Program Management

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Does your nonprofit agency want to develop a legal immigration program, but lack attorneys on staff or the money to hire them?

This manual describes best practices used by many of the country's most experienced nonprofit immigration programs and managers.

The United States is a nation of immigrants united by a common creed and shared values. With 37 million foreign born residents, the United States’ strength and vitality depends on the contributions of its newest members. However, the integration of a population of this magnitude and diversity cannot be assumed. The pressing policy question becomes: what can be done to promote the integration of this record number of immigrants?

This toolkit is intended to facilitate the process of designing and/or improving the case management system in your immigration program.  In a legal immigration context, case management system consists of: policies and procedures; forms; a database; and files used by legal representatives in a standardized manner for the purposes of delivering professional services and avoiding errors that can result in malpractice and liability.

What do I do when the only BIA representative on staff decides to leave our program without anyone else authorized to practice and continue representing the existing caseload? What’s involved in hiring our nonprofit’s first attorney on staff? What needs to be done if the new Program Director doesn’t know immigration law? What can be done proactively or reactively if we lose our one big grant?

CENTER FOR IMMIGRANT INTEGRATION

By Louise Maria Puck, Intern

CLINIC’s new Center for Immigrant Integration seeks to encourage and facilitate the development of immigrant integration initiatives throughout its network through the creation of resources and trainings and through the dissemination of best practices currently present in CLINIC affiliate agencies.

 

By Jeff Chenoweth

Across the country CLINIC and its 260-plus affiliates strive to welcome newcomers who seek to reunite with long-separated family members, work for fair wages with dignity, and find legal protections in the United States from persecution in their countries of origin. Helping our country, state, or local community to be welcoming to immigrants isn’t always easy, but it is the right thing to do. Indiana is a case in point.

Good moral character is a requirement for naturalization applicants. Paying taxes is one way to establish good moral character, and immigration legal service programs and their agencies can easily assist their clients with this important task. In preparation for the 2015 tax season, attend this webinar to learn quick and easy ways to establish this service within your own agency. Learn how offering tax assistance preparation services promotes immigrant integration within your agency and community.

Held November 12th, 2014

Is evaluation a component of your program?  This webinar offers various recommendations on what to evaluate and how.  CLINIC will feature how DACA services, past and present, are important lessons learned when planning to implement even larger-scale services. 

Nearly 600,000 DACA applications have been approved out of an estimated 1.7 million eligible.  Is this success?  What outcomes have occurred in the lives of DACA recipients? 

Do you serve a large region with one office and wish to expand using sub offices or other spaces? Are you planning to expand your service delivery models to other locations once President Obama announces administrative relief before the end of the year? Perhaps you’ve considered expanding to an additional location but aren’t quite sure where to start.

Are you interested in partnering with law schools? Join us for this free webinar on ways to form successful partnerships with law schools that both increase legal capacity for your organization and train the next generation of legal advocates. This webinar will present actual partnership models. Topics to be discussed are: summer internships, externships for school credit, short term projects, alternative breaks, clinical courses, and working with student-run public interest groups.

The webinar will include presentations from:

Topics include information on how to advocate locally on behalf of unaccompanied minors.

Are you interested in providing more comprehensive citizenship and immigrant integration services? Join us for this free webinar on citizenship education programs. We discuss how and why legal service providers are well-positioned to offer citizenship classes; present key components of a successful citizenship education program; provide resources and next steps for implementing a program; and hear from a local affiliate with recent experience in starting a citizenship education program.

By Jeff Chenoweth

Director, Capacity Building Section

 

A strong case management system is key to a healthy immigration legal program. A strong case management system helps ensure consistency, uniformity, and a high quality of work. It balances the interests of the client in getting the best and speediest representation with those of the agency in providing services efficiently. Join us for Part II of this series. It will focus on case file organization standards, case notes standards, a filing system, case closing procedures, and a tickler system to ensure important deadlines are not missed.

Held 4/29/14

Would you like to know more about how your nonprofit agency and staff can become authorized to provide immigration legal services? Join us for this webinar training on Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) agency recognition and staff accreditation.

By Laura Burdick

There are several ways to establish a partnership and many tools to use that can help organize and manage the operations. This toolkit includes sample materials for managing a partnership, guidelines for working within a partnership, and tips on what to look for in a potential partner.

This guide is designed to give service providers the tools and information needed to address the barriers to resettlement and integration faced by asylees and to better assist their clients.  It contains crucial and timely information about the benefits and services for which asylees are eligible, including job placement assistance, English language classes, health screening, temporary cash and medical assistance, social security cards, employment authorization cards, adjustment of status, I-94s, travel authorization, petitioning for immediate relatives, and federal student financial aid.

This webinar training covers how to develop and use partnerships effectively and what resources you can use to manage them. Held on April 22, 2013.

Overview:  HB 1159 creates state-level penalties relating to identity theft and employment.

Many tasks in an immigration legal services program can be completed by volunteers. Using volunteers when possible frees up staff time that can be devoted to offering more services to clients. This toolkit contains helpful information on how best to use volunteers in your program, how to recruit and retain volunteers, and how to incorporate them into your program’s plan for the passage of Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Sample forms are included as well as sample volunteer job descriptions.

April 24, 2012

Join us for Part 4 in a four part series for a presentation of tech innovations within the CLINIC network. We'll learn about CitizenshipWorks, a program designed to assist local programs in helping clients naturalize. We'll also learn from several network affiliates about innovative ways they've used technology in their offices and how it has impacted the way they reach the public. Leya Speasmaker, Field Support Coordinator in CLINIC's Washington DC office moderates the discussion.

Join us for Part 3 in a four part series for a conversation about case management software and other database capabilities. Topics will include why to use case management software, how to choose a software package, and how best to use software in your daily work. Jack Holmgren, a Field Support Coordinator in CLINIC's San Francisco office, will moderate the discussion.

The Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) submitted these comments on March 30, 2012 in response to the Executive Office for Immigration Review’s (EOIR) proposal to amend the regulations governing the recognition of organizations and accreditation of representatives who appear before EOIR.

Join us for Part 2 in a four part series as we talk about how best to use social media and outreach tech tools to increase the visibility of your program on the internet.  We'll compare the current options such as blogging, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter and examine the pluses and minuses of using each one.  We'll also talk about sources for tech support, particularly for non-profits.

Held on February 28, 2012.

Join us for Part 1 in a four part series as we explore quick and easy tech upgrades your program can make to improve communication and service to the community . We'll talk about technological changes coming down the pike from USCIS and why it is important to get a jump start on planning for those today. We will also hear from several members of CLINIC staff give tips on how best to access technology used by our organization to better serve our network. Leya Speasmaker, Field Support Coordinator in CLINIC's Washington D.C.

Looking for ideas to promote and encourage immigrant integration within your community? CLINIC offers this 6 part series that spotlights immigrant integration initiatives across our network. Learn the definition of immigrant integration, its importance for our network and nation, and how it can be promoted locally. Featured programs encourage relationships between the receiving community and immigrants, give elderly refugees a place to use skills gained in their home countries, and connect asylees with available resources.

Held on November 11, 2011.

How do you ensure your case management systems are working effectively? How do you ensure the quality of your immigration work before it is filed? How can you ensure your program is providing quality immigration services?  In this 90 minute webinar, we will discuss the importance of case management and legal supervision in your immigration program. 

The Need for Charitable Legal Immigration Services

Current capacity does not meet current demands for low-cost legal representation in immigration matters. For instance, immigrants eligible and soon-to-be eligible to naturalize as U.S. citizens have less income, education, and English language ability than immigrants who naturalized in previous decades.

CLINIC Capacity Building staff address the top ten most frequent challenges facing immigration legal service programs across the nation. Topics include how to develop a fee schedule, how to minimize risk, and how to create an efficient and effective case management system. Resources will be provided for each issue, and staff will provide tips for tackling these common challenges.  

Leya Speasmaker and Helen Chen are the presenters for this webinar.

Held March 3, 2011.

A good case management database contains both immigration forms and client-specific information.  The database may be software for stand-alone or networked computers or it may be web-based with the server off-site.  Either way, the choice and utilization of a database is an important investment for your immigration program.  In addition to completing forms, the database helps staff manage the caseload and facilitates the writing of data-rich reports and funding proposals.

When you are thinking of developing or changing your case management system, solicit your immigration staff to get their feedback, or even better is if they participate in the development or revision of that process.    The system works only if it makes sense to those who have to adhere to, carry out, and manage it.  Once you determined your case management system, document it in a policies and procedures manual.   The rationale behind having a case management policies and procedures manual is the same as having an operating and human resources manual in your agency.  You want to document

Nominal fees for immigration legal services are a core source of funding to start and sustain charitable programs.  By charging nominal fees you can retain a great deal of control over the financial viability of your program.  Conversely, to not charge fees is to put your program at risk of closing or drastic downsizing.

How do you set up intake? Which cases should you accept for representation? What is a client services agreement? How do you track deadlines and cases? What goes into a case file? What are your responsibilities when you close a case?

CLINIC trainer Jack Holmgren along with Robert Yates, director of Immigration Legal Services of Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County present on fees and revenues.

Held June 2010.

Nonprofit immigration legal programs have a range of staffing options. Programs may employ licensed attorneys, law graduates, fully accredited representatives, partially accredited representatives, non-accredited immigration counselors, support staff, interns and volunteers. In this third of a seven part webinar series on immigration program management, the presenter will explore how to optimize your program's performance with careful staffing.

While staff is the heart of an immigration program, several other resources are required to keep a program functioning. These include: physical space, computers, software, law library materials, and malpractice insurance.  In this second of a seven-part webinar series on immigration program management, the presenter will discuss the different resources needed to support an immigration legal services program.

While staff is the heart of an immigration program, several other resources are required to keep a program functioning. These include: physical space, computers, software, law library materials, and malpractice insurance.  In this second of a seven-part webinar series on immigration program management, the presenter will discuss the different resources needed to support an immigration legal services program.

This webinar was presented by CLINIC's Center for Citizenship and Immigrant Communities.

Presenters: Jeff Chenoweth, director of CLINIC's Center for Citizenship and Immigrant Communities and Rose Alma Senatore, executive director, Catholic Charities of Hartford, CT.

This webinar discusses ways to recruit more leaders and financial donors in order to grow and sustain charitable legal immigration services for the challenges of today and a new environment for tomorrow.

Held Jan. 13, 2010.