Tuesday, December 12th, 2017


The National Partnership for Community Training’s (NPCT) free e-learning course is designed to bring like-minded individuals together to delve into relevant topics and create sustainable action items to address those topics.


“Enhancing Refugee Program Sustainability and Substance Use Awareness”

E-Learning Icon

Working in partnership with ORR and SAMHSA, NPCT is offering an E-Learning course that will help state and management level staff working within refugee resettlement learn about best practices, develop strategies for program improvement, and incorporate knowledge gained into local communities. We will be using HealthEKnowledge.org as the online learning platform for the duration of this course.


The objective of this course is to bring together those within state and management positions of refugee resettlement to discuss identified topics of interest and collaborate with one another to determine improvement strategies for local and national communities.

  1. You will gain knowledge on commonly used substances and effective screening tools that can be implemented in resettlement settings.
  2. You will learn about community and partnership mapping strategies and resources that can be replicated in your state or agency.
  3. You will share your knowledge, understanding & experiences with colleagues through online webinars and discussion board posts.
  4. In collaboration with subject matter experts, each group of participants will bring together what they have learned to determine next steps in improving approaches to substance use and program sustainability.


David Duresky, M.A.

David has worked in the field of Social Services, Mental Health and Substance Abuse since 1984 and attained his Masters Degree in 1989.  During that time, he has directed programs for adults and adolescents, providing services along the full continuum of care.  His experience includes supervision of inpatient treatment, detoxification, long and short term residential programs, outpatient and aftercare programs. David maintained a Certified Addictions Professional status during much of his career. David has had the opportunity to be involved in clinical research in the addictions field and was the Project Director on the Marijuana Treatment Project under the direction of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. He has also authored and co-authored on topics related to addictions and Motivational Interviewing as well as Wraparound Training Modules. David has provided over 400 trainings and presentations at local, state and national conferences. In addition, David has provided direct skill set coaching to over 1,000 staff members related to improving proficiency of Evidenced Based Practices.  David currently serves as the Florida Training Manager for the Southern Addictions Technology Transfer Center at the Morehouse School of Medicine.

Paul Stein
Paul Stein is an independent consultant in Denver, working with organizations serving refugees and immigrants, and focusing on cross-system frameworks that promote asset development, integration, and program sustainability. Current projects include developing a community engagement toolkit for Welcoming America, and working on a number of community wealth building strategies for The Denver Foundation. From 2005 until 2014, he was the Colorado State Refugee Coordinator, within the Colorado Department of Human Services.  During this time, he served for five years as the president of the State Coordinators of Refugee Resettlement. From 2000 until 2005, he was the executive director of the Rocky Mountain Survivors Center in Denver, a torture treatment program.  From 1988 until 2000, he worked as a national consultant to immigration attorneys on asylum applications and appeals, providing documentation and developing expert testimony concerning the home country conditions of asylum applicants. He previously worked as a multi-disciplinary artist.

Victoria Fear, M.S. Ed.
Victoria Fear serves as Programs Officer at The Miami Foundation. In this role, she maintains knowledge of local nonprofits and manages the grantmaking process for multiple programs to achieve the Foundation’s community investment goals. A three-time AmeriCorps Alum, she has served in Iowa, across the west coast, and in South Florida at Neighborhood Housing Services. Victoria completed her undergraduate degrees at Montclair State University (NJ) and earned her M.S. Ed. in Community and Social Change at the University of Miami (FL). Online everywhere at @vlfear.

Course Description

The E-learning course is divided into two 1-week segments consisting of webinars, reading assignments, and group discussions led by subject matter experts. Participants will be guided through one week of instruction and discussion per topic. Through online classrooms and discussion boards, participants will increase their knowledge on program sustainability and the impact of substance use on refugee services. Participants will collaborate to identify actionable steps and present their action plans to an audience consisting of both participant groups, staff at NPCT, ORR, and SAMHSA during the culminating class.


Substance Use, Access, Addiction and Refugee Resettlement 
Refugees experience varying degrees of hardship pre and post arrival to their receiving countries. These hardships and experiences of trauma can impact refugees physically, emotionally, cognitively, spiritually and behaviorally. Upon entering resettlement services, refugee clients benefit from successfully engaging in programs that will move them toward self-sufficiency. When integrating into a new culture, the pressure for refugees to succeed is extremely high. For some, substance use becomes a coping strategy to ease the stress of these challenges.

Through this course you will learn how substance use disorders whether alcohol, tobacco, and legal or illegal substances, affects a client’s mental and physical capacity and the impact on resettlement services, refugee success, and community development. Refugee State and Health Coordinators will gain access to information on national data and trends on current substances being used in our communities.

The complex history of policies related to substance use and treatment, and intersections between substance use and access with community issues like poverty will be examined. Directors and Program Managers will explore best practices and guidance for identifying symptoms of substance use and creating an effective referral process that supports refugee services and refugee families. Participants will investigate how effective trauma-informed services can overcome the barriers and impacts of stigma and cultural norms that may be  present in the refugee population.

Program Sustainability
Refugee resettlement has a long history of seeking sustainable resources to secure the success and integration of refugees into our communities. From housing to funding streams, the success of refugee resettlement requires multiple facets of a community. With increasing arrivals and decreasing resources resettlement agencies need to develop creative strategies and services that are resilient to challenges.

Exploring the complex and dynamic process of program development, capacity mapping, and action planning this course will provide you with the opportunity to evaluate your internal processes and external community relationships to enhance mental health service capacity for refugees. State and Health Coordinators will explore developing approaches to support your role as advocates, conveners of information, and change-makers. Agency Directors and Managers will discover best practices for building strategic partnerships, aligning community resources, and developing approaches for increasing funding streams.

Course Outline

Group 1 (Refugee Resettlement Directors and Program Managers)

Module I
October 17th – October 21st
Substance Use
David Duresky

Module II
October 24 – October 28th
Community Foundations: Identifying Partnerships and Diversifying Funding
Victoria Fear, The Miami Foundation

Group 2 (State Refugee and Health Coordinators)

Module I
October 31st – November 4th
Substance Use
David Duresky

Module II
November 7th – November 11th
Program Sustainability
Paul Stein

Groups 1&2

Course Orientation (October 13, 2016)
Final Webinar (November 15, 2016)

Target Audience

This year’s E-Learning course is intended for two participant groups:

 Participant Group  Course Dates
  • Refugee Resettlement Directors
  • Program Managers
 Oct 17, 2016 –  Oct 28, 2016
  • State Refugee Coordinators
  • Refugee Health Coordinators
 Oct 31, 2016 –  Nov 11, 2016

Time Commitment and Participation Requirement

The course will last two (2) weeks and will take about 5 hours per week.  Internet access is required in order to participate in course work.

Each segment of the course will consist of an in-depth look at each topic. Each week participants will engage in activities including a live webinar presented by a subject matter expert, self-paced readings of trending articles and resources, and online discussions with experts and colleagues. Participants are expected to commit fully to this course. Each participant is required to  post online reflections on readings, webinar presentation, and colleague comments.

With the support of NPCT and subject matter experts, participants will be asked to identify next steps they will take to enhance their service capacity for refugees beyond this course.  Opportunities such as authoring blog posts and being interviewed to highlight your work will be offered to interested participants.

Limited Space

Enrollment will be limited to fifteen (15) participants.


Certificates of completion will be provided for participants that complete the course and meet all mandatory requirements of the course within the required time frame.


E-learning Project Success Story

Share This