Returning the Youth Back to Canada’s Future: A Webinar on Employment Barriers for Youth and How to Tackle Them
Finding a job and having access to meaningful work is one of the tangible areas of newcomer integration. The unemployment-rate gap between immigrant and Canadian-born youth has been narrowing gradually over the past few years; however, it remains significant enough to warrant attention (Stats Canada, 2018). Both Canadian-born youth and established immigrant youth (those who have been in Canada longer) are more likely to participate in the labour market than their newcomer counterparts (Kunz 2003), indicating that newcomer youth are resilient but also face unique barriers that require specialized supports.

This youth-lead webinar provided management and frontline staff working in Settlement organizations as well as LINC Instructors with insights into the barriers that newcomer youth face and knowledge needed to provide newcomer youth with youth appropriate information, resources and programing on accessing the labour market.

To watch the video, click here.

Employment Related Supports and Inter Agency Referrals for Immigrant Clients: Part 2
This webinar is the second of a companion pair of e-learning modules that helped front-line workers make effective employment-related inter-agency referrals for immigrant clients. The modules guide effective inter-agency collaboration and coordination for successful service delivery.

To watch the video, click here.

Employment Related Supports and Inter Agency Referrals for Immigrant Clients: Part 1
This webinar introduced the first of a companion pair of e-learning modules that help front-line workers make effective employment-related inter-agency referrals for immigrant clients. The modules guide effective inter-agency collaboration and coordination for successful service delivery.

To watch the video, click here.

Gender-Based Violence & Harassment: Creating Safer Workplaces and Communities
An estimated 1 in 3 women worldwide experience violence, usually from a partner or family member. These numbers may vary according to geographical location, cultural norms, and may be higher in conflict areas (WHO, 2013). Newcomer women in Canada experience the same or elevated instances of violence but are less likely to access supports such as transition houses and face many more barriers (BCSTH, 2015). Some of these barriers are social and economic exclusion, fear of police or deportation (either getting themselves or their partner deported), language barriers, and racism/xenophobia (IRCNFF). At the same time, newcomer women are more likely to have jobs that put them at risk of gender-based violence and harassment. This webinar provided management and frontline staff, including LINC instructors, with insights on how to support newcomers who face harassment and gender-based violence both in the workplace and community settings.

To watch the video, click here.

WorkBC Employment Services: Introducing an E-Learning Module for Front line Settlement Workers
This webinar, held on August 28, 2019, served as an introduction to the BCSIS E-Learning module about WorkBC employment services.

To watch the video, click here.

Exploring Online Service Delivery: Principles and Practices

This webinar recorded June 25, 2019 helps LINC teams understand the benefits and multiple approaches to online learning, as well as stay current on research and available supports. Presenters focus on the opportunities and barriers to using online and blended delivery for language training and address digital literacy, equity and access. Presenters include: Olga Kanapelka (ISSofBC), Rob McBride (LearnIT2teach) and Dr. Suzanne Smythe (Simon Fraser University).

The webinar also provides settlement staff and LINC teams with information regarding:
• The 2016-2017 LINC Program Impact Evaluation Report
• The upcoming national learning management system (avenue.ca)
• Training teachers for blended and distance learning delivery
• Ways that PBLA is integrated into blended learning
• Digital inclusion (access, adoption and application)

To watch the video, click here.

Changes to the Cannabis Act: How to Support Newcomers to B.C.
Changes to the Cannabis Act and cannabis-related crimes came into effect October 17 and December 18, 2018 respectively. Knowing and understanding these changes is particularly relevant to educating permanent and temporary residents to Canada especially as the changes impact their ability to apply for Citizenship or renew their status in Canada.

This webinar provided management and frontline staff working in settlement organizations as well as LINC Instructors with the knowledge needed to provide newcomers to BC with timely and accurate information regarding the Cannabis Act.

To watch the video, click here.

Unpacking LINC Placement, Delivery and Assessment
This webinar educated settlement and LINC staff on the roles of LINC assessors and the Canadian Language Benchmarks Placement Test (CLBPT) in LINC service delivery. The webinar identified and extrapolated on the sequence of:

-Placement assessment (CLBPT) in different regions
-LINC classroom formative assessment
-Summative assessment (PBLA) and
-Official language testing for citizenship purposes.

The webinar also distinguished the CLBPT from other IRCC testing methods including the Literacy Placement Tool Assessments (CLB-LPT, NCLC-OCA).

To watch the video, click here.

Innovative Outreach Strategies to Reach Newcomers in BC

Not all newcomers arriving to BC access the services available to them. Helping newcomers and those around them become more aware that these services exist and their value is important. This webinar outlined and provided suggestions on how service providers can better work to promote their services to newcomers arriving in their community.

This webinar provided settlement staff and LINC instructors with greater knowledge of:

• The information practices of newcomers, including their use of technology in migration and settlement
• The role of community engagement in outreach
• Explore ways of finding and effectively outreaching to newcomers
• Creative outreach strategies that work, including emerging digital trends
• How to develop an outreach toolkit that includes technology such as social media & more
• How to create a digital outreach plan

To watch the video, click here.

Accessing Support Services for International Students

In this webinar, Nicole Armos and Ismaël Traoré, both from AMSSA, presented their research findings on support services for post-secondary international students in BC.

Funded by the Ministry of Jobs, Trade, and Technology (JTT), this research focuses on the support services that post-secondary institutions (PSIs) and service provider organizations (SPOs) that receive BC Settlement and Integration Services (BC-SIS) funding offer to international students. Nicole Armos and Ismaël Traoré shared key findings from the research, including an outline of the support services international students need, an analysis of the barriers and challenges to delivering and accessing support services, and trends in support service delivery and coordination between PSIs and SPOs.

Additionally, they shared recommendations to enhance cross-sector collaboration between SPOs and PSIs, and introduced a series of tools AMSSA developed to build capacity for collaboration.

To watch the video, click here.

Bridging Language Learning Assessment With the Real World
This webinar showcases both smaller and larger centre approaches to bridging language learning and assessment with community integration.

Three British Columbia language instructors, including two working with Portfolio-Based Language Assessment (PBLA), identify ways to increase community connections through task-based assessment as well as through volunteerism. Settlement staff may gain a better understanding of real-world task requirements and LINC teams may benefit from the ideas shared and the Q&A periods to have further discussions on the ins and outs of bridging community connection and assessment.

To watch the video, click here.

Supporting the Alignment of Pre and Post Arrival Services for Newcomers

This webinar provided settlement service provider staff with greater knowledge of existing pre-arrival services currently being offered to newcomers destined for BC. BC pre-arrival services shared the elements of their programs especially as they relate to supporting newcomers with language and/or settlement services. Bridging opportunities for service alignment were also shared.

To watch the video, click here.

Supporting Clients With Disabilities
Building on the information shared in the January 2016 Migration Matters Supporting Newcomers with Disabilities edition and responding to the need for more resources for newcomers with disabilities, this 90-minute webinar explored barriers to accessing settlement services for newcomers with disabilities and how providers can improve accessibility to assist clients’ integration into communities.

This webinar focused on:

  • physical disabilities (dexterity, mobility, seeing, hearing, etc.)
  • accessibility and inclusion (including inclusive language)
  • the Canadian context of disability awareness
  • case studies and available resources for settlement and language providers

This webinar was designed to equip managers, instructors of LINC and frontline staff with information on how to support clients with disabilities and how to provide them with referrals to other supporting organizations.

To watch the video, click here.

Connecting Refugee Private Sponsor Groups With Settlement Service Providers
Settlement organizations play an important role in refugee resettlement. Also of importance, is the growing role of the private sponsor. This webinar discussed best practices of how settlement serving organizations can better connect and support private sponsor groups and addressed the following:

  • How frontline workers can support privately sponsored refugees during their initial settlement in BC
  • The role of sponsors and the roles of settlement organizations to have a better understanding of how to support refugees during their initial settlement in BC
  • How settlement organizations can best connect to private sponsor groups
  • Creating a mutual understanding between settlement organizations and private sponsors on roles and responsibilities, managing expectations, cultural awareness, and ethical considerations

This webinar was designed to equip managers, instructors of LINC and frontline staff with information on how to support privately sponsored refugees and how to work collaboratively with the sponsoring group.

To watch the video, click here.

Social Media, Technology and Settlement Services
For the current cohort of Syrian refugees, there has been a rise in the use of social media, such as Whatsapp and Twitter, as a form of communication and information sharing. Immigrants and refugees are using technology and social media at all stages of their journeys:

  • For translation
  • For access to information and services
  • To keep in touch with family and friends

At the same time these forms of communication can just as easily carry misinformation that can be harmful to immigrant and refugees’ settlement. Technology and social media offer an opportunity to provide much-needed information to refugees in new ways.

This webinar:

  • Reviewed how refugees use technology and social media
  • Outlined the challenges and opportunities for service providers engaging with Syrian refugees and other newcomers through technology and social media
  • Featured examples of organizations using social media to reach more refugees and newcomers

To watch the video, click here.

Creating & Maintaining Ethical Boundaries in Client Relationships

The Creating and Maintaining Ethical Boundaries in Client Relationships webinar will provide participants with an overview of various professional boundaries that are important when doing ethical, caring work as Settlement Workers and Settlement Language Instructors. This webinar will also highlight the importance of boundaries and provide approaches to create, implement and maintain them in your client relationships.

Topics discussed in this webinar include:

  • Define professional ethics and boundaries
  • Explore various types of professional boundaries
  • Identify the purpose and benefits of setting ethical boundaries in client relationships
  • Learn some of the common boundary issues or challenges that can lead to ethical dilemmas when serving clients (for example, personal disclosure, client-staff relationships, dual relationships, gift-giving/receiving, physical contact, etc.)
  • Reflect on unique boundary challenges when supporting clients in smaller and/or rural communities
  • Understand the role of personal and professional values on creating ethical  boundaries
  • Consider various approaches to creating, implementing and maintaining ethical boundaries

To watch the video, click here.

Innovative Practices in Employment Language Training for Low Level English Learners

Employment is a key aspect of settlement and integration for newcomers to Canada; however, a lack of language skills often serves as a barrier to gaining meaningful employment in a relevant field. Access to employment has become even more pronounced given the recent influx of refugees with low levels of English proficiency in British Columbia. With the changing demographic in language training classrooms, it is an opportune time to discuss best practices in employment and language training for low level English speakers to better support this emerging client base.

The purpose of this webinar is to showcase current innovative models of employment language training in BC, and answer three questions related to low level English speakers, specifically for the BC context:

•What are the primary concerns and issues that need to be addressed in employment language training for low level English speakers?
•What are the key drivers for success in current program delivery models in BC?
•What are the best practices in employment training for low level English speakers?

This webinar is intended for instructors and staff from settlement and language organizations wanting to explore different models of employment language programming in the province of BC. The webinar includes information about how to structure and implement low level employment language training courses effectively, as well as practical tips and suggestions from experienced instructors.

To watch the video, click here.

Connecting Languages & Cultures Through Interpretation

Professionals working with newcomers rely on verbal and nonverbal communication as the primary tool for forming relationships with newcomers as well as obtaining information from them. However, language and cultural barriers can lead to miscommunication, which can further lead to frustration and act as an additional barrier to accessing needed and appropriate services. Using a professional interpreter can be essential to bridging the divide between communication barriers and interacting effectively with newcomers.

Not every interaction involving an interpreter is the same. The role of the individual utilizing the interpreter can vary depending on the setting (in-person, telephone, and group), language (spoken or signed language) and context of the interpretation.

This webinar discussed the following:

• Issues regarding confidentiality and privacy when using an interpreter
• Using interpreters when working with clients who have experienced trauma
• Using Interpreters in a medical setting
• The logistics of utilizing a spoken or signed language interpreter
• How factors such as culture and gender can influence interpretation and communication
• Working with interpreters in various settings

This webinar featured the following speakers:

1. Annette Floyd, RN(c), MPH, Clinical Coordinator, Bridge Clinic
2. Bryan Corry, Registered ASL-English Interpreter and Accredited Medical Interpreter
3. Mariana Martinez Vieyra, Med, RCC, Provincial Refugee Mental Health Coordinator, Vancouver Association of Survivors of Torture (VAST)
4. Michael Radano, Executive Director, Society of Translators and Interpreters of BC (STIBC)
5. Yolanda Salazar Hobrough, Head of School, Vancouver School of Interpreting and Translation
6. Young Joe, Certified Medical Interpreter and Executive Director of Bilinguals International

To watch the video, click here.

Diversify Your Funding: Grant-Seeking and Building a Social Enterprise

Developing diverse funding sources is gaining in importance for non-profit organizations. There’s no simple formula that will apply to all organizations-a unique, tailored approach is needed to fit the size, needs and strengths of each organization. This introductory explored how two methods of diversifying an organization’s funding – grant-seeking and building a social enterprise – can have the largest impact.

This webinar included the following:


  • How to apply for grants from a position of strength
  • Develop mechanisms and systems to search for and apply for grants
  • Effective proposal writing tips
  • List additional resources available

Building a Social Enterprise

  • How to get your organization social enterprise ready
  • Overview of creating a social enterprise
  • Next steps to take in creating a social enterprise
  •  Understanding of the importance of having clarity of impact

The aim of this webinar was to provide individuals working in non-profits with an introductory framework which they can use to continue to explore ways to diversify funding for their organizations.

To watch the video, click here.

Dynamic Workshops: The Fundamentals of Curriculum Development

For Settlement Workers who spend most of their time working one-to-one with clients, the development of workshops to support groups of newcomers can be challenging. This webinar provided a practical overview of curriculum and curriculum approaches, the planning process and items to consider when developing a curriculum framework for settlement services delivery. During the webinar the following areas were discussed:

  • Needs assessment
  • Determining goals and objectives
  • Selecting and developing materials and activities
  • Organization of content and activities, and
  • Evaluation.

The aim of this webinar was to provide settlement workers with a framework (or model) which they can use to regularly develop workshop content and activities appropriate to their own contexts and situations.

To watch the video, click here.

Trauma Informed Practice: Supporting Clients Who  Have Experienced Complex Trauma

Individuals who have experienced traumatic events may have challenges in various life domains. Complex trauma can result in elevated risks and increased service needs; typically crisis and emergency based services. To better understand client needs and provide clients with the most effective care and intervention, front-line workers require an understanding of trauma.

This webinar explored the impact of trauma and identified how immigrant serving agencies can offer services in a trauma-informed manner, set policies, and encourage interactions with clients that facilitate healing and growth.

This webinar discussed the following:

  • What is trauma?
  • What is trauma in relation to the immigrant and refugee experience?
  • Why is it important that settlement serving agencies are aware of trauma?
  • What impact does trauma have on our clients?
  • How can we practice being trauma aware/trauma informed?

To watch the video, click here.

Building Capacity Through Mentorship Programs

Mentorship programs can be an efficient and rewarding method of building capacity within your client base with minimal cost and high return. This webinar provided a practical approach to understanding the power of mentoring relationships, offered a “real life” perspective on mentoring and shared key learning’s on how to design, implement and oversee a successful mentorship program. This webinar was presented by Diane Lloyd, CEC ACCCEO and the key concepts reviewed were:

  • Understanding the language of mentorship
  • Benefits of offering mentorship programs
  • The basic structure to implement your own program with confidence and enthusiasm.

To watch the video, click here.

To download the accompanying handout click here.

Maximize Your Impact: Building Collaboration Through Social Media

Social media tools play an important, cost-effective, and efficient role in promoting and marketing settlement services as well as a maximizing community engagement and creating collaborative partnerships.

In this AMSSA webinar, we review key concepts for creating effective online conversations with your clients and community partners, such as:

  • The importance of a social media strategy
  • Overview of social media goals, objectives & tactics
  • Best practices of managing an organization’s social media accounts

To watch the video, click here.

Burnout to Balance: Self-Care in the Settlement Sector 

Date: March 11, 2015

The Burnout to Balance webinar provides participants with an overview of the unique occupational hazards of high stress, high care work including burnout, vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue. Individual self-care strategies for emotional, physical, psychological and spiritual well-being will be explored, while considering what it takes to balance caring for others, while also caring for the self. Discover workplace resiliency factors that can be fostered at the team and organizational levels, giving front-line staff, managers and leaders ideas for cultivating a culture of organizational health and employee well-being within the various settlement agencies. The topic was presented by Lynda Monk, MSW, RSW, CPCC.

This webinar offers validation, inspiration and information for effectively enhancing self-care at the individual, team and workplace levels.

To download the accompanying handout click here.

To watch the video from this event, click here.

Building Innovative Partnerships that Work

Date: February 17, 2015

This webinar looked at building innovative partnerships to assist the settlement sector in better serving the diverse needs of their clients.
The panelists presented on:

  • How to develop partnerships
  • Partnership and Collaboration Models
  • Retaining Partnerships
  • Tools and Resources available

The topic was facilitated by Kathi Irvine, The Watershed Group, Nora Hunt-Haft, South Okanagan Immigrant & Community Services (SOICS) and Steven Lorenzo Baileys, The Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA).

To watch the video from this event, click here.

Connecting with Clients: Leveraging Technology in British Columbia’s Settlement Services(Webinar)

Date: September 23, 2014

This webinar, facilitated by Jim Brennan from MISA of North Vancouver Island and covered three topic areas related to using technology in settlement services:
How does one utilize technology in client centered service delivery? In other words, what should a model that focuses on human development and utilizes technology as a tool look like?
What tools and resources exist that Settlement Service providers can use to engage and connect with new immigrants?
How connecting online is a core competency that is needed to keep connected, overcome isolation and to become settled in Canada.
To watch the video from this event, click here.

From the Inside Out: Building Engagement During Changing Times 

Date: June 23, 2014

This webinar provided Service Provider Organizations (SPOs) the opportunity to reflect on their recent personal and organizational changes, as well as to increase their knowledge of Change Management. The webinar covered three topic areas related to change:

  • Me, Myself and I – participants developed an understanding of how they process and adapt to change and can build their resilience.
  • Letting Go and Moving Forward – participants learned how to create opportunities for success and create commitment to future goals.
  • Embracing New Realities – participants identified strategies and techniques to embrace today’s environment.
    AMSSA gratefully acknowledges the Government of Canada for providing support for these events. AMSSA would like to thank all Denise Lloyd of EngagedHR for sharing her time and knowledge with us.

To watch the video from this event, click here.