Family Self Sufficiency Plan Requirements

Policy Letter 19-07

Publication Date: September 12, 2019

September 12, 2019

This letter provides guidance to grantees on the requirements of a Family Self-Sufficiency Plan (FSSP).1 The FSSP is described in federal regulations under 45 C.F.R 400 Subparts F and I.

The Refugee Resettlement program emphasizes employment-related services to assist refugees2 to achieve self-sufficiency as quickly as possible. ORR regulations at 400.156(g) require an FSSP for refugees receiving employment-related services funded by the Refugee Support Services program.3

An FSSP is a necessary step in assessing the needs of employable refugees and their families and developing a strategy to achieve economic self-sufficiency. In order to support more meaningful and measurable implementation of this requirement, under the authority provided by 412(a)(6)(B) of the INA, ORR is establishing requirements for states to create a consistent baseline assessment, referral and follow-up as part of family self-sufficiency planning for employable refugees and their families.

Defining standards for the FSSP will strengthen program oversight and ensure that refugees accessing services are advancing on their path to self-sufficiency and longer-term integration, provide a better indication of refugee successes and challenges, and support more informed resource mapping and program management at the local, state, and federal levels.

Family Self-Sufficiency Plan

Every FSSP must:

  • Ensure that the FSSP assesses each individual member of the family in the household, including children and/or any other member of the family in the household that can benefit from RSS in order to facilitate economic self-sufficiency, family stability and community integration for the household. The FSSP should identify needed services to reduce barriers to the family becoming self-sufficient through the employment of one or more family members. A household budget must also be included as a component of the FSSP.
  • Ensure that the FSSP leads to the subsequent referral to services, including but not limited to ORR-funded programs, other state and federally-funded programs, and community programs.
  • Ensure that appropriate follow-up is conducted minimally at six and twelve months post enrollment to assess the family’s progress towards individual goals identified in the initial FSSP and to refer them to any additional services, if needed.

The service provider must ensure that the FSSP is translated or documented that an interpreter was provided if a client has limited English proficiency as required by 45 C.F.R. §400.55.4

If you have questions about this Policy Letter, please contact Carl Rubenstein, Director of the Division of Refugee Assistance at


Jonathan H. Hayes
Office of Refugee Resettlement


1. Family self-sufficiency plan is defined §400.71 as “a plan that addresses the employment-related service needs of the employable members in a family for the purpose of enabling the family to become self-supporting through the employment of one or more family members.”
2. Refugee is used to refer to all ORR-eligible populations as described in Policy Letter 16-01, 45 CFR 400.43, 45 CFR 400.111, and 45 CFR 400.208.
3. 45 CFR 400.156(g).
4. See State Letter #05-20 for additional guidance

Current as of: