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Faculty Conducts Research for City of Columbus to Assess Services for Immigrant Population

The College of Social Work is pleased to announce a new collaboration with the City of Columbus which will help ensure that immigrants and refugees have access to local social-service networks.

The college’s Drs. Arati Maleku, Cecilia Mengo, Sharvari Karandikar, Njeri Kagotho and Bridget Freisthler (not pictured) will be engaging in research to assist the city in identifying gaps in formal and informal service systems for Columbus’ immigrant population.

Faculty efforts will help bolster the New American Initiative, led by the City of Columbus, in making it a welcoming city. They are charged with conducting an in-depth assessment of needs, formal, informal and volunteer services available in Central Ohio for new Americans. To fulfill this goal, the team will undertake a community-based participatory research project using multi-method research approaches to map human service provision, barriers, access and utilization of services in Central Ohio. An exhaustive list of formal and informal service providers across Central Ohio will be included in the study to understand the scope of current services available to new Americans. The report will include a service map highlighting services and volunteer organizations available, accessibility and location of services, barriers to accessing services and recommendations for service improvements.

The collaboration was announced shortly after Dean Tom Gregoire, of the College of Social Work, provided testimony to Columbus City Council at the request of Council President Zach Klein regarding the college’s work.

The research will culminate with an in-depth report to the City of Columbus with the faculty’s findings and recommendations by November 2017.

“As new Americans ourselves, we are excited to conduct this research and contribute to the city’s effort for assisting new Americans,” said Associate Professor Karandikar, project lead. “We look forward to accomplishing this task in a timely manner and really appreciate the mentorship and guidance offered to us by Dean Gregoire, Associate Dean for Research Bridget Freisthler and Assistant Dean for Strategic Initiatives and Community Engagement Lisa Durham throughout this process.”

To read the research brief, click here.

To read the original media announcement, click here.