Example of a Settlement Service Program

Objectives of the Program

The main objective of the program is to support newcomers or immigrants while promoting intercultural cooperation along the settlement continuum. The program will be tailored to meet the needs of newcomer families and their children in the new settlement areas. The program will further facilitate their integration in the new communities. The immigrants are helped to feel more welcomed rather than needy and helpless. All these activities are to be conducted in a Covid-19 sensitive manner where all measures and guidelines are to be met. Hence, the program will prioritize the curbing of the spread of the Coronavirus. 

Target Population

The program targets all newcomer families and children who are refugees. It will serve refugee families from more than 20 countries. The settlement program stations will be located at prime refugee residential areas for ease in accessibility. Resource people communicating the relevant first languages will be stationed at these stations for proper communication.

Identified Problem

A major problem to deal with will be in maintaining the online provision services to curb the spread of Coronavirus. To maintain social distancing and reduce interactions, most of the services will be offered through mobile phones and emails. These include check-ins, orientation, guidance and counseling, and mentorships. As a result, the program will have to provide telephones or tablets with wireless internet for the newcomers to access these services.

Statement of Need

The settlement program will serve the needs of newcomers beginning from food. After check-ins and during orientation, the refugees will be provided with food and their expenses catered for within the first one month. Their medical bills and contingencies will also be in the hands of the settlement program hence the need for adequate finances and resources. Currently, the most critical requirement is to stay safe especially while offering in-person services. Despite the prioritization of online services, there will still be inevitable interactions. Consequently, there is a need to keep both the service providers and clients safe. Protective items such as masks and hand sanitizers have to be in adequate supply. This comes with additional costs where the program may need financial support. The Government of Canada steps in in facilitating such expenses as the increased demand for telephones and tablets in online services delivery.

Basic Logic Model

The long-term outcome of the settlement program is to promote the ultimate connection and intercultural integration in the community for the newcomer families. This will include offering support in terms of finances and resources for as long as the family gains stability. Short term outcomes include the proper orientation of newcomer families to understand the cultural and ethnic differences. The program also hopes to minimize the effects of emotional distress on refugee families through crisis guidance and counseling services. The last short-term output and activity are to consistently influence the host community to adjust flexibly to the newcomers.

Reflection

This program is well-aligned to the best practices of Settlement Work. One of the core values in the best practice guidelines is access. The program ensures access by providing a culturally diverse environment for immigrants to feel welcomed. Besides, service providers communicate and address the needs of clients using their first languages where needed. Secondly, the program meets inclusion by offering a wide range of services to all newcomers. Clients are also empowered through recognition, support, and education services offered. Individual needs are met at a personal level to ensure personal growth and development.

Discussion

There has been a variety of changes for settlement work as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. First, settlement programs are putting prime focus and emphasis on the essential services. While these essential services include orientation and provision of food and medication, non-basic needs can only be offered after safe re-opening. However, settlement programs are being encouraged to conduct most of their activities on an online basis. Unlike before where counseling, check-ins, and mentorships were being done in person, they are now being done online. All these changes are to minimize interactions and maintain social distancing for health and safety purposes.

Adaptation

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, settlement programs have to adapt a safe manner of culturally relevant activities. For instance, rather than risky interactions, clients are being offered with cell phones having wireless internet to promote online learning of multiple languages and understanding of the cultural differences. Online education programs are also effective in promoting individual talents and promoting careers. The program should expand its outreach to the host communities in encouraging them to accept and accommodate immigrants.

Collaboration

The settlement program can work with other existing services and agencies by creating a variety of focus groups comprising of the various agencies’ stakeholders. For instance, collaborating with the Ministry of Children, town councils, and representatives will promote ease in the identification of the areas at higher risk.

Discussion

To promote an intercultural sensitive interaction with peers, there will be focus groups selected purposely from diverse communities. Besides, where the need is, services will be offered using the newcomers’ first languages. Avenues for collaboration with other settlement programs and agencies will be identified through open discussions with the stakeholders from different focus groups. It is through this openness to collaborations and community involvement that the newcomers will be successfully welcomed. The proposed plan is designed in a manner sufficient for integrating all newcomers to Canada during the Covid-19 pandemic. This is made possible by the inclusions and stakeholder collaborations that will promote a better outreach and influence on the host communities. Also, there will be education programs to inform both the hosts and newcomers on the preventive and safety control measures against Covid-19.