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ECD SETTLEMENT PILOT PROJECTS. Surrey. PRESENTERS: Daljit Gill-Badesha Director of First Steps Program – DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society Bohang Matsumunyane Counsellor - First Steps ECD Settlement Project DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society. Learning and linking….

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Daljit Gill-Badesha

Director of First Steps Program –

DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society

Bohang Matsumunyane

Counsellor - First Steps ECD Settlement Project

DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society

Learning and linking
Learning and linking…

  • Growing number and needs of refugee children 0-6 identified to Surrey/White Rock Make Children First table

  • Complexity of their children’s issues identified by community agencies, School District, MCFD and Fraser Health

  • Became clear that something new needed to appropriately serve these children

  • MCF Coordinator leads the way to discussions - pulls together agencies and funders for research and solutions presented in a pilot service delivery model

  • Unique partnership built - DIVERSEcity, OPTIONS Surrey Community Services, and UMOJA Operation Compassion Society

  • Surrey model serves as an example for other cities – 5 other pilots developed

Unique collaboration allows
Unique Collaboration Allows:

  • Address issues in an integrated and collaborative way

  • Provide value-added components to each other’s strengths and experiences

  • Services in one project that serve the true needs of refugee children and their caregivers

  • Barriers of access to service addressed

Ecd settlement pilot project goals are
ECD Settlement Pilot Project Goals are

  • To provide intensive ECD settlement and developmental support to young refugee children and their caregivers to:

    • Minimize impact of trauma and the refugee experience on children’s growth

    • Facilitate successful transition of children into mainstream programs

    • Increase caregivers awareness of parenting in the Canadian context

  • To build capacity within agencies, ECD programs and settlement services on how to best meet the needs of young refugee children and their families

  • To share the learning's from this project with other community agencies, funders and policy makers in BC, so a new provincial ECD settlement funding stream can be developed

Canadian citizenship immigration terms of newcomers
Canadian Citizenship & Immigration Terms of Newcomers

  • Business Immigrant (includes 3 classes of immigrants – investors, entrepreneurs and self-employed people. Business immigrants become permanent residents on the basis of their ability to become economically established in Canada. Some other criteria for economic or entrepreneur include business holding in Canada, net worth, etc.)

  • Economic Immigrant (people selected for their skills and ability to contribute to Canada's economy, including skilled workers, business people and provincial nominees)

  • Foreign Worker

  • Foreign Student

  • Family Class (relatives of a sponsor in Canada, including but not limited to parents, children, other relatives, or any relative if no other relatives living in Canada or abroad)

Canadian citizenship immigration terms of newcomers1
Canadian Citizenship & Immigration Terms of Newcomers

  • Dependant (the spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner and children of a landed immigrant). A dependent child can be biological or adopted. There are several criteria to determine if the child is a dependent (i.e. age, student, financially dependent, etc.)

  • Convention Refugee (a person with a well founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, or social group or political membership).

    A refugee may leave due to violence, economic disparity, repression, natural disasters, or political conflict.

    Classifications include:

    • Government-Assisted Refugees

    • Privately Sponsored Refugees (church/individual)

    • Asylum Refugees

    • Refugee Dependents

Internally displaced person
Internally Displaced Person

  • People who have had to flee their homes, but have not crossed any internationally recognized borders

Refugee Camps

Poor security

Limited educational facilities

Daily food rations, malnutrition is an issue

Health problems and Disease

Loss of Freedom and Personal Choice

Are our needs all the same
Are our Needs all the Same?


Chooses to leave their Homeland

Prepare emotionally for their departure

Have all documentation with them including education qualifications

Emigrate with families or already has connections in host country

Can return to their homeland

Well prepared and well motivated to settle into a new country

Less likely to encounter negative attitudes in their resettled country


Often leave in response to a crisis

Often leave in a hurried manner, even secret departures

Often flee without documentation

Often leave families behind

Often dream of returning home

Often arrive in the new country ill prepared and often traumatized.

May experience stigma and prejudice

Prolonged experience in protracted camp

Slide information provided by RMS – Refugee Resettlement

Looking at our province iss statistics
Looking at our ProvinceISS Statistics

Top 5 Destinations

Surrey - 213 (28%)

Burnaby – 179 (23 )

Tri-Cities – 152 (20 %)

Vancouver - 62 (8%)

New Westminster - 40 (5%)


Iraq (24%)

Iran (13%)

Somalia (12.5%)

Afghanistan (10%)

Bhutan (8%)

Arrival in canada
Arrival in Canada

  • Initial Phase (1-2 Weeks)

    • Receive families at the airport

    • Transport to “Welcome House”

    • Provide Orientation for families during their initial 12-14 days ( or Less)

    • Assist in Transportation to new residence (money for taxi or bus)

    • Assist with furniture

    • Medical Screening at Bridge Clinic


Bridge clinic
Bridge Clinic

-All have been previously tested for TB

-Screening :


Vaccination history

Psychological Screening


-Blood work and stool samples for:

Hepatitis B & C




Ovine Parasite and Bacterial

Stages of settlement
Stages of Settlement

  • Arrive

  • Survive

  • Thrive

The research
The Research

  • Religiosity, supernatural belief system, and spirituality

  • Family’s structural patterns

  • Acculturation level

  • Ascriptive and ascribed social roles, social power and status

  • Language/literacy level

  • Values system

  • Knowledge, beliefs and attitudes about health and government

  • Stigma around utilizing government institutions and health services

  • Formal and informal (cultural) taboos

  • Inadequate or adequate financial resources

  • Experience of prejudice, institutional and individual racism, ignorance

  • Group composition – intra and inter group differences (Discount of the complexities and variations of cultural groups)

  • Pattern of immigration (planned or unplanned process)

The realities
The Realities

  • They don’t know the process.

  • They don’t understand the process.

  • Can I make the decision?

  • Can I take the information home to my family?

  • How will they understand me?

  • How do I follow through with my cultural, religious or spiritual beliefs?

  • How do I maintain what I believe in?

So what gets in the way

Discomfort sharing

Difficult to express/silence


Fear of stigma

Lack of trust

Biased perception


Discomfort listening/hear


Fear of misunderstandings


Blind spots


…so what gets in the way?

So what do we do
…so what do we do?

  • We tend to talk louder

  • We get frustrated

  • We stop communicating

  • We look to others for answers or refer out

  • Us versus them

    BUT…….what we should do is…….

Widening our perspective
Widening Our Perspective:

  • Some clients need to learn about learning. Learn about accessing. Learn about utilizing. Learn about changing.

  • Don’t exclude others through language

  • Western nuances, jokes and gestures may not be understood and can lead to disconnect in communication and relationship building

  • Acknowledge and respect intra-group differences

  • Recognize clients may not feel “at home” or “safer” in this country

  • Clients may have dreams of returning home or guilt for leaving others behind

  • Recognize the effect of learning a new language

  • Accommodate and uphold cultural values – i.e. pride and “to save face” when handling mistakes, even with young children

  • Accommodate traditional healing practices and “different” problem-solving

  • Develop clear guidelines and expectations around programming needs, expectations, and behaviors (i.e. what behavior is expected around attending appointment, where to park, travel subsidy available, interpretation/translation support available, etc)

  • Understand the range of emotional and physical expression allowed in other cultures (i.e. some cultures have specific criteria for how much a woman can show her body)

  • Recognize range of family values and involvement in attending appointments (i.e. decisions, signing paperwork). Allow full family participation.

Mental health issues with refugees in canada
Mental Health Issues with Refugees in Canada:

  • Systemic challenges (MCFD, RCMP, job search, school district, health care, BC Housing, etc

  • Integration and settlement concerns

  • Mental health issues including PTSD, domestic violence, and cultural/spiritual practices

  • Culture shock, different cultural assimilation experiences between generations, and Acculturation process

Considerations in working with refugees
Considerations in Working With Refugees:

  • Impact of past trauma, persecution, and torture, grief/loss

  • Culture and health

  • Gender and domestic violence

  • Safety issues and coping with loss

  • Communication and linguistic concerns; Working with interpreters

  • Systemic barriers not fully addressed in any literature

  • Awareness of clients’ stressors and limited resources

  • Symptom manifestation

  • Sufficient time in clinical process to hear clients story

  • Explanation of therapeutic process

Lessons learned best practices
Lessons Learned/Best Practices:

  • Impact of trauma and counselling

  • Balancing the fine line of Canadian culture versus “back home” (micro-aggression)

  • Stigma and barriers to service provision

  • Systemic concerns

  • Offering a range of support services

  • Bi-lingual and bi-cultural mental health professionals on board

  • Build a team around the client – ICM/para-professional support/interpreters

Lessons learned best practices continued
Lessons Learned/Best Practices Continued:

  • Use of tools that don’t depend on English language proficiency

  • Address clients beliefs and perceptions about counselling

  • Advantage of mental health clinicians cultural, ethnic and linguistic backgrounds: (cultural competence and sensitivity),

  • Premise of cross-cultural counselling (theory) - does it apply to your client?

  • Our view of how problems are solved

The values of the project spoken in the words of one sudanese leader
The values of the project…spoken in the words of one Sudanese leader…

We are losing our rich culture, language ,dignity, and values.

We are not getting the language and schooling support we need for success.

Most of our people are living in poverty as a result of no skills.

We are not recognized as a visible minority with a big problem therefore we are not getting what we need so that we can manage our life here in Canada.

We have no opportunity to get involved in Canadian society where we can explain who we are.

Our children are incompetent in schools, and so most are unsuccessful.

Many families experiencing family break-down.

Most of our people are not getting proper medical treatment.

We experience racism and prejudice – especially our youth.

Facing all those challenges, and in our pain and despair, it is easy to lose hope …

BUT we are resilient people, chosen to survive and glad to be alive here in Canada. We have hidden talents yet to be revealed. While we ask for your help, it is so we can give back and share who we really are.

“Not a hand out or forever a hand up, but a chance to walk hand in hand together ”

Any questions
Any Questions? Sudanese leader…