"Newcomers to Canada face linguistic and cultural barriers in accessing health and social services. The National Newcomer Navigation Network (N4) is a national network for the diversity of professionals who assist newcomers in navigating the complex Canadian health and social services system. To inform the development of its N4 Platform and online certificate program in newcomer navigation with Saint-Paul University, N4 undertook a pan-Canadian needs assessment of both sectors."
"The N4 team met with 401 stakeholders from 125 organizations, including children’s hospitals/rehab centres, general hospitals, newcomer clinics, community clinics, and settlement organizations, among others. The provincial umbrella organizations for settlement and national partners in healthcare provided strategic level guidance around N4’s outreach approach and facilitated some connections and meetings.
In the healthcare sector, newcomer navigation work was typically completed by many members of the team, alongside their regular job duties. Their common challenges to ensuring health equity included a context of inconsistent access to interpretation services, knowledge of how to deliver culturally safe care, and provider referral refusals due to concerns over financial compensation or lack of access to other supports needed by newcomer patients. The settlement sector was challenged by uncertain or short-term funding models, tensions over mandates and lack of consistency in staff on-boarding for service delivery. Successes included ingenuity in forming partnerships, problem solving, increased awareness and implementation of trauma informed care, diversity among settlement teams, and wrap-around services. Strong partnerships existed between regional newcomer clinics and settlement organizations, but lacked in other areas. There was a consistent desire to build cross-sectoral partnerships at all levels (regional, provincial, and national).
Participating settlement organization had developed a number of educational resources for staff, to assist them in their newcomer navigation work. In particular, many duplicating development of resources related to introductory information to trauma-informed care and cultural competency. Participants voiced a desire for a wider breadth of educational topic including partnership development, cultural competency, trauma-informed care, vicarious trauma, and best practices in newcomer navigation. As it pertains to resources, common requests included a guide to IFHP billing, templates to advocate on behalf of clients and families, and client facing handouts in multiple languages. Data collection, specific to newcomer clients, varied by organization. Participants from healthcare were interested in collecting additional sociodemographic data about patients as well as service-utilization data. All participants were interested in data sharing and learning how interorganizational comparisons could be developed. There was also interest in learning more about the programs and services provided by other organizations, standard length of appointment times for initial healthcare assessments, and provision of trauma-informed care.
The site visit data greatly informed the development of the N4 online platform. The sharings of the professionals from the health and settlement sector pointed to their desired opportunities for intersectoral learning, connection and collaboration. The needed education and resources identified through this needs assessment have informed the learning framework that guides the eLearning resources available on the N4 platform. By providing one platform in which to eLearning across both sectors, partners can easily search for and find support through curated quality offerings, avoiding duplication of efforts and easing access. N4 will then focus its efforts in new educational offerings to leverage subject matter experts to fill any gaps observed, again promoting efficiency in knowledge mobilization for both sectors. Findings have also been used to codevelop an online newcomer navigation certificate program, hosted by Saint-Paul University. The N4 CoP Model will provide facilitated data driven projects to solve some of the system level challenges identified in this report. Finally, N4 aims to address some of the challenges identified regarding data access, collection and usage through the database component of the platform."Newcomer Navigation from Coast to Coast- Pan-Canadian Needs Assessment (2020)