What is this research about?
The Highlights Report is a compilation of existing data and research that provides evidence on newcomer settlement outcomes that support integration within Canada, for both clients of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)’s Settlement Program and non-clients.
What did the researchers find?
- The “starting line” is different for each newcomer. The evidence shows that not all newcomers are equally able to establish themselves in Canada in the same way, and as a result, it may be necessary to develop a suitable range of expectations.
- Specificity in programming may improve outcomes. It follows that programming that is more specific to the needs of individuals or client types appears to contribute to better outcomes.
- The people using the services are the people who need. Clients of IRCC-funded programming reported having lower levels in areas such as knowledge of life in Canada, and official language skills than non-clients when they landed. Over time, they reported greater improvement than their non-client counterparts.
- The first years are crucial. Newcomers have the highest rates of using IRCC-funded settlement services in their first few years after landing in Canada. This shows that newcomers use these services primarily to help with the early stages of settlement.
- Timing is important. Survey data suggest that both clients and non-clients of IRCC-funded settlement services were not as aware of how or where to get services as they would have liked, indicating lost opportunities for services to make timely contributions towards their settlement journeys.
- Support services are central to address barriers to success. Support services such as translation, child care, and transportation appear to be extremely important to IRCC Settlement Program clients, especially for those who face barriers to access. Not all Settlement Program clients require support services; however, those who need the services, need them a lot.
- Gender is a significant factor. Settlement programming design, such as when and where service delivery is provided, can have an impact on ability of newcomer women to access services.
Some important statistics based mainly on service access in their landing year:
- 70% of non-clients surveyed were unaware of the free IRCC-funded services available to them.
- 32% of eligible clients accessed Information and Orientation services (I&O). 13% of clients continued to receive I&O services five years after landing (mostly Resettled Refugees).
- 23% of eligible clients accessed Needs and Assets Assessment and Referral Services (NAARS).
- 13% of eligible clients had a Language Assessment (LA) and 9% took Language Training (LT).
- 11% of eligible clients accessed Support Services (SS) such as child care, translation, interpretation,
transportation, short-term counselling, and provisions for those with disabilities
- 9% of eligible clients accessed Community Connections (CC) programs.
- 4% of eligible clients accessed Employment Related Services (ERS).
The majority of clients who received services said they were useful (the percentages vary somewhat for each service).
The report indicates "Several studies have revealed that many newcomers are not aware of the services that are
available and that this is particularly true of those experiencing conditions of vulnerability. Further study could help identify specific sub-populations of newcomers who are currently being under-served." It's interesting that they footnote "IRCC internal documentation" for this. When we know of many such studies.