What is Community Sponsorship?
Community Sponsorship is an umbrella term used for differing models of refugee resettlement that pair clients (refugees, SIVs, parolees, etc.) with community groups who are looking to provide clearly defined financial & in-kind donations, as well as volunteer resettlement services.
What is Co-Sponsorship?
Co-Sponsorship is just one form of community sponsorship. In this model, Co- Sponsors are specific community groups which exist within 100 miles of a local IRC office & help to assist clients as they start their lives in the United States. Throughout their time with clients, volunteer efforts are overseen by local IRC offices to ensure that volunteers & clients are supported to their fullest potential.
IRC Abilene has expanded the ways in which community groups can be involved in the resettlement process by launching our Co-Sponsorship program. As a Co-Sponsor, community groups commit (in a non-legally binding agreement) to provide clearly defined financial & in-kind contributions, as well as to provide the majority of core services, for newly arriving refugee families. Throughout this process Co-Sponsors will be overseen by IRC Abilene, to ensure that all co-sponsor groups have the proper level of training & support to properly assist clients during their initial months in the community.
A community group that is interested in becoming a Co-Sponsor with IRC Abilene must agree to the following requirements in order to be considered:
- Each group member submits a volunteer application to IRC Abilene.
- Each group member undergoes a background check (including driving background checks) before working with IRC clients.
- Group representatives sign a Co-Sponsorship agreement with IRC.
- Co-Sponsor group commit to raising $3000 - $5000 total to support the client family with whom they will be working.
- Co-Sponsor group collects donations for the household setup of client families, in line with federal resettlement requirements.
- Co-Sponsor group agrees to a commitment of 6 months, in which they will be working with their clients to provide ongoing education, mentorship, & client support.
To learn more about Co-Sponsorship opportunities with IRC Abilene, please contact Marge Sanders, Community Sponsorship Supervisor, at [email protected]