-employment services necessary to assist the individuals and families to attain economic and social self-sufficiency and to successfully integrate into U.S. society.

Refugee Cash Assistance and Refugee Medical Assistance (RCA/RMA)

RCA/RMA provides temporary assistance for refugees who are not eligible for other federal cash or medical assistance programs, within eight months of being granted an eligible status. In New York State Refugee Cash Assistance and Refugee Medical Assistance Services are provided by the local department of social services.

Refugee Health Promotion (RHP)

Refugee Health Promotion provides funds for part-time Health Access Coordinators (HACs) at resettlement agencies. HACs develop culturally and linguistically appropriate health orientations and classes designed to increase refugee’s health literacy, reduce gaps in services and increase access to public and/or private health insurance. Towards this end, OTDA/BRIA coordinates free training for HACs from its partner agencies. Trainings from the following sources include: New York State Office of Alcohol & Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) – Substance Abuse Prevention Skills Training; New York State of Health Marketplace – Certified Application Counselor (CAC) Training; and Jewish Family Service of Buffalo – Refugee Mental Health First Aid Training.

Refugee Health Screening (RHS)

RHS is a program to provide initial medical screening and immunizations to newly arriving refugees and other eligible persons within 90 days of their date of arrival or date of immigration status granted. RHS ensures follow-up with medical issues identified in an overseas medical examination; identifies persons with communicable diseases of potential public health importance; enables a refugee to successfully resettle by identifying personal health conditions that, if left unidentified, could adversely affect his/her ability to effectively resettle; and refers refugees to primary care providers for ongoing health care.

Refugee School Impact Grant (RSIG)

RSIG addresses the serious short and long term educational issues facing school-aged refugee children, particularly those who have recently arrived in our state; eases the transition of these refugee children into the state’s elementary, middle and high schools; empowers refugee parents to be effective partners in the education of their children; and supports local school systems most heavily impacted by high numbers of refugee students.

Refugee Social Services Program (RSSP)

RSSP is an employment services program that provides employability services and other supportive services to refugees that will address barriers to employment such as social and cultural adjustment, job search skills, work experience, and English proficiency. The services provided under this program will assist refugees and their families in achieving economic and social-self-sufficiency as soon as possible after their arrival into the United States.

Response to Human Trafficking Program (RHTP)

Victims of human trafficking who are confirmed by the New York State referral process by NYS OTDA and DCJS, and are not otherwise eligible for public assistance, may receive benefits through RHTP providers. These include health screening, health care and follow-up medical assistance, job training, job placement, and basic food, clothing and shelter.

NYS confirmed victims who are U.S. citizens and/or children are assisted with accessing Public Assistance Benefits after confirmation. Those victims who go on to be certified through the federal certification process may be eligible for additional benefits.

Services to Cuban and Haitian Entrants Program (C/H)

The program assists eligible Cuban and Haitians to navigate through the immigration process to ensure a path to self-sufficiency by improving access to accredited immigration services and to appropriate English language training. The program also conducts education to the Cuban and Haitian communities regarding benefits of the program.

Services to Older Refugees Program (SORP)

The purpose of the Services to Older Refugees Program is to provide social and supportive services that assist older refugees aged 60 and older in gaining access to mainstream services within their respective communities so that they may live independently for as long as possible. The program provides mainstream outreach to establish and/or expand the working relationships between the contracted service provider agency and the local Office for the Aging (OFA) as well as other relevant local service provider(s) to ensure older refugees will be linked to available services and providers as well as domestic seniors in the community. The program also provides case management services to assess the needs of older refugees and provide them with appropriate direct services that are not currently offered, and connect them with available services to effectively meet the needs identified.

Targeted Assistance Grant Program (TAG)

TAG assists refugees and their families to achieve and maintain economic self-sufficiency, family stability, and effectively integrate with the community. The program provides employment preparation services, job-driven trainings, and job placements to refugees during the first five-years after their arrival. Transitional services are also provided to ensure continued employment, and to enhance opportunities for advancement. TAG service providers are located within federally designated counties.

Unaccompanied Refugee Minors Program (URM)

The United States Department of State identifies refugee children overseas who are eligible for resettlement in the U.S., but do not have a parent or guardian. Upon arrival in the U.S., these refugee children are placed into the URM program and they receive refugee foster care and other services and benefits. Minor foreign-born trafficking victims identified here in the U.S. are also accepted into the program, as are Unaccompanied Alien Children who have adjusted to an asylee or special immigrant juvenile status. In New York State the Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Program providers are located in Onondaga County and Monroe County. The two local departments of social services in turn contract for specialized services within their existing foster care system. These refugee children remain in the custody of the county within which they reside until they age out of the program.

United States Repatriation Program (USRP)

The USRP provides temporary assistance to U.S. citizens and their dependents that have become destitute, ill, incapacitated, or incarcerated in a foreign country and are without available resources. The program assists eligible repatriates upon their return to the United States to become self-sufficient as soon as possible by providing allowable repatriation services, which may include cash assistance, medical care, mental health treatment, temporary shelter, transportation, and other goods and services necessary for their health or welfare for up to ninety (90) days to assist them to resettle into the area. Referrals come to New York State from the U.S. Department of State. Upon receipt, OTDA/BRIA forwards the referral to the contracted service provider for cases repatriating to New York City, or the local department of social services (LDSS) for rest-of-state cases. The contracted service provider or LDSS will plan for the arrival of the repatriate and make any necessary and allowable arrangements and provide services for the assistance that is being requested or needed.

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