Saturday, January 20th, 2018

Archives for December 2017

New AmeriCorps Position – Apply Today!

Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services is seeking a new Refugee AmeriCorps Member for the third year of the program.

No automatic alt text available.

Position Description

The Refugee AmeriCorps member will aid in enhancing the volunteer capacity of Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services Refugee Resettlement and Preferred Communities programs. The Refugee AmeriCorps Member will also assist in providing direct services to refugees and supplement Preferred Communities Case Management activities by helping to develop a:

(1) Mentoring Program;

(2) Community Facilitated Enhanced Cultural Orientation;

(3) Refugee Speakers Bureau; and

(4) Volunteer Engagement Strategies.

This position reports to Program Coordinator and/or Director.


• Must be a US citizen or legal permanent resident and authorized to work in the U.S.
• Must be at least 18 years old
• Must have a high school diploma or be willing to earn one while serving (undergraduate degree strongly preferred)
• Previous experience working with refugees and immigrants preferred
• Bilingual (Spanish or Arabic) a plus to meet the current language needs of clients
• Valid FL Driver’s License & Current Automobile Insurance
• Must commit to one full year of service (1,700 hrs. of service)
• Living wage stipend provided


Send resumes and letter of interest to:

Upon completion of service, Refugee AmeriCorps Member will be eligible for an education award of $5,730.
For more information on the Refugee AmeriCorps program click here or contact Sara Bedford (301) 844-7239

Promoting Resilience and Reducing Risk Factors for Refugee and Immigrant Youth: A Trauma Systems Approach

This webinar explores protective factors and risk factors among refugee youth and families. The presenters, Dr. Molly Benson and Saida Abdi, reviewed research on neurological responses to trauma, outlined the importance of combining ecological and individual approaches to intervention, and explored how stressors at various levels of analysis may impact youth and families. They then shared their experiences using trauma-systems therapy for refugees (TST-R) in their work with refugee youth at the Refugee Trauma and Resilience Center at Boston Children’s Hospital.

The objectives of this Post-Webinar Discussion were to:

  1. Share Refugee Trauma and Resilience Center’s Core Stressors of refugee youth.
  2. Discuss culturally appropriate, school-based mental health interventions effective for refugee youth.

See a link to the recording here.

See a link to the powerpoint here.


Subject Matter Experts

Saida Abdi, MSW, LCSW
Saida Abdi, LICSW, MSW., M.A., is the Director of Community Relations, a clinical social worker, and expert in refugee trauma and resilience. She holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from Boston University and another Master’s degree in Communications from Carleton University and is currently pursuing her PhD at Boston University. She is a native of Somalia and a former refugee herself. Ms. Abdi has worked for more than 20 years in the area of refugee youth and families, developing school-based programs to support adjustment of refugee youth in resettlement and community-based research and intervention. For the past 8 years, she has worked at the Boston Children’s Hospital Refugee Trauma and Resilience Center as a part of SAMHSA funded project to develop and implement refugee mental health interventions. She has organized trainings on the issue of promoting resilience and reducing risk behaviors among refugee youth for educators, policy-makers, clinicians and community leaders. She is trained in Trauma System’s Therapy and is an expert in building culturally responsive interventions.

Molly A. Benson, PhD
Dr. Benson is the Associate Director for Refugee Treatment and Services at the Refugee Trauma and Resilience Center at Boston Children’s Hospital. She provides oversight, training, supervision, and support for program activities focused on the development and dissemination of treatment interventions and resources for refugee children and families. She is licensed clinical psychologist who has experience providing evaluation and treatment to children and adolescents, including those who are refugees and youth seeking asylum in US. For several years she provided clinical services and supervision through the Psychosocial Treatment Program at Boston Children’s Hospital and currently she maintains a small private practice.


Additional Resources

This webinar was the second installment in a two-part series on refugee youth and families.  For further discussion on this topic, view the following links:

Resilience among Refugee Youth and Families Webinar

The National Partnership for Community Training is pleased to present:

Resilience among Refugee Youth and Families

This webinar explores the concept of resilience, including environmental influences on resilience and methods of building resilience among refugee youth and families.

Webinar Objectives

  1. Define resilience as it relates to refugee youth and their families.
  2. Describe community-based and family-based clinical
    interventions for refugee youth and families.
  3. Share how to incorporate resilience-based activities into overall
    treatment of refugee youth and families.

You can find a PDF of the presentation slides here and link to the video here.

Suzan Song, MD, MPH, PhD
Suzan J. Song is the Director of the Division of Child/Adolescent & Family Psychiatry and Associate Professor at George Washington University Medical Center. She recently moved from the Bay Area, where she was medical director of an intensive foster care clinic and a survivors of torture community-based clinic, and has been a humanitarian protection advisor in war-affected countries for 8 years. She is a former White House APIA fellow and Harvard Humanitarian Initiative fellow, with training from Harvard, Stanford, and the University of Amsterdam. Her work integrates clinical practice, policy, and research through commissioned projects for the United Nations and has worked in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ethiopia, KwaZulu/Natal, Haiti, and Burundi with current work in Syria/Jordan and the DR Congo. She has grants funded by the Department of Defense and Grand Challenges Canada, as well as commissioned projects for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, and is focused on family-centered resiliency processes for survivors of extreme trauma.


Additional Resources

This webinar was the first installment in a two-part series on refugee youth and families.  For further discussion on this topic, view the following links: