Chapter 1: The History of Settlement Services in Canada
The Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) was established in 1978 and is one of several agencies in Canada that support the professional development of settlement practitioners through research about immigration issues and best practices. The Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies (AAISA) is the Alberta counterpart to OCASI. AAISA has a similar mandate—to build the capacity of immigrant-serving agency practitioners through research and training. The manual Foundations of Settlement Work in Ontario (OSCASI, 2018) is a valuable resource for settlement practitioners. Although it references settlement work in Ontario, the best practices outlined are universal and relevant for settlement practitioners in any area of Canada.
Read the directed sections of the Foundations of Settlement Work in Ontario manual and reflect on the following:
- Read Chapter 6, pages 123 to 140.
- On page 123, you will find section 4 of Chapter 6, “How Services Are Delivered.” This section explains how settlement agency programs and services are funded and the accountability requirements for that funding.
Accountability is about tracking and accounting for the use of funds, as well as measuring service delivery outcomes that adhere to the “principles and values” for the settlement sector.
Principles and Values of the Sector
People who work in the immigrant- and refugee-serving sector are expected to uphold certain principles and values. The first chapter of the Foundations of Settlement Work in Ontario training guide covers several of these in more depth. As part of the settlement renewal process, the Canadian Council for Refugees published a policy document about best settlement practices. This document identifies the following core values for the sector:
- Client empowerment
- User-defined services
- Holistic approach
- Respect for the individual
- Cultural sensitivity
- Community development
- Orientation towards positive change
- Reliability (trustworthiness)
Research two (2) immigrant-serving agencies. Review the agency websites and answer the following questions:
- What makes the agency unique?
- What is the agency’s model for service delivery? What range of services does it offer?
- Comment on what is unique or innovative about the agency’s service delivery.
- Do the agency’s values and principles align with the principles and values identified in the OCASI document?
- Is this an agency that you would like to work for? Explain why or why not.
Write your answers and reflections in your chapter journal.