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For Immediate Release
January 24, 2013

Contact: Sara Buschman, (608) 266-9000

Department of Children and Families Awards $1.5 million in Refugee Resettlement Support Funds

The Department of Children and Families recently announced awards of $1.5 million to agencies in Appleton, Barron, Green Bay, Madison, Milwaukee, and Oshkosh to help refugee families make a new home in Wisconsin. Seven contracts were issued effective January 1, 2013. Milwaukee‐ based agencies received the largest part, totaling just over $1 million dollars in funding.  

“Wisconsin has welcomed refugees in local communities across the state for over 35 years, where they contribute to the fabric of our state through their cultural and economic contributions, including the creation of many small businesses. Most importantly, refugees teach us about the power of the human spirit and the will to overcome adversity,” said Department of Children and Families Secretary Eloise Anderson.    

Wisconsin has funded refugee programs in the state using federal dollars, beginning with the Hmong resettlement in Wisconsin.  The newest refugee populations arriving in the state are largely from Burma, East Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan, and Nepal. 

 To receive refugee status, a person must have a well‐founded fear of persecution and not be able to safely return to their home country.

The Department of Children and Families facilitates funding of local agencies to provide case management, job development, interpretation, school enrollment, English as a Second Language and literacy classes, and mental health services for refugees coming into Wisconsin. 

 “Our country has a proud tradition of providing a safe haven for the oppressed.  Refugees have witnessed some of the greatest struggles our world has ever known, and we have opened our arms to refugees who were once persecuted in their country,” said Anderson. One of our greatest legacies is our immigrant heritage.”   

 Wisconsin expects to receive approximately 1,000 refugees from overseas during 2013 for resettlement primarily in four areas of Wisconsin: the greater Milwaukee area, the Fox Valley, Dane County, and Sheboygan County.

List of funded agencies:

Jewish Family Services, on behalf of the Milwaukee Area Refugee Consortium (MARC): $973,100

Sebastian Family Clinic (Milwaukee): $80,000

United Asian Services of Wisconsin (Madison): $83,000

Literacy Network of Dane County: $41,500

World Relief (Oshkosh): $101,000

Workforce Resources, Inc. (Barron County): $50,000

Advocap, Inc. (Appleton): $170,500

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The Department of Children and Families, protecting children, strengthening families, building communities.