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. http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/laws-‐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 firstname.lastname@example.org
With Funding From: Ministry of Jobs, Tourism & Innovation -‐ Immigration Integration Branch