Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.
Theme 1: Immigration, Credential
Recognition, Licensure,
and Finding Work
Knowledge Exchange Forum
November 2014
Canada’s complicated welcome
• the ideal multicultural mosaic
• comfortable standard of living
• health care
• natural bea...
Many internationally educated social workers
encounter significant challenges before starting to
practice in Canada as a r...
Navigating Policies: Immigration
• Not clear + time consuming + not user friendly
My experience has been is if you come in...
• Circular in process: needing a job offer to get
residency and needing residency to get a job
offer
[I saw] through immig...
Navigating Policies: Recognition of
Foreign Credentials
• Inconsistent criteria + lengthy time delays + costly
It took fou...
Immigrants are asked to:
navigate bureaucracy of the foreign credential
recognition body (often with little guidance other...
Some migrant social workers may decide not pursue
credential recognition:
I know for a fact that a lot of immigrants, perm...
• There was variation among participants to
receive confirmation that their credentials
were recognized: less than six mon...
Navigating Policies:
Social Work Licensure
• Cumbersome + lengthy + mixed messages
• Self advocacy required
I started to l...
• For some participants the concept of being
part of a regulated profession is entirely new,
given that in many countries ...
• Within the grapevine of newcomer social
workers, participants heard of variability in
the requirements to obtain the lic...
• For some, there was a resigned acceptance of the
process:
I’m a qualified social worker with a degree in social
work and...
Intersection of credential recognition
& licensure
Frustration that assessment of foreign qualifications and
licensure is ...
While Canadian social workers may know the
history of this division between national and
provincial jurisdiction, immigran...
Navigating Socio-Cultural Dynamics:
Finding work
• Finding work = “lucky” + “fortunate” to not
face overt discrimination i...
Finding Work
• explicit & implicit requirements
• subtle interactions & interpretations
How do I put forth my skills and t...
Challenges and barriers reported:
• discrimination
• language related issues
• lack of familiarity with Canadian human res...
• Participants reported a perception that potential
employers do not invite them for job interviews
due to issues of
– ste...
Participants summarized that:
• Securing a social work job = economic
imperative + facilitating overall adaptation to
the ...
Working outside social work
• Many worked outside social work, including:
– corrections, tourism, retail, food services,
a...
Working outside social work
Initially it was a non-social work post, it was a home-
visitor…and then now I have a social w...
Conclusions
• Canada’s renowned welcome is not one dimensional
• Internationally educated social workers’ experiences
are ...
Question for discussion
• What are ways the credential recognition process can be
improved?
• What are ways the licensure ...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

KEF Licensure and Credentials

847 views

Published on

Presentation 2/5

Published in: Education
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

KEF Licensure and Credentials

  1. 1. Theme 1: Immigration, Credential Recognition, Licensure, and Finding Work Knowledge Exchange Forum November 2014
  2. 2. Canada’s complicated welcome • the ideal multicultural mosaic • comfortable standard of living • health care • natural beauty • aging population • some encouraging federal government initiatives …and yet, the experiences of 66 social workers educated outside Canada suggest a slightly different story…
  3. 3. Many internationally educated social workers encounter significant challenges before starting to practice in Canada as a result of barriers experienced with: immigration policies + recognition of foreign credentials + social work licensure + finding work
  4. 4. Navigating Policies: Immigration • Not clear + time consuming + not user friendly My experience has been is if you come into Canada… then you need to put your helmet on and fasten your seatbelt….It’s not for the faint heart, the process, and you gotta stick with it. (England - 1) The process of immigration is extremely difficult. The Department of Immigration has a website and an email address. They do not have a phone number, so you can’t call anyone and ask questions. Everything you need to know you need to find out off the Internet. And when you email a question to them it may be several days before you get a response. And then it says, ‘look at the website’. (Australia-1)
  5. 5. • Circular in process: needing a job offer to get residency and needing residency to get a job offer [I saw] through immigration their skilled worker program, I thought I can go through that. But then, I need a job first to get to the program. But without the work permit no-one would hire me. (Germany)
  6. 6. Navigating Policies: Recognition of Foreign Credentials • Inconsistent criteria + lengthy time delays + costly It took four months. Four months and they wanted an original of all my degrees and certificates….For God’s sake I went for four months before my family could eat. (Liberia) I remember feeling disgusted that I’d paid … in excess of three hundred dollars for a one page letter which was really quite unclear in the message or what it was actually saying to me. (England - 2)
  7. 7. Immigrants are asked to: navigate bureaucracy of the foreign credential recognition body (often with little guidance other than website text) + produce various documents from countries of origin + pay fees + often face additional barriers with language, culture, & transportation
  8. 8. Some migrant social workers may decide not pursue credential recognition: I know for a fact that a lot of immigrants, permanent residents, who come here, who have a social work degree, do not apply for social work jobs. Because they’re scared they have to go through the association. (Netherlands) ….which further complicates adaptation, given credential recognition is an important step in the process of “rebuilding a professional identity” in a new context (Cardu, 2007: 433).
  9. 9. • There was variation among participants to receive confirmation that their credentials were recognized: less than six months to 4 years; one year was most common • While possible to pursue social work credential recognition in Canada prior to migration, very few participants pursued that option
  10. 10. Navigating Policies: Social Work Licensure • Cumbersome + lengthy + mixed messages • Self advocacy required I started to learn how things work in North America, so I started bucking a lot, and being resistant. And one things that I learn is that in [province], specific thing to [province], it doesn’t matter what you know. It matters who you know. So I started pushing, asking the right questions, and pushing the right way and eventually I got to be a candidate. (Netherlands)
  11. 11. • For some participants the concept of being part of a regulated profession is entirely new, given that in many countries social work is not a regulated profession: The thing that initially surprised me was the [provincial social work regulators]. I find it different…we are obligated to be affiliated with a provincial regulator…. In France, there is no regulator for the profession, you are not required to be in a professional association…that is a difference. Here you do not have a choice. (France)
  12. 12. • Within the grapevine of newcomer social workers, participants heard of variability in the requirements to obtain the license to practice: … social workers from the Philippines that I did work with, they were either asked to earn credit hours [in a practicum], some credit hours in class, or both. In my case, I wasn’t asked or required by the [regulatory body]. (Philippines)
  13. 13. • For some, there was a resigned acceptance of the process: I’m a qualified social worker with a degree in social work and I had to meet with them, was a requirement to meet with them for registration….I had a phone call from the Registrar in the week afterwards to let me know that … they were impressed by what I had to say and that they liked me. I found that amusing. But I just kind of put it to bed and thought well, this is how they do in [province]. You’ve just gotta do it. (England-1)
  14. 14. Intersection of credential recognition & licensure Frustration that assessment of foreign qualifications and licensure is unnecessarily a two-step process: I spoke with the [provincial body], who said to … have [the degrees] accredited by the Canadian association. So I did that…. When I then applied to register with the [provincial body], they said ‘oh we need the transcripts and everything’ and I said ‘you know it was really kind of just a bit messy trying to get them from England, could you not get them from the Canadian [Association]?’ and they said ‘we have no connection with them’. And I was like ‘hang on, you just told me I couldn’t register with you until I was approved by the Canadian [body]… so surely you have, like, one call you could make!’ (England-3)
  15. 15. While Canadian social workers may know the history of this division between national and provincial jurisdiction, immigrant social workers do not, and experience it as cumbersome, overly complicated and lacking coherence: I submitted all the requirements with the Canadian Association of Social Workers and they basically approved and accredited me. Yet, they said that if I wish to work in a province, I would have to apply again to the [provincial regulator]. (Israel)
  16. 16. Navigating Socio-Cultural Dynamics: Finding work • Finding work = “lucky” + “fortunate” to not face overt discrimination in the job search & hiring process • Not finding work = “depressed”, “frustrated”, “discouraged”, “anxious” & “unsettled”
  17. 17. Finding Work • explicit & implicit requirements • subtle interactions & interpretations How do I put forth my skills and tell ‘hey I’m available; I'm available to volunteer; I’m available to give my resources to you’. How do I do that? That is the biggest block I have. (India) …you end up in this vicious circle of, you don’t have a local experience, right? And you cannot get any experience here because you don’t have a working experience here. Well how can I get it if I don’t have a chance? (Ukraine)
  18. 18. Challenges and barriers reported: • discrimination • language related issues • lack of familiarity with Canadian human resources strategies and practices • competition for jobs with domestically educated social workers • having foreign credentials • lacking Canadian work experience • other “invisible barriers” - reasons for not being hired that remained unknown to the migrant social workers: I have applied for numerous jobs…some interviews I went to and I was sure I would be taken and I wasn’t taken. And I really don’t know why. (Liberia).
  19. 19. • Participants reported a perception that potential employers do not invite them for job interviews due to issues of – stereotyping – prejudice – discrimination • Participants perceived they had received clouded messages about their employability as a social worker in the Canadian context. The message that was sent was a subliminal message that we want to have you; we want foreigners [but then] they do not even give you the opportunity to interview. (Spain)
  20. 20. Participants summarized that: • Securing a social work job = economic imperative + facilitating overall adaptation to the new country • Stress and disappointment experienced with employment delay can result in personal problems, such as feelings of inadequacy and hopelessness
  21. 21. Working outside social work • Many worked outside social work, including: – corrections, tourism, retail, food services, agriculture, construction, cleaning, childcare, home health care and human services • Some non-social work jobs eventually led to social work positions, once they had acquired Canadian work experience
  22. 22. Working outside social work Initially it was a non-social work post, it was a home- visitor…and then now I have a social work post within the adoption program there. (England) • Wide range of reaction to accepting non-social work jobs, varying from realization of positive benefits (such as acculturation and the development of greater language proficiency in one of Canada’s national languages) to disappointment and disillusionment.
  23. 23. Conclusions • Canada’s renowned welcome is not one dimensional • Internationally educated social workers’ experiences are shaped by multi-dimensional factors related to personal, cultural, and structural constraints at the micro-, meso-, and macro- levels • Adjustments and adaptations must not only be expected of individuals but of Canadian systems and structures: – complexities of socio-cultural dynamics (racism, discrimination, xenophobia) – credential recognition – licensure processes
  24. 24. Question for discussion • What are ways the credential recognition process can be improved? • What are ways the licensure process can be improved? – Are credential recognition & licensure experienced as barriers for HR and agencies hiring? • To what extent do the requirements of credential recognition and licensure align with the requirements you have for the social workers you hire/work with? • Do you have specific training/orientation in your workplace for internationally educated social workers? Should there be? • Where else/how else should specific training or orientation be offered to internationally educated social workers?

×