This report reviews many evidence-based practices including service delivery models, programs, resources, and tools that have successfully reduced barriers to access elsewhere in Canada. It also offers twenty recommendations for service providers and policy-makers in Guelph Wellington to consider. These include, among others, suggestions on how to improve outreach strategies and enhance access to services for immigrants without full status and rural newcomers.
The goal of the report is to explore promising practices based on programs and resources that have been successfully offered elsewhere in Canada. As such, the report offers a possible roadmap that may be considered by service providers working in Guelph-Wellington.
In order to overcome barriers to successful settlement, newcomers must be adequately supported through accessible service provision. This report has been prepared on behalf of the Guelph1Wellington Local Immigration Partnership Access to Services Committee in order to provide an overview of promising practices, including service delivery models, resources and outreach strategies that have been developed or successfully implemented elsewhere in Canada in order to enhance access to services for newcomers. The report also explores the differences in service access for women, as research indicates that there are very prevalent gendered differences in relation to service accessibility. This is a timely report given the fact that the number of immigrants in Guelph1Wellington has been increasing since the 1970’s, with immigrants now representing approximately 20% of the Guelph population and 10% of Wellington's population (GWLIP, 2011). Of this population, 20% have been in Canada for approximately five years which is indicative of the large growth of immigrants in this area (GWLIP Progress Report, 2013).
The report consists largely of a review of promising practices based on findings from both scholarly literature and grey literature. Nearly 80 academic and grey sources were consulted although over 200 sources were consulted to inform the final report. The review of relevant literature contained in the report is supported through in1depth qualitative interviews conducted with six key informants who are service providers in Guelph1Wellington and the surrounding area who work with newcomers on a regular basis. The key informants were chosen because they are well1attuned to the service access needs of newcomers through their work directly with settlement related services, or due to the fact that their roles require routine participation in helping newcomers to access settlement related services. In addition, specific efforts were made to ensure that the key informants reflected the rural and urban context, as the report indicates that service access in rural areas may be especially challenging. The key informant interviews offer insight into the lived realities of service providers and the need to enhance access to services for newcomers.