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Intentional Connections for Welcoming Communities - Improving Settlement for Privately Sponsored Refugees in Ontario through Settlement-Sponsor Collaboration

Posted on:
August 12, 2021

What is this research about?

From 2018 to 2021, Allies for Refugee Integration (ARI) and its partners focused on creating more welcoming communities for privately sponsored refugees. This report outlines changes to
policy and processes to improve settlement-sponsor collaboration for more successful integration of refugees.

What did the researchers find?

"Project partners, OCASI and Refugee 613 had both observed gaps in knowledge, relationship and operations between private sponsors and the formal settlement sector; gaps that often become cracks that negatively affected the settlement journey of refugees. As more refugees continue to arrive in Canada and settlement becomes increasingly complex, it is clear that even though  sponsors and settlement are aligned in their goals, they aren’t always working in tandem. Although in the early stages of the private sponsorship program sponsors were expected to shoulder the  main responsibility for all settlement needs, IRCC has for several years encouraged refugees and sponsors to access settlement services as soon as possible — but the policies, institutional support and funding for this to happen in practice is missing."

Based on the success of the pilots, ARI has four recommendations to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC):

  1. Create a policy of Intentional Connection practice for pre/post arrival coordination to ensure refugees have the support they need.
  2. Support SPOs and SAHs to create formal partnerships.
  3. Encourage SPOs to include sponsors & SAHs as full partners in information exchange opportunities.
  4. Further define and test the Intentional Connection practice in order to scale up.

Additional resources:

Environmental Scan Research Report - English

Environmental Scan Research Report - French

Summary

From 2018 to 2021, Allies for Refugee Integration (ARI) and its partners focused on creating more welcoming communities for privately sponsored refugees. This report outlines changes to policy and processes to improve settlement-sponsor collaboration for more successful integration of refugees.
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