ERIC Number: ED230630
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Jul
Reference Count: 0
What to Do When the Smoke Clears: Stage I and Stage II Planning with Asian Refugees.
By 1980, nearly 700 Hmong refugees had settled in Missoula, Montana. Resettlement poses many problems for these people because, in addition to difficulties with language and separation from family and country, the Hmong have never dealt with urban institutions (banks, hospitals, welfare departments, apartment houses, or supermarkets). From the experiences of agencies and volunteer helpers, the suggestion arose that refugee assistance can be usefully divided into two phases: immediate resettlement (phase I) and long-term aid and integration into Montana communities (phase II). Considerations for phased planning focus on: English language, employment, community placement, relocation, cultural integrity and preservation, and mental health. Phase one language assistance consists of survival English and entry into formal oral training for children and some adults, while phase two is more concerned with reading and writing skills. In employment, entry level minimum wage jobs are secured for refugees under phase one, while phase two involves finding better paying, more stable, and skilled employment. In terms of community placement, under the first phase, services such as shopping and finding housing are done for refugees; phase two consists of encouraging the Hmong to help themselves. Relocation (when needed) consists of moving to other communities for better employment or to reunite with family or clan members. Helping refugees to maintain their cultural ties during phase one often means encouraging native arts, crafts, and celebrations; during phase two, emphasis is on long term preservation of cultural heritage. Finally, regarding mental health, those working with the Hmong must deal with anxiety, depression, and mourning in the first phase and then offer counseling and treatment for long range adjustment in phase two. (Author/GC)
Publication Type: Reports - General; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Hmong People; Montana
Note: Paper presented at the National Institute on Social Work in Rural Areas (6th, Columbia, SC, July 26-29, 1981). Pre-publication draft.