Resources for Refugee Resettlement Service Providers

As some refugee resettlement agencies and community-based organizations (CBOs) begin to resume or increase their level of activities, CDC offers considerations for ways these organizations can help protect individuals and communities and slow the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

This document provides links to existing CDC COVID-19 guidance and other resources that may be useful when resettlement service providers interact with refugee clients in a variety of group settings — for example, at home, in public, or at work. Some of these resources will also be useful for refugee clients.

Vaccination is the best protection against COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and free, regardless of immigration or health insurance status.

The following resources may be used by both resettlement service providers and refugee clients in a variety of settings:

Home Visits

Resettlement service providers, such as case workers, may conduct home visits with refugee clients. These case workers may enter the refugee’s home and be in the shared living space with several family members. Several people may be present in the home at the same time.

CDC Guidance Resources:

Classroom Environments & School Enrollment

Resettlement service providers may assist refugee youth to enroll in school or may have classrooms within their offices to provide essential services to clients including cultural orientation, English as a second language (ESL) instruction, and employment readiness training. Providers may currently be providing these services remotely; however, in the event that services are in person, a group setting is possible.

CDC Guidance Resources:

Health Appointments

Each resettlement community operates differently, but many resettlement agency providers are connected with their county health departments, federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), and culturally competent private medical providers in their areas. Refugee health clinics typically have waiting rooms where several refugee patients may be waiting with their families at the same time for appointments.

CDC Guidance Resources:

Public and Private Transportation

Refugee clients may rely heavily on public transportation. Public transportation may involve crowded situations. CDC recommends properly wearing a well-fitting mask or respirator over the nose and mouth in indoor areas of public transportation (such as airplanes, trains, buses, ferries) and transportation hubs (such as airports, stations, and seaports). When people properly wear a well-fitting mask or respirator, they protect themselves and those around them, and help keep travel and public transportation safer for everyone.

CDC Guidance Resources   

Public Assistance and Social Security Application Registration

Resettlement service providers may help clients apply for public assistance and social security cards, which may take place in an environment with other people present either at a resettlement office or at a public, off-site location.   

CDC Guidance Resources:

Office Settings

Here is a list of recommended guidance for how resettlement service providers can protect themselves from COVID-19 in their own offices.

CDC Guidance Resources