The Application Process For TANF, Food Stamps, Medicaid, and SCHIP. Responding to Increasing Language Diversity


In addition to New York City, three of our other sites — Arlington, Dallas, and Seattle — have institutional experience with serving significant numbers of LEP applicants. Yet, the LEP population in each of these localities has undergone significant changes over the last two decades as a result of shifts in the common countries of origin for newly arriving refugees. As a result, LEP applicants now speak many more languages, presenting agencies with the challenge of adapting their systems to keep up with new demand for interpretation of less common languages. For some of these more recent refugee waves, neither the human service agencies nor the larger community have sufficient language capacity to meet the increased demand. When this mismatch in language capacity and needs occurs, there is an increased tendency by agencies to rely on friends and family members of LEP applicants for language assistance.

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