Jessica Darrow's research is focused on the institutional structures for refugee resettlement in the United States and how these structures are impacted by the politics of social policy and the social construction of the refugee identity. Her research to date has grappled with the ways in which opportunities for a rights-based policy framework for refugees are constrained by the organizational level pressures that refugee resettlement agencies face in the era of performance-based contracts for service delivery. Her current studies include: an examination of how the refugee resettlement sector adapted to the Trump Administration's anti-immigrant and anti-refugee policies, what resistance to these policies looked like, and how the resettlement system is reconstituted in the aftermath; an analysis of the US-based response to the evacuation of civilians from Afghanistan with a focus on the experiences of community stakeholders, Afghan diaspora and evacuees, and legal aid organizations; and a holistic analysis of the system of care for unaccompanied minors in the United States.
A 2021 UN report estimated that 21.5 million people have been forced to move, each year, for over a decade, due to climate change. The report states: “weather-related...
At the end of 2017 there were over 68.5 million forcibly displaced people around the world, the highest number ever recorded (UNHCR, 2019). The number of newly displaced...
This course explores the organizational aspects of social agencies, including the students' field placement experiences. A major goal of the seminar is to help students...
This two-quarter course introduces students to the issues and problems associated with social welfare interventions at the community, agency, and policy levels. Students...
Darrow, J.H. & Howsam, J. (2020). Chaos and confusion: Impacts of the Trump Administration Executive Orders on the US resettlement system. Human Service Organizations: Management, Leadership and Governance.
Darrow, J.H. (2018). Administrative indentureship and administrative inclusion: Structured limits and potential opportunities for refugee client inclusion in resettlement policy implementation. Social Service Review, 92(1).
Darrow, J.H. (2018). Working it out in practice: Tensions embedded in the US refugee resettlement program resolved through implementation. In Adèle Garnier, Liliana Lyra Jubilut and Kristin Bergtora Sandvik (eds.) Refugee Resettlement: Power, Politics and Humanitarian Governance. Berghahn Books.
Darrow, J.H. (2015). Getting refugees to work: A street-level perspective of refugee resettlement policy. Refugee Survey Quarterly, 34(2).
Darrow, J.H. (2015). The (re)construction of the US Department of State's Reception and Placement program by refugee resettlement agencies. Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research, 6(1).
Darrow, J.H. (2015). The Politics and Implementation and of US Refugee Resettlement Policy: A Street-Level Analysis. PhD Dissertation. Ann Arbor, MI: ProQuest.
- Darrow, J.H. (July 2020). Organizational policy resistance amidst the demise of the US refugee resettlement sector. Paper accepted for presentation at the meeting of the International Association for the Society of Forced Migration (IASFM), Accra, Ghana
- Darrow, J. H. & Howsam, J. (January 2019). Acts of resistance: Organizational survival in an era of resettlement chaos and austerity. Paper accepted for presentation at the meeting of the Society for Social Work Research (SSWR), San Francisco, CA
- Darrow, J.H. & Howsam, J. (August 2018). Resettlement on hold: The impact of President Trump’s Executive Orders on the U.S. refugee program. Paper presentation at the meeting of the International Association for the Society of Forced Migration (IASFM), Thessaloniki, Greece
- Darrow, J.H. (January 2016). US Refugee resettlement policies in practice: Structuring voice. Paper presentation at the meeting of the Society for Social Work Research (SSWR), Washington, DC
- Darrow, J.H. (January 2016). Recruiting and engaging hard-to-reach populations in qualitative social work research. Roundtable presentation at the meeting of the Society for Social Work Research (SSWR), Washington, DC
- Darrow, J.H. (November 2015). US refugee resettlement policies in practice: Structuring voice. Paper presentation at the Association for Research on Non Profit Organizations and Voluntary Action Annual Conference (ARNOVA), Chicago, IL
Darrow, J.H. (2014) You Get What You Ask For: How Contracts and Performance Measures Shape Refugee Resettlement Policy. Paper presentation to the Network for Social Work Managers Annual Management Institute at Simmons College, Boston, MA
Darrow, J.H. (2014) Rewarding the “Compliant” Client: The Case of Refugee Resettlement. Paper presentation at the meeting of the Society for Social Work Research, San Antonio, TX
Darrow, J.H. (2014) What a Difference the Office Makes: The Impact of Organizational Setting on the Allocation of Housing Resources by Refugee Resettlement Workers. Paper presentation at the meeting of the Society for Social Work Research, San Antonio, TX
Darrow, J.H. (2013) Worker Responses to the Challenges of Human Services Work: The Case of U.S. Refugee Resettlement. Paper presentation at the ‘Global Health and Well-Being: The Social Work Response’ Conference at the NYU Silver School of Social Work, New York, NY
Darrow, J.H. (2013) Refugee Resettlement Policy in Practice: Workers’ Challenges in Managing Scarce Resources and High Demand. Paper presentation to the Network for Social Work Managers Annual Management Institute at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
Darrow, J.H. (2013) Street Level Theory and Social Policy: Workers’ Practice of Stereotyping Clients in Refugee Resettlement. Paper presentation at the meeting of the Society for Social Work Research, San Diego, CA
Darrow, J.H. (2012) Federal Guidelines & the Organizational Realities of Resettlement. Invited presentation at the Center on Forced Migration Summer Institute at Northwestern University, Evanston IL
Jessica Darrow is an Associate Instructional Professor and directs the Kiphart Scholars Program in Global Health & Social Development at the University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice.
Darrow teaches across the curriculum: in the core, the social administration concentration, and in elective courses within the Kiphart Scholars Program. She recently received a course development grant from the Pozen Family Center for Human Rights to research and develop a new course entitled, Climate Change and Human Mobility.
Dr. Darrow received her A.B. from the University of Chicago, and her A.M. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice. Her practice experience includes five years as Executive Director of a small education-based non-profit organization operating in East and Southern Africa, and over two decades of service with the Wieboldt Foundation engaged in supporting local grassroots multi-issue community organizing groups in the Chicago area.