Social Services Program

Refugees coming from other countries arrive with a multitude of challenges. If they have had access to medical care, their physical needs will be far less than those who have been denied access, or may have been tortured. Those arriving in Twin Falls over the years have fallen into both groups. The challenge of the CSIRP is to identify those issues that stand in the way of the refugee family attaining family self-sufficiency and adjustment to life in America. That includes making sure that physical needs of employable refugees, health needs of frail, elderly or handicapped, or educational needs of children are met in a timely fashion.

To accomplish that charge, the Social Services Program serves as the community connection to assure that basic health and social services are addressed with the in-coming refugee families. An orientation is held with the refugee family soon after arrival to discuss such issues as the American health care system and how it is accessed and funded, cultural adjustment…expectation versus reality, safety issues, community programs access , enrollment in Social Security and being a responsible community member by obeying the laws (drivers license, spousal or child abuse, shoplifting). Information for enrolling children in school and the current educational status of all family members is determined at this time. Arrangements for the in-coming health department exam are also discussed. The program arranges the appointments, schedules interpreters and transportation for the family to complete the exam at South Central District Health Department.

Many times, there are issues identified that require additional appointments and referral for medical follow up with a range of providers. Those appointments as well as interpreters are scheduled by the Program. Most social adjustment services are provided in the initial arrival period and decline as the refugee family approaches employment and adjusts to life in America.