More from the Office or Refugee Resettlement’s year in review

Did you know that we pay for day care centers offering “appropriate cultural competency!”  What happened to the idea that refugee kids should assimilate into our culture?

A week ago I reported that the Director (Eskinder Negash) of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) within the Department of Health and Human Services had sent out a 5-page e-mail report on how the ORR fared in 2012.  Here is more from that letter.

Do you have day care centers in your town?  You know! the small entrepreneurial ones run by a stay-at-home mom or maybe an older woman whose kids are grown.  Wouldn’t putting immigrant kids in those day care programs help integrate the kids into American culture?

And, do you think those small American home-based day care centers get FEDERAL GRANTS AND MICRO-LOANS to get started?  I doubt it!

According to Director Negash, refugee women do get federal (your!) money and support to set up their businesses.  This is from his year-in-review e-mail:

At the inception of the Microenterprise Development – Home-Based Child Care program in FY 2011, ORR awarded 13 grantees in 13 states grants totaling $2.225 million per year for two years. The primary goal of the program was to assist women refugees to become economically self-sufficient and integrated into the mainstream. A secondary goal was to expand home-based child care business options for other refugees, to enable them enter the workforce with confidence that their children are being cared for by individuals possessing appropriate cultural competency. ORR is pleased to see the overwhelming successes achieved by this new program thus far, encouraging continued support and expansion of the grant: in FY2012, ORR increased funding to the program, raising it from $2.225 million to $5,752 million, and offering grants to a total of 34 agencies.
During the first year of the project, the original 13 grantees have collectively:

* Enrolled 879 refugee women in the program;

* Trained 745 refugees;

* Helped 172 refugees obtain business licenses;

* Assisted 160 refugees to start home-based child care programs

* Created 1,061 childcare slots for children;

* Paid $249,000 in grants to partially cover business startup costs, and assisted the home-based child care owners to obtain an additional $208,000 in subsidies;

* Helped 207 refugees find and secure jobs, and

* Taken 79 refugees off public assistance.

Wow!  We trained hundreds, paid out millions of dollars and got 79 refugees off public assistance all the while assuring the kids were cared for by appropriate culturally competent caregivers.

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