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Indiana State Department of Health

Refugee Health Program Home > Community at Large Community at Large

History

The Immigration and Nationality Act as amended over the years, provides the basic framework for regulating the flow of visitors, workers and immigrants to the United States. The last major overhaul of the immigration system was the Immigration Act of 1990. This Act provides most of the still-current immigrant and nonimmigrant classification and numerical ceilings (subsequent legislation has added new classifications and/or amended existing ones -- but the basic framework remains largely the same as in 1990).

County, State and National Contacts

County Health Departments Link to the contact information for Indiana county health departments with official name, address, telephone number, and county health officer. http://www.in.gov/isdh/23926.htm

Resettlement Agencies Link to definitions used on this website and terms regarding the populations who are eligible for refugee services.

Catholic Charities of Ft. Wayne, Refugee Services include pre-arrival processing, arrival services, adjustment of status, assistance with housing, referrals for medical care, acculturation, referrals for ESL (English-as-a-Second-Language) classes, school enrollment for the children, and other education services as needed. For more information, see: http://www.ccfwsb.org/our-services/refugee-resettlement/

Catholic Charities of Ft. Wayne
315 East Washington Boulevard
Fort Wayne, Indiana 46802
(260) 422-5625 or (800) 686-7459 toll-free
(260) 422-5657 fax
General delivery e-mail: fwoffice@ccfwsb.org


• Catholic Charities of Indianapolis, Refugee Resettlement Program has resettled refugees in the Indianapolis area since 1975. Services include reception and placement, employment, financial literacy, job placement, counseling and referrals.  For more information, see: http://www.archindy.org/cc/indianapolis/RefugeeServices.html

Catholic Charities of Indianapolis
1400 North Meridian Street
Indianapolis, IN  46202
317-236-1500
317-261-3375 (Fax)
Toll-free: 800-382-9836 Ext. 1500

• Exodus Refugee Immigration is part of a network of affiliates that work with Church World Service Immigration and Refugee Program (CWS/IRP) and Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM) in the resettlement of refugees from all over the world in Indiana. Once a refugee case is assigned to CWS or EMM by the Refugee Processing Center in Arlington, Virginia, Exodus works in partnership with religious groups and community groups to welcome and assist the refugee in becoming self-sufficient neighbors in Indiana. For more information about programs and services which include, employment, English as a second language, employment workshops, family reunification, reception and placement, please link to http://www.exodusrefugee.org/.

Exodus Refugee Immigration
Indianapolis Office
1125 Brookside Avenue, Suite C9
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Tel. 317.921.0836
Fax 317.921.1992

• World Relief works through local church organizations to develop partnerships with community organizations and agencies to support refugees by providing for their initial housing needs, connecting refugees to government services such as social security and public aid, assisting refugee children to enroll in schools, orienting refugees to American culture, and assisting with the essential needs refugees have during their first months in America. The Ft. Wayne staff speak: Burmese, Pwo Karen, Sgaw Karen, Thai, Spanish, English.  For more information, contact:

World Relief Fort Wayne
Jeff Keplar, Executive Director
c/o Simpson United Methodist Church
2501 South Harrison Street
Fort Wayne, IN 46807
260-744-1630
Indiana State Agencies

• Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA), the Office of Refugee Resettlement, provides information and support to community based efforts to meet the needs of refugees settling in Indiana, also serves as the liaison with the US Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, and the US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Refugee Resettlement.

Matthew P. Schomburg, Indiana Refugee Coordinator
Division of Family Resources
Indiana Family and Social Services Administration
702 Goodwin Place, Suite A
Kendallville, IN 46755
Tel: 260-599-0120
Fax: 260-349-0953
E-mail: Matthew.Schomburg@fssa.IN.gov

• Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH), TB/Refugee Health Division provides information and support to health care providers regarding health needs of refugees, including the initial refugee health assessment and TB follow up worksheet.

Helen Townsend MPH RN, Refugee Health Coordinator
TB/Refugee Health
Indiana State Department of Health
2 N. Meridian St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Tel: 317.233.1321
Fax: 317.233.7747
E-mail: htownsend@isdh.in.gov

• Indiana Department of Education (DOE), The Office of English Language Learning & Migrant Education oversees: This office includes three US programs regarding the education of Limited English proficient and refugee children.

Lauren Harvey, Coordinator

151 West Ohio Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Tel. 317.232.0555
Indiana Toll Free: 800.382.9962
National Toll Free: 800.379.1129
Fax 317.234.2121
lharvey@doe.in.gov
http://www.doe.in.gov/lmmp/welcome.html

Title III, Language Instruction for Limited English Proficient and Immigrant Students, of  the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 federal program provides financial support for English language acquisition and language enhancement to state and local educational programs. http://www.doe.in.gov/lmmp/titleIII.html

Refugee Children School Impact Grant, Refugee Children School Impact Grant (RCSIG) Federal Program provides for some of the costs of educating refugee children incurred by local Indiana school districts in which significant numbers of refugee children reside.  School districts use the grant to fund activities that will lead to the effective integration and education of refugee children which include school-age refugees between the ages of 5 and 18 years of age. Countries of origin include Somalia, Liberia, Congo, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Afghanistan, Thailand, Laos, and Burma.

Indiana's Non-English Speaking Program. The purpose of the Non-English Speaking Program (NESP) state program is to supplement the instruction of K-12 limited English proficient (LEP) students in order to increase English language proficiency and academic attainment. Appropriations are for students who have a primary language other than English and limited English proficiency.  Funds for this program are available for regular school year programs with funds encumbered by June 30th and spent by September 30th of each year.  Fore more information, please link with: http://www.doe.in.gov/lmmp/nonenglishspeakingprogram.html

U.S. Government Agencies

 US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the government agency that oversees lawful immigration to the United States of America and establishes immigration services, policies and priorities.  Link to USCIS for information on services and benefits, immigration forms, laws and regulations, and education and resources. http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis

• US Department of State is the government agency that oversees international travel, passports, visas, children and families, law and policy. http://travel.state.gov/

• US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Refugee Resettlement is the government agency that oversees services for families and children.
http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/orr/partners/federal_agencies.htm

International Contacts

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was established the United Nations General Assembly in 1950 and is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. It strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country. It also has a mandate to help stateless people.  For more information, link with: http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/home

Church World Service works with partners in the U.S. and around the world to build interfaith and intercultural coalitions to eradicate hunger and poverty and promote peace and justice by supporting sustainable grassroots development, disaster relief, and refugee assistance. http://www.churchworldservice.org/site/PageServer

Publications

Welcome to the United States: A Guide for New Immigrants. A comprehensive guide that contains practical information to help immigrants settle into everyday life in the United States, as well as basic civics information that introduces new immigrants to the U.S. system of government developed by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services.  The guide is available online in English, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, French, Haitian Creole, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Tagalog, Urdu, and Vietnamese. New permanent residents can request a free copy of the guide in English (Form M-618), Spanish (Form M-618-S), or Chinese (Form M-618-C) from the USCIS Forms Line by calling 1-800-870-3676.

Teaching Tolerance.  Resource for educators that was founded in 1991 by the Southern Poverty Law Center that is dedicated to reducing prejudice, improving intergroup relations and supporting equitable school experiences for children. Free educational materials are available to teachers and other school practitioners in the U.S. and abroad.  For more information, link to: http://www.tolerance.org/index.jsp

Transitioning Refugees: Connecting Cultures at the Crossroads. A resource handbook for service providers and volunteers developed by Katie Patterson, M.S. CCC-SLP and published by the International Center of Indianapolis in August, 2006.  Link to the publication: http://www.icenterindy.org/pdf/transitioning%20refugees.pdf