The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) at the Administration for Children and Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) serves refugees, asylees, Cuban and Haitian entrants, Special Immigrant Visa holders, Amerasians, victims of human trafficking, and unaccompanied children. By providing these arrived populations with critical resources, ORR promotes their economic and social well-being.
The Refugee Resettlement Program creates a path to self-sufficiency and integration for people displaced by war, persecution, and devastating loss. The first step on this path is helping refugees and other populations served by the program achieve economic self-sufficiency through ORR-funded employment services. Employment services equip ORR-served populations with skills, knowledge, and opportunities to succeed in the U.S. labor market. Social service programs build on the strengths of ORR-served populations as they continue on the path to becoming fully integrated members of their communities.
ORR also cares for unaccompanied children who are without immigration status and without a parent or legal guardian. The Unaccompanied Children Program provides unaccompanied children with a safe environment and client-focused care to better their opportunities for success both while in care and upon discharge from the program.
In order to best serve these diverse and vulnerable populations, ORR continues to identify opportunities for organizational improvement. In fiscal year (FY) 2015, ORR created a Division of Policy to assess and evaluate ORR programs and proactively recommend policy development, including establishing new and revising existing regulations. The division advises the ORR Director, deputies, division directors, and regional staff on a wide range of significant and sensitive policy-related matters as well as strategies for attaining ORR policy objectives.
In FY 2015, ORR enhanced the use of monitoring in both the Refugee Resettlement Program and the Unaccompanied Children Program. Monitoring allows ORR to identify best practices, increase overall efficiencies in service delivery, and enhance internal and external coordination with grantees and partners.
ORR also continues to work on improving the quality of data collected from grantees. This includes data on service delivery, grantee performance metrics, and demographics of populations served by ORR programs. ORR believes that improving this data will allow ORR staff and partners to make better-informed decisions about the best use of resources, identify operational strengths and weaknesses, and develop a culture of data-driven decision-making.
As part of this effort, ORR has redesigned the Annual Report to Congress. ORR reevaluated the information included in the Annual Report to ensure that the report meets all of the statutory requirements and the format is more useful to the reader. In fall 2015, ORR completed its 49th Annual Survey of Refugees (ASR). The data from the ASR offer a window into respondents’ first five years in the United States and demonstrate the noteworthy progress that responding refugee families made towards learning English, participating in the workforce, pursuing formal education, and establishing permanent residence. ORR is currently overseeing a multi-year review of the data collected through the ASR to ensure the survey offers representative data on the refugee population. As a part of this effort, ORR has reformatted some of the ASR data provided in the Annual Report to ensure it is reported in the most accurate and accessible manner.
This report demonstrates the ways that ORR continues to identify innovative service delivery methods, apply effective monitoring approaches, and track trends to make data-driven decisions to best support these populations.