Social Inclusion of Newcomers

Families Canada produces resources and pilots programming that help newcomers settle in Canada. Some resources are for newcomers, some are for people who work with newcomers.
Our research reports and multilingual resources are available in the resources and publications section of our website.

What is social inclusion and why is it important for newcomers?

The aim of social inclusion programs for newcomers is to attract and engage isolated new Canadian families (defined as immigrants who have lived in Canada for three or more years) to community-based family resource programs in order to:

  • build transferable skills;
  • enhance knowledge about Canadian practices and values;
  • increase intercultural understanding;
  • provide opportunities to contribute through volunteerism, including mentorship of other new Canadian families;
  • nurture broader social networks.

What We're Doing

Engaging Newcomer Seniors

Families Canada’s project Engaging Newcomer Seniors is funded by the Ottawa Community Foundation. This project will address difficulties experienced by Ottawa-based community groups seeking to recruit newcomer seniors for programming to reduce their social isolation. The project learnings will be shared nationally. 

 Given that newcomers have additional barriers to integration (e.g., language, culture, socioeconomic status), newcomer seniors are particularly vulnerable to social isolation and the risks that entails. The pandemic and the lockdown exacerbated the situation.  

Families Canada previously implemented projects with the goal of reducing social isolation amongst seniors in our intergenerational volunteering work. 

Through this project, Families Canada seeks to identify and test recruitment strategies and produce a guide with tips, recommendations, and strategies for community groups wishing to recruit newcomer seniors in their programming. 

Family Life in Canada Video Series 

In 2019, Families Canada developed the Family Life in Canada video series, now available on the Families Canada YouTube channel. The goal of this project, which was funded by Employment and Social Development Canada, aimed to facilitate the social integration of newcomers, introducing concepts of family dynamics in the Canadian context to help overcome barriers to social and economic integration. 

Through a set of short mostly animated videos, newcomers are introduced to some of the more sensitive issues around family violence, child rights, fathering, parenting, being a teen in Canada, gender equality and managing family finances. 

Family Resource Centres: Community Settings that Support Social Inclusion 

Between 2010 and 2012, Families Canada facilitated the interaction of 20 member organizations to develop activities to meet the goal of “Family Resource Centres: Community Settings that Support Social Inclusion” in their communities. 

These sites connected with community partners for outreach and support to isolated new Canadian families. Families Canada served as the hub for the host sites to share their learning and to support one another. 

This 24-month project, completed in July 2012, also produced two resources: the Community Engagement Guide for family support practitioners, and the Peer Mentoring Guides for family support practitioners and volunteers. These tools include project lessons learned and are available for download on our resources and publications page. Funding for the project was provided by the Multiculturalism Program at Citizenship and Immigration Canada. 

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