If you work with immigrant children,
1) You are leading the way in a growing professional field!
Canada welcomes 250,000 immigrants each year, including over 8,000 children and youth, speaking over 80 different languages.
You work with these families each and every day. When there is a crisis in another part of the world, and refugee families arrive here in Canada, for many of them, you are their first contact! You have become skilled at responding to the changing needs, cultures and languages in your program, and many of you have been developing this skill and expertise in the field for years!
With growing professionalism and quality of care for newcomer children, Canada is starting to be noticed – and you are an important part of advancing the field. Take pride in your contributions and embrace your role as the caring professional that you are!
2) You’re supporting newcomer families!
Your programs are specifically designed for immigrant families. You have an opportunity to genuinely make a difference in their lives by providing quality care that is responsive to their needs. You are making personal connections and supporting newcomer families through a difficult transition. Without their usual family and support networks, they count on your help.
They rely on you to be professional and knowledgeable. You also give them your patience, support and understanding. You provide support that transcends language barriers and helps parents to understand parenting within the Canadian context.
By developing trusting relationships, developing child-centred programs, and connecting families with information and resources in the community, you play an integral role in the successful settlement of immigrant families in Canada.
Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. ~Leo Buscaglia
3) Children give back so much!
We have so much to learn from the inquisitive minds of the children around us. Allow yourself to explore, learn and grow alongside the newcomer children in your program. Try to see things through their eyes as if it’s the first time.
There can be quite a sense of accomplishment when results are immediate and tangible, but remember that your care and commitment to newcomer children also has life-long effects!
A hundred years from now, it will not matter what kind of car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, or how much money I had in the bank, but the world may be a better place because I made a difference in the life of a child. ~ Forest Witcraft
4) Joyfulness is contagious!
It’s also important for you to find joy and inspiration in your work with newcomer children, because if you’re enjoying your work and having fun with the children, then they’ll be having fun and learning more too!
Children respond better to happy caregivers in an uplifting environment, so if you enjoy your job and love spending time with the children, then it will come back to you tenfold. So be thoughtful in your interactions and programming, and don’t be afraid to laugh, play and be silly!
5) You experience the richness of culture every day!
What you do is special. Where else will you find the same opportunity to develop relationships with families from all over the world, be exposed to so many languages and cultures, and learn about traditions both old and new. You facilitate the coming together of all these things within your program.
Learning about culture in such a personal way gives you the benefit of a unique perspective on people and places, language and communication, and on Canadian culture in general. It builds tolerance, acceptance and understanding in a very real and extraordinary way.
6) Opportunities for growth
Within the care for newcomer children field, there is so much potential for growth. Build on your skills, be conscious and thoughtful in your work, participate in professional development, search out mentors within the field that you can learn from, or maybe professionals just entering the field that could benefit from your support and expertise!
By improving the quality of care and commitment within the field, immigrant children and families, as well as every professional working in the field will benefit.