June 2019
In this issue
Building Capacity 
to Support BC's 
Migrant Workers 

In March, AMSSA launched the pilot project Building Capacity to Support BC's Migrant Workers, funded by the Government of Canada's Migrant Worker Support Network led by Employment and Social Development Canada. This project is aimed at providing volunteers, staff and organizations with resources to support migrant workers in learning about, understanding, and exercising their rights while in Canada as well as to support employers in understanding and meeting program conditions and requirements of the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program.

If you wish to sign up to receive updates on this project please contact us at

Stay tuned! On June 18, AMSSA will be launching the Migrant Worker Hub website where resources and tools to support migrant workers will be posted. 

Make sure to visit www.migrantworkerhub.ca to check out the videos, special editions of the Migration Matters Info Sheets, webinars, e-learning modules and other resources! 


Register for our Upcoming Webinars! 

Alcohol and Drug Use: Supporting Migrant Workers Who Are Facing Addiction

Due to the stigma and negative connotations linked to alcohol and drug addiction, it is difficult for many users to accept they have a problem. Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol and drugs can have adverse health impacts, the effects may last long and can cause permanent damage.

Isolation, family separation and anxiety associated to living in a foreign country, among other factors, can put migrant workers at risk of facing alcohol and drug addiction. For this reason, it is important for people who are involved in supporting workers' adaptation to Canada, to be aware of the signs of addiction, learn about the effects and rehabilitation options available to them.

This webinar will provide organizations, unions, employers and individuals in general, knowledge on how to identify and support migrant workers who may be facing an addiction.

When: Tuesday, June 18, 2019 - 9:00-11:00 AM PDT

To register, click here.

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Exploring Online Service Delivery: Principles and Practices

As digital technology use in settlement and integration education increases, more training is helpful. This webinar will help settlement teams understand the benefits and multiple approaches to online learning, as well as stay current on research and available supports. This webinar will focus on the opportunities and barriers to using online and blended delivery for language training and will address digital literacy, equity and access.

The webinar will also provide 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
  • Uncoupling digital literacy from language levels
  • Digital Literacy Exchange Projects
When: Tuesday June 25, 2019 - 10:00-11:30 AM PDT

Registration deadline: 
Monday June 24, 2019 3:00 PM PDT

To register, click here.


Read the Latest 
Info Sheet


The Refugee Integration after Year One Migration Matters Info Sheet explores the gaps in services that government-assisted refugees (GARs) experience after specialized government services and funding runs out at the beginning of their second year in Canada, and the different levels of readiness between GARs and privately-sponsored refugees (PSRs). Links to further resources are also provided.

Click here to read the Migration Matters Info Sheet and previous editions.

Staff movement

We're sad to see you go!
In March, AMSSA said good-bye to Farah Kotadia, Program Director. We wish her all the best with her future endeavours!

Welcome!
AMSSA welcomed Alejandra Páramo, Migrant Worker Support Coordinator in March. As the Migrant Worker Support Coordinator, Alejandra works to enhance the knowledge and capacity of organizations and employers supporting migrant workers in BC through resources and support services. Contact her directly at aparamo@amssa.org.

AMSSA also welcomed Alice Poudel, Program Coordinator who started her role in April. As the Program Coordinator, Alice works to support the development of all AMSSA services and resources and ensures all deliverables are met. Contact Alice directly at apoudel@amssa.org.

We're happy to have you both on the AMSSA Team!


Connect with us!

 
Reflecting on the Past Year and Looking Forward to the Year Ahead

The past 2018-2019 year has been an exciting one for AMSSA which included moving to a new location and also, strengthening partnerships and our members' capacities. Together, we successfully launched our Provincial Engagement Strategy calling for a BC immigration strategy, and also worked collaboratively to produce relevant and topical support services.

AMSSA was at the forefront of connecting BC's service providers and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to form sector priorities for the 2019 Call for Proposals (CFP) by hosting the BC CFP summit. As well, we launched the LINC resource toolkit: A Principle-based Approach to Supporting LINC Learners and provided BC Settlement and Integration Services (BCSIS) support services including creating front-line worker fact sheets and e-learning modules. AMSSA also continued to provide resources like the e-symposium, webinars, convening events, online videos, and Migration Matters Info Sheets.Topics for these activities ranged from refugee integration, racial equity, to newcomer men. Look for these resources on the AMSSA website.

Over this 2019-2020 year, AMSSA will continue to support the settlement, language and diversity sectors with information services, training opportunities, and resources. We will carry on with providing IRCC support services through Settlement Net, Migration Matters Info Sheets, online events and more! In addition, AMSSA will be creating new online learning modules and other relevant resources for BCSIS-funded organizations. 

We are also happy to be a part of a pilot project funded by the Government of Canada's Migrant Worker Support Network. The objective of the Building Capacity to Support BC's Migrant Workers project is to enhance the knowledge and capacity of all those who work with migrant workers.

Stay tuned to the AMSSA's website for exciting new resources and events coming your way! 

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AMSSA will continue to provide quality support services to the settlement, language and diversity sectors with our highly skilled staff. AMSSA is pleased to introduce new roles for staff who are known to many of you:
  • Sabrina Dumitra, Settlement and Integration Program Manager;
  • Julie Ship, Language Program Manager;
  • Lori Cameron, Provincial Integration Program Manager;
  • Ljudmila Petrovic, Research and Policy Analyst; and
  • Kaan Eraslan, Multimedia Specialist.
We are also pleased to introduce new staff and positions at AMSSA:
  • Alejandra Páramo, Migrant Worker Support Coordinator; and
  • Alice Poudel, Program Coordinator.
For our full staff list, click here. Feel free to contact us directly!


Check out the Front-line Worker Fact Sheets!

The Front-line Worker Fact Sheets are practical, clear, simple and easy to read fact sheets that contain helpful information and resources to be used by front-line workers in support of service delivery. Front-line workers can keep the document on their desktop and quickly refer to appropriate links to assist clients.

The International Students: Settlement, Housing and Employment Fact Sheet contains helpful information and links for supports in areas of settlement, housing, legal, employment matters and immigration pathways.

 

The Temporary Foreign Workers Fact Sheet includes links to resources on career planning, job search, work permits, legal supports and resources, employment safety, rights and responsibilities. 


Access and read the fact sheets by clicking here.


Having a LINC Team Meeting? Check out AMSSA's new Guide!

Through a holistic lens, this professional development tool supports LINC programs serving newcomers with diverse backgrounds, identities, assets and complex needs.

The principles of reflexivity (reflection), awareness and empathic communication are presented through case studies, reflection questions and suggested approaches to encourage and acknowledge responsive settlement language programs. This resource also supports conversations between managers, coordinators and instructors to increase collaboration and LINC program awareness as well as to promote positive employment succession and staff retention.

Suggestions for engaging with the guide include:
  • Teams focus on one principle at a time.
  • Staff receive the case studies and reflection questions in advance of team discussions, as a regular part of professional development days or monthly meetings.
  • Allow the exploration and discussions to unfold over time rather than at just a "one-off" workshop.
  • Plan ways to keep momentum to ensure reflection and learning continues over time.
A Principles-based Approach to Supporting LINC Learners includes a clickable Table of Contents and linked online resources. Find it here.


Sign-Up for the Front-line Worker 
E-Learning Courses

AMSSA has released two front-line worker e-learning modules with more on the way!

 The e-learning modules are 1.5 hour online courses on topics regarding settlement and integration in BC. The e-learning format allows learners to take the online courses at their own pace or, we recommend doing the courses as a group as well. Discussion questions are included that work well for both individual thought and group discussion. After taking each course, learners receive a certificate of completion.

 
Available topics include:
  • Refugee Mental Health Front-line Workers Training
  • BC Employment Standards and Workplace Safety Training for Front-line Workers
It's free to sign-up!

Stay tuned for modules currently in development: Pathways to permanent residency for temporary residents; and Diversity and Inclusion.

Click here to learn more and sign-up for the courses!


View the Latest Webinars!

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.

This webinar explored the roles of LINC Assessment Centres and the Canadian Language Benchmarks Placement Test (CLBPT) in LINC service delivery. 

Presentation by: Krista Walsh-Murray, CCLB

 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).
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.

Presentation by: Marco Campana, Communications Strategist
  • 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 recordings and past webinars click here.