States exercise broad flexibility to structure and implement federally funded refugee cash assistance programs and accompanying services to help move refugees toward employment and self-sufficiency. Each state (except Wyoming, which has no refugee program) has a State Refugee Coordinator (SRC) who is responsible for overseeing the design, implementation, and coordination of refugee services in each state.
This brief summarizes findings from a 2016 survey of SRCs. It describes the structure of programs that deliver cash assistance and employment services to refugees, the challenges refugees experience during the resettlement process, and innovative strategies states have implemented to improve service provision and coordination among refugee service providers.
The survey was conducted as part of the Understanding the Intersection between TANF and Refugee Cash Assistance Services study, sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The study's main purpose is to learn how state and local systems serve refugees through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) programs, how these programs interact, and how they might foster positive employment outcomes and refugee self-sufficiency. The survey findings were used to identify noteworthy program structures and practices practices to further explore as part of fieldwork conducted under this study. (author introduction)