Page 1


Settlement Worker  in  School  (SWIS)   Handbook  for  School  District  #53   Staff/Administrators  &  Support  Staff  

Enhanced Settlement  Workers  in  Schools  Program  in  B.C.             Ministry   of   Jobs,   Tourism   and   Innovation,   Immigrant   Integration   Branch   is   committed   to   providing   new   immigrants   with   the   information   and   support   they   need   to   flourish   in   Canadian   society   and   BC   communities.   The   majority   of   the   funding   for   settlement   and   adaptation   services   is   provided   by   the   Federal   Government   under   the   terms   of   the   Agreement   for   Canada   –   B.C.   Cooperation   on   Immigration,   available   on   the   following   website.­‐policy/agreement/bc/bc-­‐2012.asp      

Settlement   services   assist   immigrants,   refugees   and   other   eligible   clients   to   meet   their   settlement   and   integration   needs   after   their   arrival   in   Canada.   Traditionally,   settlement   support,  funded  by  the  Immigrant  Integration  and  Multiculturalism  Branch  of  the  Ministry   of  Jobs  Tourism  and  Innovation  (hereafter  referred  to  as  ‘the  Ministry),  has  been  provided   to   new   immigrants   by   service   agencies   located   in   the   community.   The   Ministry   does   recognize   that   schools   are   one   of   the   first   points   of   contact   for   newcomers   after   their   arrival   in   a   new   community,   and   so   if   the   Ministry   can   support   the   process   of   immigrant   settlement  in  the  schools  as  well,  settlement  and  integration  outcomes  of  new  immigrants   would  be  improved.         The  Purpose  of  this  booklet  is  to  establish  clear  goals  for  the  program  model  and  provide   policies  and  guidelines  for  services  delivery.  It  is  recognized  that  service  methods  in  each   district  will  be  tailored  to  meet  the  needs  of  its  student  population  and  to  suit  the  particular   service   environment.   However   these   guidelines   will   ensure   consistency   in   general   approach,   client   eligibility,   outcomes   and   accountability   in   accordance   with   the   expectations   of   the   Ministry   and   the   Agreement   for   Canada-­‐B.C.   Cooperation   on   Immigration.           The   Ministry   intends   to   provide   school-­‐based   settlement   services   in   the   school   districts   where  there  are  high  number  of  immigrant  students.      

Immediate/Intermediate Outcomes:       Newcomer  Students   • Are   more   aware   of   school   programs,   after-­‐school   activities,   future   education,   summer  employment  and  other  community  services   • Are  more  engaged  in  school  and  after-­‐after  school  activities     • Are  supported  in  conflict  resolution  and  stay  in  school     • Obtain  relevant  guidance  and  support  to  continue  learning     • Are  able  to  deal  with  emotional  needs,  self-­‐esteem,  personal  identity  issues,  and   cultural  adjustments   • Acquire  basic  knowledge  and  skills  necessary  to  pursue  social,  learning  or  work   opportunities     • Have  an  increased  sense  of  belonging  in  the  school   • Gain  exposure  to  the  community  and  /or  workplace.     Newcomer  Parents   • Are  more  familiar  with  Canadian  culture  and  the  school  system     • Are  more  involved  in  school  activities  and  their  children’s  education     • Are  supported  in  conflict  resolution  processes  in  the  school     • Are  aware  of  current  and  future  educational/training  options  for  their  children     • Are  aware  of  school,  community  and  government  resources       Schools  (teachers,  administrators  and  staff)     • Have  an  increased  awareness  and  sensitivity  towards  different  cultures     • Have   an   increased   knowledge   of   immigrant   settlement   needs   and   related   community  resources     • Are   able   to   try   our   new   methods   of   assisting   vulnerable/at-­‐risk   immigrant   students     • Are  able  to  increase  relevance  of  educational  programs  to  immigrant  students       Settlement  Agencies  and  other  Partner  Agencies     • Are  able  to  more  quickly  reach  newly-­‐arrived  children  and  families     • Have  a  stronger  relationships  with  schools  

All  Groups:     • Immigrant  families  are  integrated  more  quickly  into  Canadian  Society     • Student  are  more  focused  on  education  and  academic  issues     • School  culture  is  more  inclusive  of  newcomer  families     • Services  for  newcomer  families  are  more  comprehensive    

Newcomer Students:     • Are  integrated  into  the  regular  school  system     • Are   ready   to   pursue   further   education,   formal   vocational   training,   apprenticeship  or  work  upon  leaving  school     • Have  a  positive  outlook  on  life  in  Canada     Schools   • Are  better  able  to  respond  to  the  needs  of  a  diverse  school  population     • Increased  completion  rate  for  immigrant  students       Refer   also   to   the   Program   Logic   Model   in   Appendix   1,   which   describes   the   relationship   between  program  input,  core  activities,  expected  outputs  and  outcomes  for  the  services.      

    Eligibility  criteria  are  different  for  Program  Element          

A. Element  1-­‐  Information,  Referral  and  Support  Services                                        Primary  targets:     Priority  target  for  this  program  element  are  students  and  parents  in  the  public  K  to   12  system  who  are:       a) Permanent   residents,   including   refugees,   protected   persons,   Live-­‐in   Caregivers,  or  individuals  who  have  been  selected  by  Canada  to  become  a   permanent  resident  and  have  a  CIC  letter  informing  him/her  of  the  initial   approval,   pending   admissibility   assessment   (medical,   security   and   criminal  verifications);  and     b) Within  their  first  year  of  settlement  in  Canada.                              Secondary  targets:     Services  maybe  provided  to  students  and  parents  in  the  public  K  to  12  systems  who  are   beyond  their  first  year  in  Canada  but  are  still  in  need  of  support  to  understand,  adjust   and  integrate  into  the  new  school  system  (i.e.  still  having  ‘first  year’  settlement  needs).       Tertiary  targets:     Subject   to   the   availability   of   resources,   services   may   be   provided   to   students   and   families  who  are:    

• • •              

Naturalized Canadian  citizens,  or     Refugee  Claimants,  or     In  Canada  on  Temporary  Work  Permits  or  Study  Permits  but  are  not  fee-­‐ payers  to  the  School  District*.    

Highest   priority   should   be   given   to   address   initial   settlement   needs   of   students   and   their   families   through   systematic   outreach   to   all   new   arrivals,   orientation   and   information   on   school   and   community,   referrals   and   assistance   to   access   other   services   and  resources.      

Systematic outreach  to  all  newly  arrived  families                    (SWIS)  <-­‐>    <-­‐>     In   collaboration   with   District   and   school   staff   (principals,   administrators   and   teachers),   settlement   workers   should   obtain   contact   information   from,   and   reach   out   to,   all   newly   arrived  immigrant  parents  and  students  to  inform  them  about  the  program;     • Work  with  school  staff  to  contact  ‘hard  to  reach  families’    

           Settlement  counseling  for  student,  parent,  or  family        <-­‐>     • Assess  the  settlement  needs  of  newly  arrived  immigrant  students  and  their  families;     • Provide   information   and   orientation   to   newly   arrived   immigrant   families   about   services   and   resources   available   to   them   in   the   school   system   as   well   as   broader   service  systems;     • Provide   information   and   advice   to   secondary   school-­‐aged   immigrant   students   and   their  parents  on  educational  and  vocational  programs;   • Connect  immigrant  students  or  families  to  appropriate  student  services/resources,   support   groups   and   parent   networks   in   the   school   and   school   district   (include   assistance   with   appointment-­‐making,   application   forms   and   providing   accompaniment);     • Refer   immigrant   students   or   families   to   community-­‐based   settlement   agencies   for   broader   settlement   support,   community   connections   and   volunteering   opportunities.           Workshops  and  group  activities    <-­‐>     • Organize   and   conduct   workshops   on   settlement   and   cross-­‐cultural   issues   in   collaboration   with   home/school   multiculturalism   workers,   other   school   staff,   and   community  partners.  This  will  include  sessions  that  target  newcomer  students  and   families  (e.g.  an  orientation  to  school  cultures  and  expectations),  and  sessions  that  

target school   administrators   and   staff   (e.g.   an   introduction   to   minority   cultures   or   the  experience  of  refugees  etc.)     Client/School   Liaison  (Note:  School  Districts  that  already  have  multicultural  workers   will  have  to  consider  delineating  the  focus  of  this  service  to  avoid  duplication)       • Facilitate  constructive  and  culturally  sensitive  communication  between  school  staff   and  the  immigrant  students  and  their  families;     • Inform   and   orient   school   staff   about   settlement   related   needs   and   issues   of   immigrant  students  and  families,  in  particular,  the  needs  of  vulnerable  populations   such  as  refugees;     • Assist  school  staff  establishing  and  maintaining  contact  with  immigrant  families;     • Cultural   interpretation   for   all   parties,   school   staff   and   immigrant   parents   and   children  (educate  teachers  on  the  behaviors,  beliefs  and  culture  of  the  children  and   parents,   and   educate   parent   on   the   BC   education   system,   the   schools’   culture   and   policies).      

The  roles  of  school-­‐based  settlement  workers  must  be  clearly  defined  and  understood  by   all  parties  within  the  school  system  to  prevent  duplication  and  overlap  of  services  already   available  in  schools  or  community  agencies.       While  school-­‐based  settlement  workers  will  be  able  to  perform  a  wide  variety  of  services   for  their  clients  under  the  three  program  elements,  they  do  not  have  the  mandate  to  do  the   following:     • Mediate  conflicts     • Teach  ESL/ESD     • Translate/interpret  in  non-­‐settlement  contexts  (e.g.  interpret  at  parent-­‐teacher   interviews  that  are  scheduled  for  all  students,  or  translate  school  notices)     • Act  as  a  social  worker,  first  language  assessor  or  bilingual  instructor,  or  teaching   assistant   (Settlement   workers   may   be   hired   to   work   as   both   SWIS   and   youth   worker   if   they   meet   the   qualifications   although   roles   should   be   clearly   differentiated)     • Provide  long  term  intensive  work  with  families  and  students  on  behavioral  and   academic  issues     • Provide  educational  support    (e.g.  homework  help  and  tutoring)-­‐  unless  part  of  a   suite  of  services  in  element  2  or  3  services     • Provide   multicultural   support   to   meet   educational   needs   (e.g.   develop   resources   and  lesson  aids)       • Provide  counseling  to  address  mental  health  issues  or  diagnostic  assessment.            

A. Participation  in  Community  Tables       Contractors  are  expected  to  participate  in  partnership  tables  that  may  be  organized  by  the   Ministry  throughout  the  province.   The  purpose  of  these  tables  would  be  to  engage  local  communities  in  identifying  regional   immigration   needs,   developing/coordinating   settlement   services   and   facilitating   cross-­‐ agency  and  cross-­‐sectorial  collaboration  in  planning  local  activities  that  foster  welcoming   communities  and  settlement  services.       B. Referral  Protocol       Contractors   will   establish   referral   protocols   with   Refugee   services,   the   Settlement   and   Integration  Program,  English  Language  development  programs,  and  other  service  delivery   systems   (including   health,   housing,   education,   employment,   legal   and   justice)   to   ensure   that   clients   have   the   full   range   of   supports   that   best   meet   their   needs   and   minimize   duplication  of  services.  Referral  protocols  will  address  the  following:     • Having   a   clear   plan   for   engaging   relevant   stakeholders   (in   the   school   system   and   beyond)  in  the  delivery  of  services;     • Working  collaboratively  to  coordinate  services,  address  service  gaps  or  duplication;     • Maximizing  the  use  of  resources  and  expertise  through  leveraging  or  sharing;     • Focusing  on  a  smooth  transition  of  clients  between  services  systems       A  committee  will  be  developed  and  led  by  the  Ministry  of  develop  a  standardized  referral   protocol  for  school  districts  and  community  partners.       C. Ministry  of  Education  and  School  District  Support  for  School  Based  Settlement  Workers:    

The  Ministry  of  Education  provides  in-­‐kind  support  by  providing  support  at  the  school  and   district  level.       Support  from  schools  and  administrators  should  be  provided  through:     • And  appropriate  working  space/office  available  for  them  when  visiting  schools;     • Lists  and  information  on  potential  clients;     • A   place   or   opportunity   to   meet   with   newcomer   families   when   they   are   registering  their  children  and  during  the  school  year;     • Opportunities  to  sit  in  on  school  /staff  meetings;     • An   awareness   among   school   staff   about   how   school-­‐based   settlement   workers   can  support  them  and  their  students;     • Adequate   tools   such   as   laptop   or   cell   phone   to   connect   with   families   after   school   hours.          

D. Program Structure   The   Immigrant   Integration   and   Multiculturalism   Branch   will   lead   an   Advisory   Committee   in   partnership   with   Ministry   of   Education.   Representatives   form   school   districts  will  be  expected  to  participate  in  2  to  4  meetings  a  year  as  needed.       To   Assist   SD   Staff   in   Recognizing   Presenting   Issues   in   the   Classroom   That   May   Be   Settlement  Based:  

  The  SWIS  worker  will  work  in  collaboration  with  School  District  Staff  to  assist  school  aged   children  and  their  families.     The  first  area  to  identify  is  the  multiplicity  of  barriers  that  the  parents  and  school  age   children  face.  To  empower  this  group  PDMS/SOICS  SWIS  WORKER  must  be  able  to  assist   with  breaking  through  language  barriers,  accessing  information,  addressing   sponsorship/immigration  barriers,  meet  material  needs  and  break  their  social  isolation.   • Parents/Student  is  uncomfortable  or  unfamiliar  with  formalized  classroom  style  of   service  delivery  and  sees  this  as  challenging.   • Parent/  Student  regards  education  system  for  themselves  as  unimportant   • Parent/Student  does  however  value  education  for  their  children   • Parent/Student  has  no  prior  exposure  to  English,  may  work  on  a  family  farm  or  in   agricultural  industry  where  English  skills  are  not  a  necessity   • Parent/Student  may  have  literacy  issues  in  their  own  language  and  be   uncomfortable  about  the  school  culture   • Understanding  that  often  it  is  the  Grandparents  who  are  tasked  with  supporting  the   children.   Barriers  to  School  participation  that  will  be  addressed  are:   Role  in  the  family  –  e.g.  stay  at  home  mothers  and/or  Grandparents,  generational   differences/difficulties.   Religion  –  may  not  favor  education  or  independence   Lack  of  education  from  native  country;  Lack  of  information  about  the  Canadian  school   system,  roles  and  expectations.  Lack  of  information  about  Canadian  Laws  and  rights,  social   infrastructure  and  available  services  lack  of  knowledge  about  relationship  violence,  lack  of   familiarity  with  their  new  country.   Cultural  restrictions:  on  associations  with  opposite  genders,  religions,  social  classes,  the   broader  community.  Independence  is  discouraged.   Interference  of  their  own  cultural  norms  e.g.  Exposure/issues  with  different  foods,  notion   of  punctuality,  hygiene.   Lack  of  transportation:  Women’s  social  isolation  is  prevalent  for  many  who  live  on  out-­‐ lying  farms  and  who  cannot  or  who  are  not  allowed  to  drive,  except  to  bring  children  into   school.   Fear:  Lack  of  Cultural  Sensitivity  by  the  community  creates  challenges  when  immigrants   are  unaware  of  what  is  culturally  appropriate.  Fear  of  authority.  Lack  of  Cultural   Sensitivity  in  other  learning  environments.    

Settlement Worker  in  Schools  (SWIS)  Program  SD53  -­‐   Okanagan  Similkameen    


Delivered in  Partnership  With:     South  Okanagan  Immigration  &  Community  Services   250.498.4900  


With Funding  From:     Ministry  of  Jobs,  Tourism  &  Innovation  -­‐  Immigration   Integration  Branch  

SWIS Handbook  

SWIS Handbook