Evaluation of the Immigrant Settlement and Adaptation Program (ISAP)

Appendix C: Alternative delivery models

To support a discussion of possible alternatives to the current delivery model, a review was conducted of settlement services in four jurisdictions where ISAP was not delivered (Australia, New Zealand, British Columbia, and Manitoba) as well as two provinces where the Program was delivered differently than in the rest of Canada (Alberta and Ontario). In Alberta, CIC co-managed the service with the provincial government, whereas CIC administered the program through a joint governance structure with the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration in Ontario. The reviewed models differ in terms of the level and depth of settlement services provided.

Key features of international models include:

  • Over the last decade, the Australian government has shifted its approach to the settlement services from a “welfare” model to a “user pay” model. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) provides national translation/interpretation service, through phone or on site. Thus, services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for any person or organization in Australia requiring interpretation services. Employment-related services are offered through the Migrant Resource Centre which is a community-based organization providing settlement services. Some services, such as Complex Case Support (CCS) and Integrated Humanitarian Settlement Strategy (HSS), are designed for refugees and humanitarian entrants only. Skilled workers are required to come prepared and establish their qualifications for work in Australia. If they require more specialized language services such as ‘English for Specific Purposes’ or vocational courses, they can obtain these on a loan basis. Once employed, they have to return a percentage of the cost of the program through additional taxation.
  • Settlement services in New Zealand are provided only to cover the initial needs of newcomers and are delivered by several different government agencies. The process begins with orientation, language tuition provision (when needed) and finally services to address employment needs.

Key features of the three Canadian models of settlement programs include:

  • The British Columbia Settlement and Adaptation Program is provided through five streams that are similar to ISAP A, ISAP B, LINC, and Host. A key component of the BC model is the creation of a network for provision of integrated services (e.g., the Skills Connect for Immigrants Program for providing employment services).
  • The Manitoba Settlement Strategy provides a broad interactive system of settlement services that packages the settlement service differently from ISAP while introducing some innovative components. The Manitoba immigrant settlement services program provides a continuum of services similar to those delivered by the former ISAP, such as information provision, counselling, interpretation and translation; however other services vary, such as foreign credential assessment, health, wellness and safety component, and job placement support.
  • The Canada-Alberta Integrated Services Program (ISP) is a partnership between CIC and Alberta Employment and Immigration (AE&I) to support community-based programs and services that assist newcomers to settle and integrate in Alberta. ISP coordinates the funding and accountability processes for contracted, community-based, and non-profit organizations to provide services and activities that increase newcomers’ ability to access information, services and resources, and enhance their labour market participation and economic independence. The ISP model is designed to support common goals and objectives between the two levels of government; coordination of services avoiding overlaps and duplications; reduction in the administrative burden; pooling of resources; and regular communication and consultation among governments, service providers, and other stakeholders. While the federal funding limits services to recent immigrants and basic settlement services, the provincial funding allows for the extension of services to all immigrants and refugees as well as provision of various education and community initiatives.
  • Settlement programming in Ontario is governed by the Strategic Plan for Settlement and Language Training developed under the Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement (COIA). The COIA is a five-year agreement, signed in November 2005, under which $920 million in new funding was provided for settlement and language training programs and services in Ontario (this agreement was recently extended through 2010-11). The management and administration of settlement services in Ontario is a mutual responsibility of the federal and provincial governments through a joint governance structure, which includes representatives from CIC, the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, municipalities and SPOs. The focus is on improving the settlement and language training services, developing partnerships with non-traditional partners, and improving evidence-based decision making. While traditional settlement programs, such as those delivered by the former ISAP, continue to be delivered, programming in Ontario includes several innovative approaches, such as Job Search Workshops, municipal-level Local Immigration Partnerships (LIP) and supported capacity building of the sector through initiatives such as Professional Education and Training and OCASI conferences.
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