Job Details

AmeriCorps Service Member Opportunity Refugee Services Cultural Orientation Coordinator

Catholic Charities, Portland, OR, USA 97202

Job - Non-Profit

Close Date: 04/20/2019

AmeriCorps Service Member Opportunity

Refugee Services Cultural Orientation Coordinator

Refugee Services Department

Full Time Position (1-yr. service period: 04/08/2019 04/08/2020)

NOTE: Applicants must apply via the AmeriCorps website:


Catholic Charities of Oregon's (CCO) Refugee Services Program has been assisting refugees since the early 1940s, helping more than 10,000 people make Oregon their new home and is one of only three resettlement agencies in the state of Oregon who provide these initial resettlement services. Through its programming, CCO assists individuals and families that must leave their homelands due to the fear of persecution based on reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, and/or political opinion. The services offered through these programs address a wide array of needs, ranging from initial resettlement to long-term intensive case management in order to promote successful integration into American society while maintaining the respect and dignity of each individual and their unique culture and traditions.

Newly arriving refugees are greeted at the airport and from that moment of arrival, program staff work to meet their basic needs, including safe and affordable housing, furnishings, food, and clothing in order to get them started on the path to rebuilding their live in a new place. Case workers also facilitate referrals to other service providers such ESL, employment, health care, public benefit offices, community organizations, and schools. In addition to physical items and support, case workers provide psychosocial care as individuals work through the cultural transition to the United States, process their often traumatic life experiences, and prepare for the new future here. Among other services, newly arrived refugees also participate in a comprehensive Cultural Orientation program made up of ten sessions, spanning five weeks, which includes courses on U.S. laws and regulations, emergency preparedness, household safety, tenant rules and rights, financial wellness, and public transportation.


The AmeriCorps member will be supporting newly arrived refugees as the Refugee Services Cultural Orientation Coordinator. They will work with Catholic Charities, other community partner organizations and interpreters to prepare and deliver structured training sessions to arriving refugees on diverse topics including: the agency's role in resettlement, rights & responsibilities, cultural adjustment, emotional wellness, health, hygiene, finances, education, employment, US Laws, safety, and public transportation in order to promote self-sufficiency, with a critical focus on financial literacy and empowerment. Additionally, the AmeriCorps member will work with program managers to increase service access equity for women through creating and implementing classes that are specific to the unique needs of refugee women. Finally, the AmeriCorps member will administer pre-assessments for each class and complete 90-day home visits to evaluate client retention and address any remaining questions. This position will be expected to serve clients in both the Portland metro and in Salem.


Deliver cultural orientation coursework on an on-going basis (the course consists of 10, two-hour sessions, completed over five weeks) covering required topics as per federal contracts;
Ensure all clients complete the required coursework within 90 days of their arrival date;
Coordinate with interpreters to ensure coursework is presented in a language that all adult members can understand and ensure that invoices are submitted and processed in a timely manner;
Document class attendance via the internal database and place hard copies in physical case files;
Connect with Case Managers and clients regarding all new arrivals to ensure they are aware of the Cultural Orientations classes, when/where they take place, and the clients' responsibility to attend;
Conduct pre-assessment evaluations at the start of every class to determine client knowledge;
Coordinate with case managers to conduct post-assessments (90-day Home-Visits) with all clients to evaluate knowledge gained and retained;
Coordinate with the Volunteer Coordinator to ensure volunteers are available to assist with classes to provide additional helpful information, share their experiences, and provide childcare;
Design and implement additional instructional programming to increase service access equity for refugee women;
Provide additional follow-up sessions with clients, as needed, to promote self-sufficiency concerning financial literacy and empowerment;
Continue the Digital Inclusion for Refugees Initiative to continue providing computers and language-learning software to individuals and families experiencing barriers to accessing English classes and digital skills training;
Provide Initial Eligibility Overview sessions for clients who are receiving public cash benefits;
Engage with local communities to help find more interpreters and volunteers who want to be involved in working with refugees;
Support the case management team by assisting with other tasks as necessary;
Attend all appropriate meetings, including weekly team meetings;
Adherence to Catholic Charities policies and procedures;
Perform other duties as assigned.


Bachelor's degree in social services, social sciences, community relations, business or related field; or equivalent work experience required.
Prior teaching experience preferred; prior tutoring or other educational experience required.
Demonstrated ability to work with multicultural clients and ethnically diverse staff required.
English proficiency required. Demonstrated fluency in Arabic, Burmese, or Swahili or another second language is a plus and experience working with interpreters is preferred;
Experience with community networking and organizing.
Excellent written and oral communication skills with strong proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite.
Demonstrate judgment and discretion in dealing with confidential matters and Strong analytical and strategic problem-solving skills.
Must be able to organize and prioritize work, be proactive, take initiative, follow through, and simultaneously manage multiple priorities to ensure goals are met in a timely manner. High attention to detail required.
Willingness to learn new skills and take on new responsibilities.
Ability to work well in team setting, as well as independently; be flexible and adapt well to different dynamics in a fast paced work environment.
Ability to work a flexible schedule, which could include some evenings and weekends.
Ability to support organizational and program specific mission and goals.
Travel between sites in Portland and Salem required. Must have driver's license, access to vehicle and ability to obtain automobile insurance at levels required by agency (100/300/100).
Must be able to occasionally lift and move objects weighing up to 50 pounds.
Successful completion of civil, criminal and/or motor vehicle background checks.


This is a full time, 1 year, service opportunity (04/08/2019 04/08/2020);
The Cultural Orientation Coordinator is expected to be present from 9:00-5:30 during the work week and occasionally some weekend/evening availability (35-40 hrs./week);


Learn more regarding program benefits at

TO APPLY: Please submit your application, resume and cover letter at:


For more information, or to apply now, you must go to the website below. Please DO NOT email your resume to us as we only accept applications through our website.