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Welcome: Library Services to Multi-Lingual Communities in Connecticut

Welcome: Services to Multi-Lingual Communities

Welcome is an email discussion group for Connecticut library staff serving multilingual communities. The email list is administered by Ashley Sklar ( from the Division of Library Development at the Connecticut State Library.

Quick fact: 22.1% of the people in Connecticut speak a language other than English at home.*

*Source: 2020 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

New Refugee Arrivals to Connecticut

The following are the total number of new refugee arrivals to Connecticut for the corresponding Federal Fiscal Years (Source: CT Dept. of Social Services, Refugee Assistance Program)

  • FFY 2020: 57
  • FFY 2019: 142
  • FFY 2018: 156
  • FFY 2017: 452
  • FFY 2016: 837
  • FFY 2015: 819
  • FFY 2014: 545
  • FFY 2013: 548
  • FFY 2012: 436
  • FFY 2011: 447
  • FFY 2010: 507
  • FFY 2009: 351

Refugee: Definition

Any person who is outside any country of such person's nationality or, in the case of a person having no nationality, is outside any country in which such person last habitually resided, and who is unable or unwilling to return to, and is unable or unwilling to avail himself or herself of the protection of, that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

Office of Refugee Resettlement: Who We Serve - Refugees

Services for Refugees

Federal Services

Administration of Children and Families: Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR)

State Department: Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration: Refugee Processing Center

Connecticut's Statewide Services

Connecticut Department of Social Services: Refugee Assistance Program

  • The Office of Community Services of the Department of Social Services (DSS) is responsible for disbursing federal funds related to the resettlement of refugees in Connecticut.  Refugees are assigned by the U.S. State Department to local affiliates of national voluntary resettlement agencies in Connecticut. 

Connecticut Department of Public Health: Refugee and Immigrant Health Program

  • The Refugee and Immigrant Health Program (RIHP) works with refugee resettlement agencies and other sponsors, local health departments, and health care providers to offer appropriate health assessments, follow-up or referral, and community-based health education to newly arriving entrants to Connecticut.

Services within Connecticut

The State contracts with the following agencies to provide resettlement services including case management, employment assistance, and additional supportive services to refugees:

Welcome - Items from the Service Centers

shelves holding books in the Welcoming LibraryBorrow Welcoming Library kits! These collections of 30 acclaimed picture books featuring New Arrival and New American families will help you start a conversation on immigration. Learn more and reserve a kit for delivery to your library.

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