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Sent on Behalf of Jose Serrano, SAC Chairperson

Dear Members of the SAC and Refugee Community Stakeholders,

With apologies for the inconvenience, but due to the low enrollment for the planned in person SOAR activity hosted by the SAC on March 12, 2020 in San Diego, we will be rescheduling this event for another date to be held in San Diego.  We will continue to host a SAC teleconference on the same date, March 12th from 1:30 – 3:00 PM.   Please see agenda .

March 12, 2020
SAC Teleconference Meeting – 1:30 – 3:00 PM

Please call in using the toll free number below:

Dial In: 888-946-3815
Participant code: 2330352

The reasons for rescheduling are to ensure efficient use of our limited SAC resources and out of sensitivity to the changing impact of the COVID-19 or Coronavirus to our refugee community members.  We understand that there has been some school closures out of concerns for the those most impacted, primarily the elderly and those with medical conditions that may pose higher risks.  Out of an overabundance of caution and being sensitive to community concerns, we will reschedule with Barbara Day to come and assist us with the SOAR analysis on another day. 

Attached for your information are community recommendations from Dr. Christine Murto, California State Refugee Health Coordinator, on ways to communicate the best health practices to prevent viral transmission.  Please share them with your community.

If there are any questions, please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience at jserrano@wr.org or 714-210-4730.Thank you for your understanding.


Jose A. Serrano,
SAC Chairperson
Associate Director of Immigration & Outreach
Senior Immigration Services Specialist
DOJ Fully Accredited Representative, World Relief Southern California

The Meeting Agenda is available on the State Advisory Council web page.

State Advisory Council-Open Public Seat

Dear Stakeholders

The California Department of Social Services, Refugee Programs Bureau is announcing one open Public Seat on the State Advisory Council on Refugee Assistance and Services (SAC). The SAC is looking for an individual to fill the seat who would like to utilize their skills, knowledge, expertise, and passion to support refugee communities and resettlement in California. Please check out more information on the SAC.

The State Advisory Council-Open Public Seat position posted on October 14 , 2019 is now closed. Please check back on this page for future open positions.

A completed SAC nomination packet must include the following:

  1. SAC Nomination Form
  2. Current Resume
  3. Three References

In accordance to the SAC By-Laws, Section 1B, no more than four nominations will be accepted for any open public seat. Completed nominations (with all three components of the packet) will be accepted within 30 days from the announcement of the open seat and on a first come, first served basis, determined by the date and time of the receipt of the application. Once you have submitted an application, you will receive confirmation of your application and if you have been accepted as a nominee.

Please submit the completed nomination packet via email to RPBreports@dss.ca.gov or by mail to:

CDSS/Refugee Programs Bureau
Attn: State Advisory Council
744 P Street, MS 9-6-646
Sacramento, CA 95814

If you have questions, please contact Lauren Kocher at ( 916 ) 654-7327 or Lauren.Kocher@dss.ca.gov

California County Plans

For your information, these are the Refugee Services County Plans certified by the California Department of Social Services, Refugee Programs Bureau for Alameda, Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Clara and Stanislaus counties.

RPB Collection of Refugee Stories 2017

This publication was created to emphasize the refugees’ positive impact on California and the United States, and to use as a tool to share accomplishments, best practices, obstacles, and information with stakeholders.

Refugees and other populations we serve greatly contribute cultural richness and economic growth to California and their local communities.  They also provide us with a source of incredible and inspirational stories of struggle and success.  This anecdotal information is shared with a significant number of stakeholders in California involved in resettling these populations through Reception and Placement.

Housing Resources for Refugees - Resources Guide

As the housing market prices in California continue to increase, affordable housing can be challenging for low-income families, especially refugees.  Affordable housing for refugees has consistently been voiced as a major concern by the Resettlement Agencies (RAs); therefore, the Refugee Programs Bureau researched some best practices for the RAs to use as tools to assist refugees to obtain affordable housing.

California Secretary of State - Reaching New Voters

The California Secretary of State office created this page, Reaching New Voters, to help people who are new to voting, or who will soon become eligible to vote, find basic voting information and materials in English and nine additional languages including:  Spanish, Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Tagalog, Thai and Vietnamese.  Voter Education and Outreach Services are inviting organizations, schools, community colleges, businesses and agencies that serve the communities where these languages are spoken to join them in making this resource available to everyone they communicate with who might find it useful.

I-94 Form Automation Fact Sheet  

In order to increase efficiency, reduce operating costs and streamline the admissions process, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has automated Form I-94 at air and sea ports of entry.  The paper form will no longer be provided to a traveler upon arrival, except in limited circumstances.  The traveler will be provided with a CBP admission stamp on their travel document.  If a traveler needs a copy of their I-94 (record of admission) for verification of alien registration, immigration status or employment authorization, it can be obtained from the I-94 Form Automation Fact Sheet.

Somali Refugee Women's Health YouTube Videos

If you work with Somali refugee women, please take a look and share!  The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) has launched the following videos aiming to educate Somali refugee women about a variety of health topics.  These YouTube videos can be viewed from the ORR's website.

New Toolkit Developed by the Cultural Orientation Resource Center

PRM is pleased to announce the release of the Faces of Resettlement Toolkit to accompany the Faces of Resettlement video.  Developed by the Cultural Orientation Resource Center (COR) at the Center for Applied Linguistics, the toolkit is designed for use in outreach, training and cultural orientation with three audiences in mind:  receiving community members, service providers and refugees.  The toolkit provides step-by-step lesson plans for use during group viewings of the video.  Through each lesson plan, participants engage in interactive exercises and thought-provoking discussions about refugees and their contributions to U.S. communities.  

Items previously posted on this page will be moved to our "Archives - What's Trending" web page or redirected to the "Resources and Information" page.

NOTE:  Some links above are to information in Adobe Portable Document Format PDF).   Please see Tips for Using Adobe PDF Files for details