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Settlement Services for Newcomers to Canada

By: Kailash Srinivasan

Published On: June 12, 2019

Settlement services for newcomers help them better integrate into their local communities. Canada has been relentlessly working towards improving accessibility and quality of settlement services for newcomers across the country.

The latest initiative in this direction comes from the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). CHEO is creating a new national network, a project that aims to break down language and cultural barriers faced by new immigrants. Particularly when accessing health care, as they may have little knowledge of Canada’s universal health care system when they first arrive. This unique initiative will help newcomers navigate the pediatric health-care system.

Additionally, the hospital has also created a “toolkit” for other organizations that serve newcomers. They can use the program to support clients who want to access health care. One of the goals of the Newcomer Navigator Network project is to standardize service delivery by health-care organizations that serve children and adults and by workers helping newcomers.
Quality settlement services for newcomers help them succeed in their newly adopted home and make them feel welcome. Only when the needs of newcomers are met, will they be able to one, better integrate into Canada and two, contribute towards the country’s economy. These services help them settle and adjust to their new life in Canada.

Some of the other settlement services include:

• Language assessments and classes.
• Finding a place to live.
• Filling out forms and applications.
• Providing information about community services.
• Signing up kids for school.
• Counselling and support.

All settlement agencies have friendly, professional staff who speak languages other than English.

However, one of the major challenges newcomers face in their adopted country is still finding and securing employment. With a gap between foreign and Canadian credentials, work experience and professional knowledge, it’s not an easy task for newcomers to get back into their careers or enter a new one.

When it comes to helping immigrants with job search, organizations like the WorkBC Centres in British Columbia, for instance, offer a range of services that support job seekers in finding and maintaining employment and improving employment readiness. Other provinces may have their centres as well.

Apart from seeking resources, like the ones mentioned above, newcomers can improve their chances of finding employment by getting the appropriate licences, designations or credential assessments as soon as they arrive. Several institutes and colleges in Canada offer flexible, affordable, short-term programs. These programs and courses help newcomers job-ready and give them the tools they need to assimilate into the local workforce.

New immigrants can also consider a career change and switch to many of the in-demand jobs in Canada in fields like financial planning, bookkeeping, immigration consultancy, home inspection, amongst others.

Initially, adjusting to life in a new country may seem complicated, but with dedication and hard work, traits that are common to most immigrants, there is every chance that you would be able to make this transition and succeed.


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