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Description of Benefits and Services

Refugee cash and medical assistance benefits are available for a maximum of twelve months following arrival to the United States to needy refugees who are not eligible for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) or Medicaid. This refugee assistance is paid entirely from federal funds through the Department’s existing FLORIDA system within the ACCESS/Economic Self-Sufficiency program structure.

Support services are provided through contracts with nonprofit organizations, local government agencies, and private entities to assist refugees and entrants meet the goal of economic self-sufficiency and successful integration. Services are contracted within the state’s regulations governing the acquisition of services, including competitive bidding requirements. Comprehensive Refugee Services (CRS) are provided through an integrated service delivery system where a single provider coordinates services in a multi-county area that are essential to refugee and entrant families’ self-sufficiency, effective resettlement, and successful integration into the local community. Services provided include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Employment Services
    Employment services are provided to assist eligible refugees/entrants in achieving economic self-sufficiency and effective resettlement through gainful employment. Services primarily target refugees in their first two years in the United States, but refugees remain eligible for up to 60 months. Employment services include pre-employment counseling and orientation, direct job preparation and placement, 90 and 180 day follow-up, On-the-Job Training (OJT), re-credentialing/recertification, and career laddering services for refugees with professional backgrounds.
  • Adult and Vocational Education
    Adult education services include English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), Vocational Training, Vocational English for Speakers of Other Languages (VESOL), Adult Basic Education (ABE), and General Education Diploma (GED) preparation classes.­
  • Employability Status Assistance (Legal) Services
    Services include: assistance with obtaining Employment Authorization Documents (EAD), permanent residency applications, and other employment-related immigration status issues.
  • Assessments and Referrals
    Upon entering a DCF-funded refugee services program, most refugees will receive a comprehensive assessment that will help determine their service needs. Any obstacles or barriers uncovered during the assessment process will result in an appropriate referral.
  • Tiered Case Management
    Case management services assist in the coordination and planning of services to address clients’ presenting needs and barriers.
  • Child Care
    Child Care services are provided to children of eligible refugees/entrants who are enrolled in Refugee Services-funded employment and adult education services.
  • Youth/Mentoring Services
    Tutoring, academic enrichment, career pathways, orientation, and mentoring services are provided to refugee youth to promote academic success and promote positive civic and social engagement and support individual educational and vocational advancement.
  • Eligibility Training
    Refugee Program eligibility training is provided to local contracted service providers to ensure proper determination of program eligibility for all refugee program services based on the most up-to-date federal eligibility requirements.
  • Interpreter Services
    Telephonic interpreter services and vital document translation services are provided to Refugee Services contracted providers, departmental programs, and local refugee-serving agencies to increase service access to refugees, entrants, and other limited English proficient individuals.
  • Health Screenings
    Services are administered statewide to newly arrived refugees and entrants by the Department of Health, Refugee Health Services Office. Refugee Health screenings are provided within 90 days of an eligible refugee/entrant arriving to Florida and federally approved protocols are followed. Health screenings include TB test(s), vaccinations, and vision and hearing screenings.
  • Refugee Health Promotion
    Refuge Health Promotion Services are designed to promote the health and well-being of refugees and other ORR-eligible populations. They may include health education classes, medical/mental health navigation and support, and adjustment groups, skill building networks, and peer support meetings.
  • Unaccompanied Refugee Minors (URM) Program
    Unaccompanied refugee minors are provided services equivalent to youth in foster care and services oriented toward the special needs of refugee youth (i.e. ESOL, cultural identity and adjustment, family tracing and trauma treatment services).