E9 Supporting Government Assisted Refugees: ACoordinated Service Delivery Model_Yasmine Dossal & Donna Morrison


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E9 Supporting Government Assisted Refugees: ACoordinated Service Delivery Model_Yasmine Dossal & Donna Morrison

  1. 1. Supporting Government Assisted Refugees: A Coordinated Service Delivery Model OCASI Conference, April 24, 2009 .
  2. 2. Agenda  Welcome & Introductions  Workshop Outcomes  Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP)  Life Skills Program  Client Support Services Project (CSS)  Client Centered Approach  Resources  Success Stories
  3. 3. Introductions • Name • Agency / City • Work you do • Any knowledge of the Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) • Any experience working with Government Assisted Refugees (GARs)
  4. 4. Workshop Outcomes • Better informed about the Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) • Better informed about the Life Skills Program • Better informed about the various Client Support Services project models • Best practices working with multiple partners • In-depth needs assessment • Developing an Action Plan • Components of case management • Knowledge of multiple resources in the community • Success stories • Opportunities to work together
  6. 6. Canada’s Role in the Resettlement Process • Part of Canada’s international humanitarian commitment • Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) allows foreign nationals to apply for refugee protection while outside Canada • Government Assisted Refugees (GARs) are persons assessed overseas to be people in need of protection & resettlement. They are not refugee claimants. • Canada has two Resettlement Programs:  Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP)  Private Sponsorship of Refugees (PSR)
  7. 7. How GARs are Selected? • United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) refers cases to Canadian visa offices overseas • Refugee completes “Application for Permanent Residence” • Changes in selection from IRPA 2002 • Focus now on need for protection • GARs exempt from “ability to establish” • Assisted with travel by International Organization for Migration (IOM) • Loans are provided to cover transportation costs • Matched with a destination community in Canada
  8. 8. Number of GARs Arriving in Canada? • Canada resettles = 7,500 Government Assisted Refugees • Ontario receives = 2,300, in six communities:  Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton, London, Kitchener & Windsor • Local Toronto 750 London 280 Ottawa 380 Kitchener 280 Hamilton 320 Windsor 300
  9. 9. Source Countries for Current GARs • Afghanistan • Iraq • Myanmar – Karen speaking (formerly known as Burma) • Iran • Colombia • Somalia • Ethiopia • Democratic Republic of Congo • Sudan • Liberia • Eritrea
  10. 10. Characteristics of GARs that come to Ontario • Many come to join family and friends • Many have spent years in refugee camps or lived in a rural, non-western, non-industrialized environment • No familiarity with technology and systems • No experience looking after themselves • Little or no financial resources • Range of education, language ability, work experience • Large families of 4 children or more • Large extended families • De facto families and family members • Many have high medical needs
  11. 11. The Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) • RAP is a financial assistance program that provides for the basic needs of life and immediate essential services. It has two components:  RECEPTIONSERVICES  INCOME SUPPORT  RECEPTION SERVICES: At the port of entry, Immigrant Reception and Information Services (IRIS) welcome refugees, help with the immigration process, and provide transportation and winter clothing.
  12. 12. Reception Services (cont’d) • Reception Centre – temporary accommodation (2 weeks, admission, intake, needs assessment, meals and immediate emergency needs), orientation sessions (finance and budgeting, education, health care, housing, community mapping and transportation, initial settlement services (SIN, OHIP, and open bank account), assistance with permanent accommodation, ordering and setting up of furniture and telephone line. • Life Skills Program and Client Support Services Program
  13. 13. Reception Services (cont’d)  INCOME SUPPORT: • Mirror social assistance rates (12 months), special needs (24 months) • Basic and household needs (rent, food, transportation and other basic costs) • Administered by CIC • One year window • Income changes
  14. 14. Reception Services (cont’d) • Client Report Form • Questions on Immigrant loans Call: 1-800-667-7301 • Other Immigration related questions call: 1-888-242-2100
  15. 15. Interim Federal Health Program (IFH) • GARs are covered by IFH and OHIP from day one of their arrival • Important to review IFH photo document and expiry date • Note what is covered by IFH and what is not • IFH Information Handbook http://www.fasadmin.com • Two handouts given to IFH recipients: 1.Medical Benefits 2.Dental Benefits
  16. 16. Life Skills Program Objective: To provide essential help with basic life and functional skills to refugee families to adapt to life in their new community. • How to use appliances in a safe & appropriate manner • Laundry • Hygiene - personal • Use of domestic & personal cleaning products • Canadian plumbing systems & use • Adjusting to life in high rise apartments (garbage disposal, recycling, elevators, safety, use of common areas) • Products, packaging & simple food preparation • Budgeting • Canadian cultural norms in public places
  18. 18. Client Support Services (CSS) Project - Background GAR Challenges & Issues: • Difficulties in accessing appropriate community services • Inability to cope and adapt in new home country • Increased isolation of GARs in all communities Settlement Support Challenges: • RAP & Life Skills programs meet short term needs only • Programs not adjusted to different client needs (i.e., youth) • Identifying post-traumatic stress disorder & other needs • Keeping services in line with process of adaptation • Increased case load of complex needs; lack of time by staff • Lack of follow-up and tracking settlement outcomes of GARs
  19. 19. Client Support Services (CSS) Project - Background 2005: “Case Management Pilot Project” Location: Greater Toronto Area Delivered by: YMCA of Greater Toronto Project Goals:  To assist 70 GAR cases (single & families) to develop a settlement plan / goals for their first year in Canada  Document a case management model that responds to the needs of GARs  To assist GARs in the following: achieve their goals; learn about community services; participate in community activities
  20. 20. Client Support Services (CSS) Project - Background 2006: “Client Support Services Project” Who? Project Sites: Reception Centres (6) • Hamilton – Settlement & Integration Services Organization (SISO) • Kitchener – Kitchener-Waterloo Reception Centre • Toronto – COSTI Immigrant Services • Ottawa – Catholic Immigration Centre (CIC) • Windsor – Multicultural Council of Windsor & Essex County (MCC) • London – London Cross Cultural Learner Centre (LCCLC) Project Coordinator: YMCA of Greater Toronto
  21. 21. Project Objectives • To improve GARs access to community services • To engage community agencies in providing support services to GARs • To provide services in a desk-free and mobile fashion to where GARs are located • To monitor and evaluate project activities against specific project goals and refine these activities / models if needed • To document best practices, successes and challenges • To design and document different community-driven initiatives and formulating innovative models • Develop coordinated standards / systems to track project outcomes • Rollout anticipated for 2009 - 2010
  22. 22. CSS Model Highlights Project Site Model Structure Hamilton – “Life Coach & Personal Focus on Family/Adult, Youth & Outreach Mentoring” Art Therapy component Kitchener – “Newcomer Integration General Case Workers with specific Program” languages Outreach component London – “Partners in Caring: A Community Focus on Trauma Expert, Settlement Response to Refugee Trauma” Health/Service Navigator Outreach/Education component Ottawa – “Community Integration Support Focus on Family/Adult & Youth Program” Physical & Mental Health Support Toronto – “Client Support Services” Focus on Family/Adult & Youth Windsor – “Better Access to Services Focus on Emotional/Mental Health, Health/ in the Community” Settlement, Education & Employment Youth & Outreach component
  23. 23. GARs Arriving at Reception Centre RAP Life Skills CSS Welcome Functional Skills Needs Assessment Orientation One-on-One Settlement Plan (short & long Temporary Support term goals) accommodation Monitoring & Follow-up Documentation Evaluation & Feedback (SIN, OHIP, Banking) Closure/Transfer Housing Community/Settlement Agencies ISAP, LINC, HOST & SWIS Health Services Education Employment Services Recreation Legal Social Services
  24. 24. Coordinator Role •Support Project Delivery Document best practices, emerging trends and challenges Client support service model Community partnerships & sub-project activities •Tracking & Reporting  Standardized statistical reports, needs & gaps, client profile, recommendations to CIC Tracking summary reports for IFH issues & other health/mental health needs New medications being considered, dental & interpretation approved case by case and awareness of regional gaps in service
  25. 25. Coordinator Role (cont’d) •Communication & Information Sharing Annual group meetings, professional development, site visits Sharing resources, information & best practices across the region Examples: community health/mental health networks, youth-focused initiatives Building awareness & relations between project sites •Budget Management
  26. 26. CSS Findings: Needs & Gaps •Physical Health Needs GARs arrive with significant medical needs that require immediate & on-going attention Death of family doctors that speak clients’ languages; shortage of doctors in some regions Many doctors, dentists & pharmacies do not accept IFH •Emotional/Mental Needs Trend towards increased numbers of GARs with mental health issues Difficulty finding counsellors who can provide professional therapy in clients’ language Long waiting lists for existing counseling services Fee for service for professional therapy PTSD observed to cause setbacks in client settlement
  27. 27. CSS Findings: Needs & Gaps (cont’d) •Learning or Improving English Assistance with registration for LINC/ESL, literacy classes & high school Advocacy needed with LINC classes to adjust class schedules/attendance (i.e., medical condition, etc) Literacy classes are challenging for clients who are illiterate in their own language Limited childcare for clients with young infants • Interpretation & Community Services Lack of skilled & qualified interpreters Finding volunteer work & summer jobs for youth/families Youth services (16-18 yrs) do not cater to GAR needs
  28. 28. CSS Findings: Needs & Gaps (cont’d) •Settlement & Adaptation to new Community Adjusting to new systems & resources Lack of essential life skills & ability to make decisions, set goals, time management & building confidence Lack of experience living independently (i.e., budgeting) Assistance with functional skills On-going information & education support during the first year Education to families about prevention of women, child and elder abuse
  29. 29. Top Client Needs: 07-08 Top Common Needs Comparative of Five Sites April 2007 - March 2008 70.0% 60.0% 50.0% 40.0% 30.0% 20.0% 10.0% 0.0% Education and Information Community and Settlement Health Social Services Housing Training Sessions Recreation Information Hamilton 18.0% 15.9% 16.4% 21.3% 15.1% 0.0% 1.8% Kitchener 48.0% 6.6% 4.5% 0.7% 2.3% 16.0% 2.5% Ottawa 37.1% 8.2% 1.8% 1.0% 3.8% 1.0% 6.1% Windsor 63.4% 4.0% 4.2% 0.2% 2.7% 1.4% 2.5% Toronto 13.7% 10.7% 6.8% 6.8% 4.3% 2.9% 5.0% Average 36.0% 9.1% 6.7% 6.0% 5.6% 4.3% 3.6%
  30. 30. CSS Best Practices •Coordinated Service Delivery – Working with Existing Services & Networks in the Community Collaboration with settlement programs (ISAP, LINC, HOST & SWIS) New LINC literacy classes with childminding approved due to identified gaps in community HOST program adapted to GAR youth needs Community mapping of health, mental health, employment and other related services Working with community experts to provide training & support Broader-based services are aware of GAR needs & issues while clients are gaining a better understanding of services available to them
  31. 31. CSS Best Practices (cont’d) •Youth Component Peer mentoring groups for GAR youth ages 16 to 24 Assisting youth obtain driver’s license Youth focused workshops on many topics Techniques developed for family/cultural mediation Refugee children participate in art project Youth receive donated re-furbished computer to help with school work Partnerships with other agencies to provide leadership development & community involvement Youth are empowered to continue education Youth are engaged in positive activities Youth are engaged with local community
  32. 32. CSS Best Practices (cont’d) •Supporting Clients to Learn English Collaboration with LINC Assessment Centres & LINC classes to identify gaps, track attendance & improve referrals Coordinate on-site assessments & referrals for large groups Referrals to alternative programs: HOST, ESL conversation circle, ESL, volunteering, etc Pilot of ESL & mother with young infants social group Clients remain in school and progress through the language program Clients become more independent due to improved communication skills
  33. 33. CSS Best Practices (cont’d) •Physical & Mental Health Community Networks Working with Public Health for on-site immunization Advocacy, outreach & education to doctors, dentists & pharmacists about IFH plan Information sessions on different health topics Community health & mental health networks established with local health care providers & experts GARs have access to specific services for these needs (i.e., family doctor) Broader-based services are more aware of refugee health & mental health needs
  34. 34. Client Centered Approach - Model Core Functions of “Client- Centered Approach” •Intake interview •Needs assessment •Develop a personal settlement plan (short & long term goals) •Provide services & identify referrals in the community •Coordination with various institutions, agencies, etc •Follow-up, monitoring & re-assessment •Evaluation & feedback •File transfer/closure
  35. 35. Resources List of GTA Resources (handout)
  36. 36. Success Story - 1 •A single mom with 9 kids came from Afghanistan. The husband had been killed in front of the children who were naturally traumatized. Supportive counselling was provided through Access Alliance. Two of the sons were helped with obtaining surgery. A month after arrival, their apartment suffered extensive fire damage. Within 24 hours, we advocated with the landlord and got her another apartment in the same building. Also advocated with CIC for start-up funds and the family received $5,000 to purchase personal belongings, kitchen equipment, etc. In addition, new furniture was also purchased for them. Over and above, we managed to have her loan from CIC converted to a contribution.
  37. 37. Success Story - 2 •A 22 year old youth who came from a refugee camp in Thailand was given a ticket for riding a bicycle without a bell. The ticket was for $110. The CSS youth support worker sought legal advice from a legal clinic, and accompanied the youth to defend himself in court. In the meeting with the judge, the youth declared himself guilty. He also explained that he was a newcomer to the city. Furthermore, in his country of origin, there weren’t any rules regarding the use of bicycles. The judge forgave the ticket and made the youth commit to buy a bell and learn the pertinent safety rules. The youth viewed this incident as a learning experience and has gained increased awareness about his responsibilities as a newcomer.
  38. 38. Success Story - 3 •A male client, aged 35, originally from Burma, who had lived in a camp for 20 years. Lost his vision at age 14. Arrived in Canada last summer with his family and with the dream to be able to see again. After arrival in Canada, the visually impaired client was connected with the Canadian National Institute for Blind (CNIB). He received a walking cane, mobility training, and training for independent living skills at his home. Throughout the training, the CSS Program provided interpretation services. The client is now able to walk on his own to the nearest plaza and independently do his shopping. He has also learned how to cross the street and use public transportation without assistance. The client is currently connected with an Independent Living Instructor from CNIB, is learning how to cook simple meals, use the phone, and use and recognize money. Even though it is still uncertain that he will see again, the client is feeling empowered with the skills he has learned and has much more hope in his future.
  39. 39. Success Story - 4 •A senior couple arrived in Toronto in May 2007 as part of a larger family, including a son, daughter-in-law, and an adult daughter. The parents are in their early sixties and originally from Burma. For the past 17 years, they had lived in a Karen refugee camp in Thailand. All are fluent in Burmese as well as English. The father holds an engineering degree and the mother is an accountant. During the past 17 years in the camp, the father was engaged in teaching English to other Karen refugees and in conducting translations. Because of their fluency in both languages, father, son and daughter were referred to COSTI’S CITPT program and to Access Alliance where they received a three day training as interpreters. After completion of the 3 day training, they were offered on-call jobs as interpreters with the same organisation as well as with COSTI. The 3 individuals are earning relatively well. The son has also just found a job as an host worker at an agency in Jane and Finch area.
  40. 40. Thank You!