chicago_child2Albany Park Refugee and Immigrant Youth Mental Health Project
World Relief-Chicago
Chicago, Illinois

About our project:

The community of Albany Park has the highest percentage of foreign-born residents in the Chicago area and it has been deemed the fourth most diverse zip code in the United States.  Over 70 languages are spoken in the area schools.  Public schools and some social service agencies respond to the language needs by providing services in Spanish, however few organizations can provide services, consultation, or information in other languages.  Through partnership, Horizons Clinic (the mental health clinic housed in World Relief Chicago- a refugee resettlement agency in Chicago), and its partners developed, implemented, and are evaluating culturally-competent school-based mental health services to refugee and immigrant children in Albany Park.
The newly formed collaboration includes Horizons Clinic Chicago Public Schools, Office of Language and Culture, Roosevelt High School’s School-Based Health Center, Alternatives Inc, Dr. Dina Birman at University of Illinois at Chicago, and the Healthy Albany Park Coalition. Fore more information, view our poster.

Demographic data:

Illinois: http://migrationinformation.org/datahub/state.cfm?ID=IL
http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/17/1714000.html

Our work:

The project plan includes placing mental health providers in two schools, Hibbard Elementary and Roosevelt High School to provide services on site to refugee children and their families.  At the elementary school level, teacher training and classroom consultation is the focus of project interventions, while at the high school level staff have been trained to implement an evidence-based practice for traumatized youth (Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Treatment—TF-CBT).  Assessment, individual and group psychotherapy, case management, parent training, case centered behavioral consultation, and parent involvement programs round out the services offered through this project.  The goal is to facilitate improvements in mood and school functioning using the Child and Adolescent Functional Assessment Scale (CAFAS).  Last school year, counseling was provided to 55 students, in class support was provided to approximately 40 students weekly, teacher consultation was conducted, and a total of 251 parent encounters were completed including school enrollment, therapeutic intervention, outreach and mediation.  Additionally, enrichment activities, after school programming and a summer camp were provided to participants during the course of the school year and the summer.

Our Partners:

What we are learning:

For more information about this project, contact Kristen Huffman-Gottschling at khuffman@wr.org