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Immigrant & Refugee Services

Oakland County has experienced one of highest national levels of immigrant, asylee and refugee (IAR) influxes in the nation. 

Oakland County has schools where students struggle to adjust to new surroundings and life experiences after relocating from countries plagued by war, poverty, food insecurity and where school attendance was dangerous.

The immigrant, asylee and refugee services provided by Oakland Schools department coordinates a countywide consortium for all districts to provide trauma informed education to specifically address the needs and offer support to IAR students. 

Oakland Schools assists in helping to transition this student population by providing systemic consultation and coordination to the refugee community of students new to Oakland County. 

The goal is to increase school attendance and achievement while implementing a trauma based service model at district request to maximize student attendance, engagement and achievement.

Community partners such as Oakland County Community Mental Health Authority, the County Health Department, the Furniture Bank of Oakland County, Trauma Recovery Center, ACCESS & many more are poised to coordinate services and work within this model, putting commitments on the table of dollars and presence. 

Some of the services being provided to districts include: 

  • Support in developing strong partnerships between community providers and local public school districts to collaboratively design, implement and evaluate programs and services which effectively address the needs of refugee children and their families.
  • Support for local public school districts to develop programs targeted specifically to immigrant, asylee and refugee students.
  • Professional Development for school staff on the immigration process.  
  • Cultural enrichment and integration of immigrant, asylee and refugee students and their parents by providing referrals and resources.  
  • Enhancement of parent involvement in the education of their children through parent liaison, outreach and education.


Susan Benson

Director, Specialized Student Support

Wisam Brikho

Immigrant Student Services Coordinator