Services for newcomer youth
Young people settling in Canada face unique challenges. While anyone moving to a new country will take time to adjust, the pressures of adjusting to life in a new country can be especially difficult for youth. Changes can include
- learning a completely new culture and language
- making new friends
- finding ways to get educated in a new system
- contributing to your new communities
This is a lot to handle. Don’t take this journey alone.
On this page, we’ve gathered resources that newcomer youth and young adults can use to start their journey and find support to build the life they want for themselves, whatever that looks like.
Being a parent with younger children can be challenging. Get support for families with younger children.
On this page
- Find out what you’re eligible for
- Get help from settlement service providers
- Get an education
- Get support for your mental health and well-being
- Get ready to work
- Support for families with younger children
Find out what you’re eligible for
The settlement services on this page are for young permanent residents, including resettled refugees. They can benefit young people, but each program or service helps a wide range of age groups.
Even if you’re not a permanent resident, you may still have access to some of these services. If you don’t know if you’re eligible
- ask the program or service to confirm
- ask your school for help or
- contact a local settlement service provider for more information
Get help from settlement service providers
There are more than 500 settlement service providers across Canada (not including Quebec) that deliver settlement services to permanent residents, including resettled refugees. Many of them offer support directly to youth. You can find services like
- help during and after school
- recreational activities
- leadership and mentorship programs
- help developing skills and preparing for employment
Find settlement services near you (opens in a new tab)
Get an education
In Canada, your parents or guardians have to make sure you get an education. Getting an education is your right. Depending on your age, there are different schools that you might want to go to and programs that you can take advantage of.
Find out about supports in your school
Starting at a new school can be scary and stressful. To support newcomer students, many schools offer
- cultural liaisons
- social workers
- guidance counsellors
- Settlement Workers in Schools (SWIS)
The SWIS initiative places settlement workers in schools that have high numbers of newcomer students. These workers can help to make the transition easier for you and your whole family by
- sharing information
- providing resources
- making connections to in-school, after-school and community programming
While SWIS is not available in all schools, many schools offer similar services. Schools often design the programs to help newcomer students and their families adjust to school life. They recognize that being new to Canada can be a barrier to success at school.
Ask your school or a local settlement service provider if SWIS or another option is available to you.
Learn more about Canada’s education system.
Get support for your mental health and well-being
Mental health refers to how we think, feel and behave. It’s an important part of everyone’s overall health. Adapting to life in Canada as a young person is hard, no matter how much support you have. Here are some ways to take care of your mental health and well-being:
- Connect with friends and family
- Be active
- Eat well
- Get enough sleep
- Ask for help when you need it!
Mental health resources are available in different places in your community. You may be able to access information and help
- at your school
- at a faith-based organization, like
- from your SWIS worker, case manager or settlement worker
- at a doctor’s office (your family doctor or a walk-in clinic)
- through your extracurricular activities
- Try asking your coaches, peers or youth leaders.
- through Kids Help Phone
Find more information about
- mental health and well-being support for newcomers
- resources for children and youth from the Mental Health Commission of Canada (opens in a new tab)
Family and gender-based violence
You have the right to live free from all forms of abuse, violence, and neglect. Despite this, many youth across Canada face family and gender-based violence because of their
- gender expression
- gender identity
- perceived gender
Gender-based violence is a violation of human rights.
Family violence is any abuse adults or children experience in their families or homes.
There are many types of abuse or neglect, and the abusers could be anyone in your life, including
- parents, guardians or other caregivers
- peers at school, in programs or in the community
- romantic partners
In Canada, we don’t tolerate abuse, violence, or neglect. You don’t have to stay in an abusive situation. If you’re experiencing violence or abuse of any kind, reach out to someone for help.
All provinces and territories in Canada have crisis lines for those experiencing family or gender-based violence.
- Contact a crisis line near you (opens in a new tab)
- Get help for sponsored spouses or partners
- This includes if you’ve been forced into a marriage.
Contact Kids Help Phone
Kids Help Phone isn’t just for young kids. Children aged 5 or more and young adults up to 29 years of age can call the Kids Help Phone and get confidential care from professional counsellors any time, day or night, for free by
- phone call: 1-800-668-6868 (toll-free)
- text message: send “connect” to 686868
Access Kids Help Phone resources for newcomer youth (opens in a new tab) .
Get ready to work
There are programs that can help you prepare if you’re
- finishing school
- looking for a part-time job
- entering the work force
Even if you don’t consider yourself a youth anymore and identify as a young adult, you may still find support for your move from secondary (high) school to post-secondary education and the work force.
Find help from local settlement service providers for things like
- accessing scholarships and grants
- informal language training
- pre-employment workshops
- career planning
Designed for all youth in Canada, our Youth Digital Gateway can help you
- build your career
- improve your skills
- find a job
Find services for refugee youth
If you’ve come to Canada as a refugee youth, you may want services that were made for you. Many service providers offer services for refugees, including
- case management
- social and recreational activities for refugee youth
Find refugee services in Canada
Support for families with younger children
National Child Day
Find resources and activities to inform you about the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and to help you educate your child.
If you have young children or are expecting a child, you may be feeling overwhelmed by the amount of the information out there. It can be hard to find good advice or recognize misinformation. We’ve collected some trustworthy resources to help you.
Get parenting information and tips from the Public Health Agency of Canada, including
You can also review resources for newcomer parents and families in 16 languages (opens in a new tab) from CMAS (Childminding Monitoring, Advisory and Support), including
- Keeping Your Home Language (opens in a new tab)
- Sharing Stories with Your Child (opens in a new tab)
Find child care services
If you need child care services, you can check with a local settlement service provider. Many of these providers offer child care services for newcomer children.
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