Kent School to receive $1.5 million grant to support the transition of Afghans into resettlement

The Kent School of Social Work and Family Science recently received approval from the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families for a grant for $1,511,823 over three years to implement a new program, Services to Afghan Survivors Impacted by Combat. 

“This is a tremendously exciting opportunity for the Kent School of Social Work and Family Science to connect this population with critical services to help them overcome the impact of combat-related trauma, promote their wellbeing, and establish themselves as productive members of our community,” said Crystal Collins-Camargo, interim dean, Kent School of Social Work and Family Science.

The University of Louisville’s Kent School of Social Work and Family Science and partner agencies - Family Health Centers in Louisville and KY STEPS Behavioral Services in Bowling Green, will implement the Supporting Transition of Afghans into Resettlement (STAR) program in Kentucky to help ASA-eligible Afghan arrivals overcome the severe, pervasive, and long-lasting effects of combat-related trauma, facilitate their achievement of sustained physical, social, emotional, and economic well-being, and increase their access to, and engagement with, effective, holistic, strengths-based, trauma-informed, and culturally and linguistically appropriate services. 

“This crucial funding will provide ASA-eligible Afghan arrivals an integrated set of medical, mental health, legal, and social services to help heal from the long-lasting effects of combat-related trauma and promote their physical, social, and emotional wellbeing through the Supporting Transition of Afghans into Resettlement (STAR) program in partnership with Family Health Centers (FHC) in Louisville and KY STEPS Behavioral Health Services in Bowling Green. We are very appreciative of Senator McConnell’s leadership, efforts, and support of the legislation and funding that now brings hope and promise of a better future for ASA-eligible Afghan arrivals in Kentucky,” said Bibhuti Sar, professor and P.I., Kent School of Social Work and Family Science.

The STAR program will provide or coordinate a core set of services that include medical, mental health, legal, and social services, engage in organizational capacity development, initiate community engagement and education, and evaluate the project’s impact on enhancing the quality of life of Afghans. Each year of the 3-year project, 150 (consisting of both new and continuing) Afghans will receive one or more core services. A final report will be disseminated through presentations and publications on the project’s impact and lessons learned from the implementation of the STAR program. 

The P.I. for the project is Dr. Bibhuti Sar and the University of Louisville project team members are Dr. Adrian Archuleta, CO-PI, and Jim Guinn, Sustainability Coordinator. The project partners are Bart Irwin, FHC CEO, Liz Edghill, Director of Refugee & Immigrant Services--Family Health Centers in Louisville, and Daniel Boamah, Director, KY STEPS Behavioral Health Services, Bowling Green. Bart Irwin and Daniel Boamah are also both alums of the Kent School MSSW and Ph.D. programs.