Our Blog

the more we share
The more we share…
Published on: June 12, 2020
It’s never been more important to share how we’re doing. Share successes, new models of service delivery, but also the struggle. I’ve been enjoying seeing how immigrant and refugee-serving agencies have been successfully pivoting to online services. I’ve been enjoying even more how some are sharing their experiences. There is so much to learn from each other.
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chris friesen interview
An interview with Chris Friesen – the future of settlement work is now
Published on: June 12, 2020
In this interview, I surface conversations I’ve been having with Chris Friesen of ISSofBC. We talk at what settlement work looks like now, during a pandemic. What are the opportunities the sector needs to seize? What does the funder need to understand? What do we need to understand about the digital divide and digital literacy of the newcomers and communities we serve? And more.
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An interview with Nadia Caidi – understanding the information seeking practices of newcomers
An interview with Nadia Caidi – understanding the information seeking practices of newcomers
Published on: May 23, 2020
It’s useful to understand how your clients look for, find, assess and act on information. In this interview, U of T Professor Nadia Caidi provides an overview of newcomer information seeking behaviour and practice. I interviewed Professor Caidi in 2018 for Findhelp’s online course Settlement Information and Referral Online Training Program.
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What knowledge, skills and attitudes do settlement workers need in the digital era?
What knowledge, skills and attitudes do settlement workers need in the digital era?
Published on: February 3, 2020
At a workshop a couple of years ago, I asked a group of participants to break into groups and identify the top four things settlement workers need to know, top four skills that they must possess, and the top four work-related attitudes and behaviours in the era of digital service delivery. Interestingly, there wasn't much overlap between groups. This suggests the richness of human service work, as well as its complexity.
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Innovative Outreach Strategies to Reach Newcomers
Innovative Outreach Strategies to Reach Newcomers
Published on: February 3, 2020
Many thanks to AMSSA in British Columbia for having me present this workshop to settlement and language workers across the province. I'm definitely not a marketing expert. But, like making technology, or any service choices, it all comes down to being strategic and knowing/understanding your client.
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Understanding information seeking practices of newcomers
Understanding the information seeking practices of newcomers
Published on: February 3, 2020
It's useful to understand how your clients look for, find, assess and act on information. In this video, Professor Nadia Caidi provides an overview of newcomer information seeking behaviour and practice.
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Misinformation - what it is and what you need to do to be ready for it
Misinformation - what it is and what you need to do to be ready for it
Published on: February 3, 2020
In the immigrant and refugee-serving sector, misinformation comes in many different forms, from scams that directly target newcomers, to bad information that may not be intentionally spread, but which gets shared and can impact a newcomer's settlement negatively. We all need to increase our information literacy.
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Ending gender-based violence - a series of webinar recordings
Ending gender-based violence - a series of webinar recordings
Published on: February 3, 2020
These appeared in my YouTube subscriptions, I hadn't heard about them previously. They appear to be part of OCASI's project: Initiative to End Gender-Based Violence in Immigrant and Refugee Communities.
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future of settlement work
The future of settlement work is in our hands
Published on: February 3, 2020
One thing that I'm learning about the future, from futurists, is that it's not something we can predict. But it's something we can work toward.
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What Does Research Tell Us about an Inclusive Immigration Settlement Policy for Ontario
CERIS Panel: Whither Immigration and Settlement in Ontario?
Published on: February 3, 2020
On March 14, 2019, the Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration and Settlement (CERIS) hosted a public event with a panel to take stock of our progress in the immigrant and refugee-serving sector.
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3 good sources on privacy you should read
3 good sources on privacy you should read
Published on: February 2, 2020
You should listen to and read what experts have to say on the topic or privacy. I offer three sources who are prolific on the topic.
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3 Reasons Why the future of work is people first
3 Reasons Why the Future of Work is People-First
Published on: February 2, 2020
Much of the current writing on AI is about how AI will replace some human functions, but just as much on how important humans will remain (and perhaps more so) in the future. Current writing also emphasizes the importance of the choices we make now about AI, innovation and technology. It's not all quite as out of our control as the tech bros might want you to believe.
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Chalmers bot
Apps for human services - a review of Chalmers bot
Published on: February 2, 2020
Chalmers can help you find things like: free meals, overnight shelter, clothing banks, emergency contacts and can point you to offline and online mental health services. Bot creators ample labs are already working towards the most requested items like housing, eviction, employment, legal-aid, harm reduction, mental health services, and additional languages.
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Deep Dive: cybersecurity and encryption
Deep Dive: cybersecurity and encryption
Published on: February 2, 2020
On the organizational side, you work with your clients' personal identifiable information. You know that it should be kept under lock and key in your office, but what does that mean online?
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Technology humility
Technology humility
Published on: January 29, 2020
I read an interesting article recently from the Ontario College of Social Work that discussed "cultural humility" as an essential skill for Social Workers to acknowledge, achieve, and continue to develop throughout their careers.
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What we can learn from what's happening with digital government
What we can learn from what's happening with digital government
Published on: January 29, 2020
All three levels of government have embarked on digital/innovation overhauls of the way they serve the public, with the first common element to think of the client first and have them in mind when creating or revamping anything they do. If they can do it, so can we.
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A chronology of technology and innovation research in the Canadian immigrant and refugee-serving sector
A chronology of technology and innovation research in the Canadian immigrant and refugee-serving sector
Published on: January 29, 2020
When it comes to looking at technology to serve clients in the immigrant and refugee-serving sector the conversation, and literature, spans almost two decades. This is a chronology of these conversations and related literature.
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Newcomers accessing services – the reports behind the stats
Published on: September 3, 2019
If you’ve been in the sector, you’ve heard stats thrown around about how only about 40% of newcomers actually access settlement services. Here’s a summary of some research where those numbers come up.
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public interest technologists
Public Interest Technology - bringing humility to tech
Published on: August 30, 2019
We're aware that we need cultural humility, but what about technology humility? Too often our interactions with techies leaves us feeling frustrated, less-than, and no further ahead in understanding how to address our tech challenges. Perhaps we need to work with committed public-interested technologists who have embraced tech humility...
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Research-shows-that-newcomers-lack-awareness-of-the-services-available-to-them-in-their-local-community-both-in-person-and-internet-based
Newcomers accessing services – the reports behind the stats
Published on: August 26, 2019
If you’ve been in the sector, you’ve heard stats thrown around about how only about 40% of newcomers actually access settlement services. I’ve compiled a summary of some research where those numbers come up. You can download a bunch of reports with more detailed information. This isn’t meant to be the definitive list, just useful reports I’ve found on the topic.
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IRCC’s Research at a Glance – OMG, OMG, you have to subscribe
Published on: August 26, 2019
I’m excited. Are you excited? If you’re interested in staying up to date about the latest research about newcomers, you should be. I recently discovered that IRCC has an email list where you can get up to date research information directly from the IRCC Knowledge Management – Research and Evaluation department. You'll want to check it out.
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disruption - so hot right now
Disruptions are about pulling reality one step closer to your fantasies and imagination
Published on: August 26, 2019
“I always thought it was a scary buzzword so I never really used it. But before coming here I looked in the dictionary and I realized that it means to interrupt (an event, activity, or process) and to drastically alter (the structure of something), to change. So I was like, okay, that’s not that scary after all.”
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3-Reasons-Why-the-future-of-work-is-people-first
3 Reasons Why the Future of Work is People-First
Published on: August 22, 2019
Much of the current writing on AI is about how AI will replace some human functions, but just as much on how important humans will remain (and perhaps more so) in the future. Current writing also emphasizes the importance of the choices we make now about AI, innovation and technology. It’s not all quite as out of our control as the tech bros might want you to believe.
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chalmers bot
Apps for human services – a review of Chalmers bot
Published on: August 22, 2019
You likely have seen some news about a new app to help people experiencing homelessness in Toronto find and access services – Chalmers Bot. It’s a great story. I decided to dive in and try it out. Here’s my assessment, along with a screen-cast of me using Chalmers. I think you should try it out.
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feedback
A focus on the transformative power of feedback
Published on: August 22, 2019
I've seen some interesting things come through my feeds recently about feedback and how it can help make change, so it's time to dive in a bit more deeply.
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