Community engagement and the importance of knowing how to support volunteers and sponsors.
While volunteer efforts cannot replace specialized social service agencies or well-resourced social assistance programs, they offer unique resources that can be an invaluable complement to the services that professional agencies and caseworkers provide. Yet engaging volunteers or community sponsors is hardly a cost-free or even cost-saving endeavor for most resettlement and integration agencies, and dedicated resources must be provided to establish and maintain effective community engagement
How can the benefits of volunteering be harnessed by overstretched providers? This report considers where community members can add the most value to integration efforts, assesses the barriers that community organizations and integration service providers face in engaging volunteers, and offers recommendations for how policymakers can facilitate the effective engagement of communities in integration initiatives.