Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Philip AuClaire


Social Work


Many systems and programs affect the resettlement of refugees. The purpose of this research was to explore the barriers Karen refugees encounter in resettlement to the United States. Previous literature indicates several barriers refugees come into contact with, including employment, English-speaking ability, Housing, Health Care, Education. Using a qualitative design, 8 participants were interviewed regarding their resettlement to the United States to identify barriers and successes of their experience. Data were analyzed for themes pertaining to barriers refugees faced during resettlement. The most prominent barrier addressed by the interviewees were monetary issues. Other barriers included: employment, language, resettlement agency, transportation, apartment/housing, and adaptation issues. The findings indicated that refugees are not being given adequate means to live when they arrive in the United States. Limited monetary assistance led to the need to seek early employment and have less time to learn English. Other barriers on top of these compounded and created stress and adaptation issues. These findings highlight the need for a more comprehensive resettlement program that provides the same services to all refugees and adequate means for survival while initially adapting to a new country and way of life.

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