Our Children and Youth Department serves refugee families comprised of parents and children ages 0-18.  Our goal is to help children and youth adjust to American culture while giving them hope for the future and investing in the next generation.  We achieve this through education and programming in partnership with the local church and community.   

Volunteer


Early Childhood Program (Birth to Age 5)

ECP allows adults in our ESL program to attend English classes while their young children are also learning in a safe environment. The staff and volunteers who care for these infants and toddlers provide consistency, nurture, and love to these youngest refugees. Activities like reading, circle time, gym, music, cooking, and crafts lay the groundwork for future learning and self-confidence for these children who will be the first in their families to grow up in America.

 

Early Childhood Case Management (Birth to Age 5)

WRDA provides specialized case management services for children under 5 years of age – a critical time in a child’s life for building a strong foundation for growth, development, and learning.

  • All young refugee children receive an Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) screening to identify any developmental delays.

  • If a developmental delay is suspected, families are referred to either early intervention programs offered in the community or the local school district to receive proper assistance.

  • If families are interested in enrolling their child in preschool, WRDA staff will assist with the referral and enrollment process to a local preschool.

  • WRDA staff and volunteers assist all families in visiting the Women Infant and Children (WIC) section at the DuPage County Health Department and VNA to receive resources on nutrition and support for pregnant mothers and children up to age 5.

  • WRDA staff also provides a parent orientation to make adults aware of the differences in parenting norms in the United States and their own cultures. Adults are never told how to parent, but rather are presented with different suggestions and explanations of U.S. laws and norms.

 

School Services

Enrolling students in school and understanding the U.S. public school system is one of the many challenges facing refugee parents. WRDA provides a critical starting point, without which many refugee students would face even higher hurdles to succeeding in school. These services include:

  • Providing orientations for parents about the school system, including what is expected of them and how to engage in their child's education.

  • Assistance with school enrollments to help parents and students through the sometimes confusing and complicated processes of getting started.

  • Education for parents and students on required medical screenings, ensuring vaccinations are completed, and providing required documentation to schools. 

  • Education and training for teachers and school staff to learn more about their new refugee students and the cultures of their families.

  • Cross-cultural bridge building between schools and refugee families as specific issues or cultural misunderstandings arise.

 

After-School and Summer Club Programming

World Relief provides students with academic support at after-school tutoring clubs that are conducted at schools where many refugees are enrolled, as well as in the home for students who do not attend a school where clubs are held.

  • WRDA staff facilitates four elementary and one middle and high school club. In these clubs, volunteer tutors provide homework support and general mentoring to young refugee students, often in a one-on-one environment.

  • Students who do not attend a school where clubs take place but still need extra support can benefit from an In-Home Family Adjustment Tutor. A volunteer is matched with a family to provide homework and academic support, as well as to coach parents on navigating the U.S. school system and understanding the dynamics of parental involvement in the U.S.

  • WRDA staff organizes summer clubs that meet on a regular basis during the summer months so that refugee students of all ages have a chance to put aside the pressures of being a family spokesperson and just be kids. Students participate in art projects, gardening, journaling, and sports.

 

Trainings and Contacts

Children and Youth Programs staff offer trainings to school staff and community members to help them better serve refugee and immigrant families. For more information on this opportunity or any of our other previously mentioned programs, please contact us below.

World Relief DuPage
Call: 630.906.9546 x2033 | Send an email

World Relief Aurora
Call: 630.906.9546 x2033 | Send an email