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Guide to the Orange County Social Services Agency Records
MS-SEA015  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Organizational History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Related Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Orange County Social Services Agency records,
    Date (inclusive): 1981-1991
    Collection number: MS-SEA015
    Creator: Orange County Social Services Agency
    Extent: 7 linear feet 8 boxes
    Repository: University of California, Irvine. Library. Special Collections and Archives.
    Irvine, California 92623-9557
    Abstract: This collection of records of the Orange County Social Services Agency (OCSSA) includes documents related to the administration of government refugee assistance programs. The materials consist of administrative papers, correspondence, data and statistics, reports, legislative documents, memoranda, notes, proclamations and resolutions, and program plans, and document refugee assistance activities at the county and state level. Among the programs and agencies included as topics in this collection are: OCSSA Central Intake Unit, Greater Avenues for Independence (welfare program), Mutual Assistance Association, Refugee Employment Assistance Program, Refugee Demonstration Project, Refugee Employment Social Services, Refugee Resettlement Project, and Targeted Assistance Program.
    Physical location: University of California, Irvine. Library. Special Collections and Archives. Irvine, California 92623-9557
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Access

    Collection open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with the University of California. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permissions to reproduce or to publish, please contact the Southeast Asian Archive Librarian.

    Preferred Citation

    Orange County Social Services Agency records. MS-SEA015. Southeast Asian Archive, The UC Irvine Libraries, Irvine, California. Date accessed.
    For the benefit of current and future researchers, please cite any additional information about sources consulted in this collection, including permanent URLs, item or folder descriptions, and box/folder locations.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Hao Duong, former Orange County Refugee Services Coordinator, 1994.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Anna Liza Posas, 2002.

    Organizational History

    The Orange County Social Services Agency (OCSSA) has been providing refugee services since 1975. However, the bulk of the materials in this collection relate to those programs impacted by the United States Refugee Act of 1980. The Act increased the country's refugee quota from 17,400 to 50,000, established Congressional control over the entire process of admitting refugees, and appointed an Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) under the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). ORR administered a full range of federally funded programs that assisted in the resettlement process at the state and county levels.
    OCSSA, under the direction of Deputy Director Dolores Churchill, became a County Refugee Coordinator (CRC). OCSSA literature explains that "CRCs are responsible for implementing strategies, funding and operating procedures for refugee services and programs. They provide advocacy with elective officials regarding refugee issues. The CRCs have knowledge and experience in naturalization, immigration and refugee program laws, policies and procedures."
    Orange County, as well as California as a whole, experienced the greatest impact of refugee admittance from the 1980 Act and the Vietnam War. During this time, refugees were primarily from South Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. According to a 1981 report prepared by the National Association of Counties Research (NACoR), California's refugee population increased by 83,000 and those refugees on cash assistance increased by 55,000 in one year. In 1981 alone, Orange County saw an increase of 16,296 refugees over its 1978 figure, and 32.1% of OCSSA recipients were refugees. Compared to the rest of the nation, California had the highest refugee population and the highest proportion on cash assistance. Orange County experienced the nation's second highest county increase (Los Angeles County was ranked first). A report prepared by the OCSSA Financial Assistance Division and Office of Program Information indicated there was a 238.9% increase in the number of refugees receiving cash assistance from January 1979 to September 1981.
    As of April 1, 1981, federal Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) -- which allows 100 percent reimbursement to government agencies, voluntary agencies (Volag), and community based organizations (CBO) involved in the refugee effort-- was limited to refugees who have been in the US for less than 36 months. "Time-expired" refugees who were in the US longer than 36 months became eligible for state and locally funded programs. The expected costs from time-expired refugee cases added to the existing high concentration of refugees in the area and the fear of welfare dependency prompted OCSSA to concentrate on self-sufficiency programs through vocational and job training.
    OCSSA developed the Refugee Plan for Resettlement, or Refugee Resettlement Plan (RRP), which included the Refugee Demonstration Project (RDP). The purpose of RDP was to remove refugees from traditional welfare programs, ensure accessibility for all refugees to employment programs specifically designed for refugees, and reduce long-term government costs.
    Federal refugee extension acts in the mid-eighties allowed the continuation of RCA funds. RCA, General Relief (GR), and Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) funds enabled OCSAA to continue to develop services for refugees. The longest running refugee plan was the Targeted Assisted Plan (TA or TAP). TAP provided vocational training, job placement, and health services from 1984-1990. Other OCSSA refugee services included the utilization or implementation of the Greater Avenues for Independence (GAIN) program, Mutual Assistance Association (MAA), Refugee Employment Assistance Program (REAP), and Refugee Employment Social Services (RESS).
    As of the year 2002, California has approximately one million refugees who have entered the state since 1979. The largest incoming refugee groups are from the former Soviet Union, Southeast Asia, and the former Yugoslavia.
    California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program replaced the AFDC and GAIN programs with a single integrated, employment-focused program. The OCSSA's 1999/2000 fiscal report indicated that approximately 24% of OCSSA clients received assistance from CalWORKs, 5% from RCA, and 1% from GR funds.
    The Orange County Social Services Agency continues to operate under the direction of the Board of Supervisors and the California Departments of Social Services (CDSS) and Health Services (CDHS). The CDSS supervises the Refugee Program in California.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    This collection of records of the Orange County Social Services Agency (OCSSA) includes documents related to the administration of government refugee assistance programs. The materials consist of administrative papers, correspondence, data and statistics, reports, legislative documents, memoranda, notes, proclamations and resolutions, and program plans, and document refugee assistance activities at the county and state level. Among the programs and agencies included as topics in this collection are: OCSSA Central Intake Unit, Greater Avenues for Independence (welfare program), Mutual Assistance Association, Refugee Employment Assistance Program, Refugee Demonstration Project, Refugee Employment Social Services, Refugee Resettlement Project, and Targeted Assistance Program.
    Subjects of internal and published report include the characteristics, cultural history, demographics, progress, rights and/or trends of the Agency's refugee population and programs, as well as of the Orange County refugee community at large. Although the majority of the materials in this collection deal with Southeast Asian immigrant and refugee populations, Cuban, Haitian, Jamaican, and Romanian populations are also mentioned.

    Arrangement

    The collection is arranged by OCSSA program or administrative unit and therein by topic area. Except where it is noted, records within individual files are arranged chronologically. Top-level administrative documents and materials unrelated to the management of major programs or units are found within the file "General institutional records and documents."

    Related Material

    MS-SEA021, Robert Walsh Files on Southeast Asian Refugee Resettlement and Education, 1975-2001.
    This collection is also supplemented by materials in the SEA Archive's newspaper clippings file.