2.C Settlement and Integration
C.7 How is cultural orientation treated?
(iv) Are there orientation resources and services tailored to refugees’ age, language, and gender?
How Canada Does It
Canada’s pre-departure orientation program for refugees includes a youth-only session focused on issues such as schooling, making new friends, working part-time and volunteering, recreational activities, attitudes at school and home, education and getting help, and wants versus needs.
The Government of Canada funds service providers to both one-on-one, family, and group orientation sessions to assist refugees in all aspects of settling in Canada (e.g. housing, education, health care). Some of these services are specifically tailored to newcomer women, youth, and seniors, recognizing that targeted interventions are needed to improve integration outcomes for vulnerable groups.
A number of organizations have prepared orientation resources and sessions for refugees and other newcomers. These resources often make reference to considerations for different groups within the community such as women. In some locations, orientation workshops have been developed for specific religions and immigrant populations.
Canada’s Settlement Program provides specialized services for newcomer women, youth, and seniors, recognizing that targeted interventions are needed to improve integration outcomes for vulnerable groups:
- Programming for newcomer youth includes mentoring, leadership training, social connections activities, employment supports and skills development. Settlement Workers in Schools places settlement workers from community agencies in schools across Canada (see 2.C.6(viii).
- Services for women include information and orientation on rights and responsibilities, women-only employment and language supports, family and gender-based violence supports, and child-minding and transportation assistance to ensure that mothers are able to access integration services.
- Settlement services specific to seniors include conversation circles, computer training sessions to help seniors connect with friends and families through email and learn to use search engines for their settlement needs, as well as workshops on elder abuse prevention. Further, information on seniors’ rights, health and wellness, housing options, budgeting, the Canadian Pension Plan and other available benefits are provided.
Ethno-cultural and diaspora organizations also provide support to specific immigrant communities and groups within those communities.