Reception & Placement

The Reception and Placement program begins with notification of a family’s upcoming arrival. Using biographical information collected during the refugee application process, program staff is able to anticipate needs, such as appropriate housing, and set the resettlement process in motion. On the day of arrival, refugees are welcomed at the airport and brought to their new, furnished apartment, where a warm meal awaits them.

From the moment of their arrival, the case management staff and interns provide assistance to families in establishing a strong foundation in Philadelphia and creating a comprehensive and individualized resettlement plan that builds toward self-sufficiency.

Shortly after arrival, refugees and families meet with program staff to conduct an intake session, joining the refugees' expertise in their own lived experiences, needs and goals with staff expertise in resettlement best practices and resources for successful resettlement.


HIAS Pennsylvania sets up new households for arriving refugee families in Philadelphia. This includes pre-arrival preparation, such as securing and setting up a new home and collecting furniture and household-goods donations. Many refugees arrive in Philadelphia without knowledge of the local housing market and the dynamics of securing housing. Newly arrived refugees are able to count on the strong reputation of HIAS Pennsylvania, which gives them an opportunity to establish their own renting and credit histories. HIAS Pennsylvania also helps refugees apply for utility benefit programs, such as LIHEAP.


HIAS Pennsylvania partners with PENN Center for Primary Care to coordinate a refugee health clinic for adults and with Children's Hospital of Philadelphia to provide a clinic for children. At the refugee health clinic, refugees receive a comprehensive initial health screening as well as follow-up care and access to speedy referrals to medical specialists.

HIAS Pennsylvania is one of the founding members of the Philadelphia Refugee Health Collaborative,which seeks to create equity and raise the standards of care available to newly arrived refugees. By partnering with other resettlement agencies and with health-care providers in Philadelphia, the Refugee Resettlement Program is able to surpass the Federally-mandated standards of health assessment and continuing care for all new refugees. 

Case Management

Our case managers help recently arrived refugees prepare for self-sufficiency by assisting them in:

  • Applying for Social Security numbers
  • Applying for public benefits, including food stamps, medical assistance and, if appropriate, cash assistance
  • School registration
  • ESL registration and attendance
  • Employment counseling and job placement



HIAS Pennsylvania is an affiliate of HIAS, Inc., one of 10 national voluntary agencies that is funded by the U.S. Department of State to provide Reception and Placement Services to arriving refugees.