In order to empower the refugee community, WRD only takes refugees to their first few appointments (health department, social security administration, DMV, etc.) as they are getting adjusted to the U.S. However, once a refugee has been to an appointment once, WRD has them ride the bus. Volunteers are to encourage refugees to do the same, and avoid taking refugees to appointments in their cars. Rather, they can ride the bus with refugees to help them get acclimated.
Volunteers can empower refugees to handle their own appointments before their first three or six months in the U.S. have arrived. Volunteers can do practice phone calls to and from a medical facilities with refugees, using role-play. Volunteers can teach them how to make an appointment over the phone. If a refugee's English is not conducive for phone conversations, volunteers can ride with them on the bus to a medical facility and teach them how to make an appointment in person.
Refugees will have a variety of appointments, especially in the first month. It is our hope that refugees will eventually learn to set their own appointments and to arrange their own transportation (on the bus or through Medicaid). However, initially, they will need help: they will need a ride to and from the appointment as well as assistance during the appointment (see the “how to” sheets for specifics on each individual appointment).
If possible, please provide transportation to and from these appointments, unless it is noted as a “WR staff only” appointment.
If you are unable to provide transportation for any appointment then there are two options:
1) email the assigned case specialist as soon as possible, or
2) look up the bus route (DATA bus for Durham, CAT bus for Raleigh) and bus numbers on Google maps to and from the destination. Note: when you look up directions on Google maps, print out a second copy (in the refugees' native language if possible) for the refugee to have next time.
For any appointment:
WR Staff will provide you with either a set appointment day and time, or a general window (e.g., Thursday morning; or, anytime within the first week) Look over the general directions on the appropriate page in the Toolkit (e.g., “Health Screening and Follow-up”). Email the assigned case manager or volunteer coordinator with any questions/concerns regarding the appointment. Arrange transportation and see how many people need to go to the appointment. Make sure you have adequate space as you might need two cars. SPECIAL NOTE: CAR SEATS- In North Carolina, children under the weight of 80 lbs. or 8 years of age are required to sit in a booster or car seat. WRD does not receive enough car seat donations to provide one for each family. If a volunteer team has not donated one to the family and you do not have one, you can arrange to borrow car seats from our office.
Please email WRD (firstname.lastname@example.org) at least TWO days in advance.
Car seats will need to be returned at the end of the day or the beginning of the next day.
Note: When you set up the car seat, teach the parents how to do it.
Let them know when they have appointments that way you know they will be there. Pick up the individual or family, take them to their appointment and help them through it (following the instructions on the relevant “how to” page in the Toolkit). Take them home afterwards. Afterwards, email the case manager with any follow-up information. If any questions arise during the appointment, call the case manager.