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​Refugee News and Announcements


May is National Foster Care Month 

The PA Department of Human Services' Unaccompanied Refugee Minors Program is in need of more foster homes. Can you help? Please call our provider Bethany Services of Jenkintown, PA at (215) 376-6200 or email Resource Parent Recruiter, Madap Sharma at to inquire. 

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New Link Added to COVID-19 Resource Page

A new link has been added to the Refugee COVID-19 resources page.  It is Public Service AnnouncementsOpens In A New Window from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  This link provides multilingual PSAs for COVID-19 readiness, prevention, how to wear a mask, what to do if you think you've contacted COVID, how to properly clean and sanitize against COVID, and many other COVID-19 related topics


Church World Services Lancaster Announces New Office Director Valentina Ross

From Church World Services: 

I am pleased to announce that the Lancaster Office Director interview team has finalized their interviews and consultations and today offered the position of Office Director to Valentina Ross. And I'm equally happy to report that Valentina has accepted the offer!
Valentina will begin as Director-Designate on Monday, August 17; I will continue as Office Director until my last day, August 28th. During the next two weeks Valentina and I will be working closely together to ensure a smooth transition.  Valentina will be delegating some of her resettlement area tasks to those on her team temporarily until we have a new plan in place to coordinate resettlement activities.
Valentina has been on staff at CWS-Lancaster since 2014, for a short period as a resettlement case manager, then an employment specialist, and, for the last five years, as resettlement program coordinator where she has successfully run three complicated programs—Reception and Placement, Preferred Communities, and Matching Grant. Prior to her work with CWS, Valentina was a project officer for five years in the United Nations World Food Programme in Lima, Peru, coordinating all aspects of the WFP assisted school meal project in the poorest Andean regions of Peru. In Italy, her native country, Valentina served for five years as an economic analyst for an Italian consulting company where she organized and directed surveys and analyses of salary trends, labor costs, job positions and job descriptions, determinants of staff motivation in the workplace, and more.  Valentina received her Master's degree in Community and Economic Development from Penn State University, and her Bachelor's in Economics from the University of Rome. As we all know, Valentina is trilingual in Spanish, Italian, and English.
I hope you are all as pleased as I am to welcome this strong, capable, and effective leader to her new position as Lancaster Office Director!
                                -Sheila Mastropietro
I am humbled by the offer to lead CWS Lancaster moving forward, and aware of the challenge to continue Sheila's work and honor her legacy. It will be hard to match her devotion, compassion, and sense of agency. Nonetheless, CWS Lancaster is blessed by the support of a wonderful community and by a competent and dedicated staff that work tirelessly to ensure refugees and other immigrants feel safely at home in their new country. Together, we will continue our mission to welcome refugees and other immigrants in Lancaster and to ensure that their talents, ingenuity, and diverse experiences are recognized and valued, and continue to enrich our lives and our city. 

                        -Valentina Ross/CWS