The JFC North/West Settlement Service program supports the successful integration of new immigrant youth and families through cultural, educational, economic, social, and political engagement.
We aim to support the healthy, evidence-driven integration of newcomers by working closely with participants, family supports, community organizations and government agencies. Our program is developed from a client- centered approach offering ongoing services to help with transitional challenges. Our services includes facilitating orientation and information workshops; social and recreational activities; one-on-one solution focused settlement counselling; and support services.
There are 4 components to our programs:
1. Needs Assessment and Referral
2. Information and Orientation
3. Support Services
4. Translation and Interpretation
Our team speaks 8 different languages to better serve our clients. The language available are: English, French, Spanish, French, Karen, Tamil, Somali, Twi, Urdu, and Punjabi. If the above listed languages are not applicable to you, please contact us directly so we can find the necessary resources to provide support. All services are offered in a professional and confidential fashion.
The staff provides solution focused counselling, which includes advice, referrals to specialized services that will address current needs of settlement. We offer a safe and professional environment; and staff who are invested in serving our clients. We also conduct follow-up to ensure each of our clients are supported through their journey of settling into the community.
Community Connections help youth (13-24) and adult newcomers establish social networks within their community. The creation of welcoming spaces and communities engages newcomers through increased accessibility, individualized settlement services and maximizing local community spaces.
We foster the engagement of newcomers by connecting participant’s to local social and recreational activities, such as, English Conversation Circles, Leadership initiatives, student and parent councils, community groups, art, and mentorship opportunities, etc. Our activities are designed to enhance English communication, develop independence and increase engagement.
With these activities and partnerships we are able to understand settlement and integration issues, which allows us to advocate and bring public awareness to the concerns of newcomers. Our partnerships, activities, and promotion session allow us to open our doors to welcome a variety of community organizations to increase the awareness of Canadian culture to newcomers.
Community Connections also offer access to a community space that provides up-to-date information on community events, settlement issues, schools (colleges/ universities) and employment opportunities and preparation. We offer alternative resources through print literature, social media, on site staff, and our website. Access to Internet ready computers and printers are available.
Under this component, the following services are offered:
Social and Recreational Programming:
Offered Friday evenings -6:30pm-8:30pm Location: 1 Yorkgate Blvd, Yorkgate Mall
Our social recreation program provides the opportunity to participants to engage in positive and healthy social activities with peers to build social etiquette and relationships. The l goal of this activity is to promote healthy relationships, peer support, and enhance social connections and involvement in their community. This activity will provide participants a space to develop their interpersonal and social skills in a positive and fun environment.
Sports and Recreation:
Offered Monday evenings- -6:30pm-8:30pm Location: Westview S.S.
This program creates access and promotes recreational inclusion by offering various sports and recreational activities to newcomer youth ages 13-24. Our sport and recreation programs focuses on youth engagement through recreational activities with the hope of developing transferable life skill learned in activities that can be used in everyday life. This program has been developed out of the expressed interests of participants. This program has also emerged out of the importance for newcomers to socialize in a fun and positive environment and a way to integrate them with other community residents. The outcome of this activity is to introduce participants to western sports and develop social and transferable life skills.
Offered Wednesday and Thursday evenings- 4pm-8pm, and Saturday’s 10:00-1:30pm. Location: 1 Yorkgate Blvd, Yorkgate Mall
This program creates an environment where youth in the community to come together and study regularly in a fun way and interactive. It is also to imprint participants in setting up their academic goals and to achieve them gradually. It focuses on supporting youth discover their future specialties as they improve their academic studies. Parents of the students and community members always cherish an invaluable contribution of the volunteer tutors. Our volunteers are students from the following schools: York University, Centennial College, Seneca College and University of Toronto to the success of this program.
Citizenship Test Preparation:
Offered Thursday evenings- 4:30pm-6:30pm Location: 4400 Jane Street
This weekly program is for members in the community to learn essential skills and requirements to pass citizenship exam. This program has 3 modules, with each section lasting 8 weeks long,. The program curriculum consists of group sharing, lecture, and mock examination. Participants learn Canadian history, people, politic, government structures, geography, economy, citizenship and foreign policies.
English Conversation Circles:
Offered at Westview S.S. and Emery C.I.- Monday and Tuesdays 11:00am-1:00pm
This program aims to enhance participant’s understanding and development of conversational English through discussion groups. Each group will have discussions that focus on personal interest, current events, and topics that focus on settlement issues, trends, and challenges. Some events that will occur are: cook and chat, movie night followed by discussion/ movie reviews, online discussions using social media and blogs, book reviews, library visits and presentations facilitated by a settlement staff, with the support of a peer youth worker and volunteers. The goal of this group hopes to improve English language communication skills; and enable participants to locate resources that will help them deal with daily language barriers.
Employment Support Assistance:
Offered Monday-Friday 3:00pm-9:00pm Location: 1 Yorkgate Blvd, Yorkgate Mall
This activity supports participants with professional and interpersonal skill development. We offer workshops and drop-in assistance. These workshops aim to increase the employability of newcomer youth by providing them with soft skills and practical knowledge of retaining employment and understanding workplace culture.
Newcomers Girls Group:
Offered Wednesdays 6:00pm-9:00pm Location: 1 Yorkgate Blvd, Yorkgate Mall
This activity provides girls between the ages of 16-19 with the opportunity to discuss topics of abuse, sexual exploitation, body image and violence, healthy lifestyle and healthy decisions. Our program nurtures and reinforce femaleness as a positive identity. They also provide decision-making models and life skills to aid in transition to womanhood. The goal of this program is to educate, support, and guide young women in making healthier life choices.
Cook and Talk:
Offered Every 3rd Wednesday of the month 9:30am-12:00pm Location: 1 Yorkgate Blvd, Yorkgate Mall
In this program, participants will develop life skills and opportunities to practice every day English while preparing culturally relevant meal. This activity hopes to increase the level of community engagement of newcomers; and comfortability of sharing experiences.
Offered Every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month 9:30am-12:00pm Location: 1 Yorkgate Blvd, Yorkgate Mall
Our creative art therapy (CAT) program encourages participants to express and understand emotions through artistic expression. This program involves the creation of art in order to increase awareness of self and others. This promotes personal development and increases coping skills, in this program participants are able to improve self-expression, build self-esteem, and reduce stress
Youth Get-Together-Leadership Program:
Offered Friday evenings 6:00pm-9:00pm Location: John Booth Arena
This is a social recreation group that aims to provide a safe venue for newcomer youth in the community to come together and learn from one another and from the facilitators. This group provides an overview of Canadian society, discuss issues, concerns, and challenges of newcomer youth and settlement, and also addresses raised needs of participants that can be addressed within a group format.
With the support from our staff and programs offered, we have had:
92% success rate of participants of our citizenship class, pass their citizenship test exam on the first attempt.
87% of participants have been integrated into the community and have accessed services and supports outside of our program.
79% has gained employable skills, and, as a result, has been retained employment.