Colorado's refugee resettlement program ranks among nation's best

The latest annual report from the Administration for Children & Families revealed that Colorado ranks among the top in the nation for refugee resettlement programs in terms of overall performance using 2018 Federal Fiscal Year outcomes. 

The report measured employment performance for states and state-level refugee resettlement programs. It contained an analysis of performance measures for 49 states (all except Wyoming), the District of Columbia and the County of San Diego operating Refugee Social Services (RSS), Targeted Assistance Formula (TAG-F) and Targeted Assistance Discretionary grants (TAG-D) programs.

Colorado ranked second in entered employment (percent of people enrolled in employment programming that secured jobs) and sixth in average wages. The report also factored in the percentage of positions that had health insurance and job retention (percentage of people who got a job and retained it for at least 90 days). 

While several states scored high in one category, such as starting wages, they weren't as strong in others, such as job retention. Colorado ranked high across the board in all categories considered in the study. Colorado focuses on all employment measures, rather than just one, because meaningful employment for individuals and families includes multiple factors such as wage, retention, and available benefits. 

"When you factor all the outcomes together, Colorado has a strong program; one we are really proud of," said Kit Taintor, the State Refugee Coordinator for the Colorado Refugee Services Program. “We, at the Office of Economic Security, look at and evaluate outcomes for people — not just programs — so I know we are making a difference for Coloradans.”

Taintor said that the high ranking is the result of the hard work done by the Refugee Services Program at the Colorado Department of Human Services, along with their various partners including resettlement agencies, ESL providers and all of the other partners that help refugees on their integration path in Colorado.

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The Colorado Refugee Services Program (CRSP) is designated by the governor to administer the Refugee Services State Plan funded by the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). As such, CRSP contracts with an array of vendors to serve refugees and refugee eligible populations, including asylees, Special Immigrant Visa holders, victims of severe trafficking, Cuban/Haitian parolees, unaccompanied refugee minors, and certain Ameriasians. Funds support case management, employment services, English as a Second Language, cultural orientation, immigration services, mental health supports, and other targeted programming. Division staff oversee program funds, collect and analyze data, coordinate services, build partnerships, and consult with receiving communities.

Aug. 22, 2019