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Aparna Jayashankar is a Summer Communications and Policy Associate with the Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group.
As the United States becomes more diverse, changes in the cultural makeup of communities can challenge longstanding practices in human services delivery. This brief explores strategies service providers can employ to build their understanding of and responsiveness to the cultures of the communities they serve, leading to better outcomes for immigrant and refugee families.
Language barriers can hinder immigrant families’ access to services and make it challenging for immigrant parents to find family-sustaining jobs and actively participate in their children’s education. This brief explores approaches service providers are using to make their offerings more culturally and linguistically responsive, and to support language learning among children and their parents.
What status immigrants hold affects their access to U.S. public benefits and services. This brief examines approaches that two-generation programs are using to service immigrant families with a variety of statuses, including mixed-status families.
Building trust between service providers and immigrant and refugee families can be challenging, but it is also a key component of programs that successfully serve these families. This brief explores two-generation program strategies for creating trusting relationships, including hiring culturally competent staff and creating welcoming and safe spaces, and discusses the policy implications.