Refugee Services (RS)

OTDA Home Programs & Services Refugee Services Programs


The Making A Connection Program (MAC)

MAC promotes positive civic and social engagement among recently arriving refugees between the ages 15 and 24, regardless of their education level. Refugee youth are paired with adult mentors to support their educational advancement and career development.

New York State Assistance for Migrants Program (AMP)

AMP provides certain recently arrived noncitizens with case management services and may also provide direct assistance to meet basic needs not otherwise supported by public assistance such as food, clothing and shelter; and other services that support basic needs and stability. The program was created in response to the urgent need for critical supports for recent migrant arrivals throughout NYS.

New York State At-Risk Youth (NYSARY)

NYSARY provides comprehensive support and case management services for at-risk youth, with a focus on unaccompanied children entering the U.S. and residing in Nassau and Suffolk counties. This program was created as part of the Governor’s effort to combat MS-13 gang violence.

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

NYSESRP provides enhanced services to newly arrived refugees in the U.S., Special Immigrant Visa holders, Afghan humanitarian parolees as well as their wives and children and asylees. 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 eligible individuals and families to attain economic and social self-sufficiency and to successfully integrate into U.S. society.

Refugee and Immigrant Student Welcome Program (RISWP)

RISWP funds activities including, but not limited to: expanded community school activities, the provision of school supplies to incoming students, training opportunities for staff on trauma and cultural sensitivity, employment of counselors and psychologists, and parental and family engagement and support for refugee and immigrant youth.

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

RCA/RMA provides temporary assistance for refugees and other eligible populations who are not eligible for other federal cash or medical assistance programs, within twelve months of being granted an eligible status or date of arrival in the U.S. In New York State, RCA and RMA are provided by social services districts.

Refugee Health Promotion (RHP)

RHP 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 refugees’ health literacy, reduce gaps in services and increase access to public and/or private health insurance.

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 Program (RSIP)

RSIP 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 provides employment services and other supportive services to refugees and other eligible populations to address barriers to employment such as social and cultural adjustment, job search skills, work experience, and English proficiency. The services under this program 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)

RHTP is a New York State-funded program which supports service providers throughout the state to provide case management and services to confirmed victims of trafficking. Potential services include: health screening, health care and follow-up medical assistance, job training, job placement, and basic food, clothing and shelter.

Law enforcement or established social and legal service providers can submit an individual to the joint OTDA and Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) portal to request an individual be confirmed as a victim of trafficking. Once confirmed, the individuals are referred to either the RHTP provider or to the Local District Social Services Office, depending on their eligibility for public benefit programs. This confirmation process is separate from federal trafficking victim confirmation programs.

Services to Older Refugees Program (SORP)

The purpose SORP 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 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 link older refugees 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.

Unaccompanied Refugee Minors Program (URM)

The URM Program is a specialized foster care program for refugees and other eligible populations of children and youth. The U.S. 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 receive foster care services. Other eligible children include asylees and Unaccompanied Children who are classified as certified victims of trafficking or special immigrant juveniles.

In New York State, the URM Program is operated by the social services districts in Onondaga County and Monroe County, each contracted with a private foster care agency that places youth in licensed family foster homes. The URM program provides the same range of child welfare benefits and services available to domestic foster children, as well as additional unique services designed to address cultural and linguistic needs. The program focuses on helping youth develop independent living skills, as most URM children remain in the custody of the county in which they reside until their twenty-first birthday, when they age out of the program. For more information, visit the website of the Office of Refugee Resettlement. If you are interested in becoming a URM foster parent in Monroe or Onondaga County, contact one of the providers linked below.

Ukraine Supplemental Appropriation to Resettlement Agencies (USARA)

The USARA Program provides refugee support services, including employment assistance, case management, skills training, English as a second language, assistance in applying for Employment Authorization Documents and, when necessary, housing and food assistance to certain eligible individuals who have arrived in the U.S. from Ukraine.

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 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/Bureau of Refugee Services forwards the referral to the social services district. The district makes a plan for the arrival of the repatriate and makes any necessary and allowable arrangements and provides services for the assistance that is being requested or needed. For more information on USRP visit the Office of Human Services Emergency Preparedness and Response.

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