In an effort to develop ideas for supporting refugee children in public foster care, the BRYCS project convened a Roundtable meeting July 20-22, 2003, in Washington, DC. The meeting brought together representatives of refugee communities, refugee-serving agencies, and the foster care system. The first national gathering of its kind, the Roundtable exposed national leaders in child welfare to the concerns of refugee community members and service providers and gave refugee community leaders tools and strategies for working with their local welfare systems.
The idea for the Roundtable grew out of two BRYCS projects: (1) work in two cities where BRYCS piloted a cross-service training methodology for public child welfare staff and refugee-serving agencies and (2) discussions about promising practices with existing federally funded refugee foster care programs. In addition, BRYCS has conducted an analysis of federal and state laws and regulations, as well as accreditation standards, which are relevant to refugee child welfare. As a result of these projects, BRYCS staff saw the need to bring together ethnic leaders and representatives from public and national child welfare organizations in order to:
- Educate each other on existing needs and services.
- Brainstorm new ways to be of assistance to one another in order to be better resources to refugee children in public foster care.
- Generate future action on the local level.