Most programs in urban areas have immigrant children in their care. Often, staff at these centres are not familiar—let alone trained to deal—with the unique needs and challenges faced by the newcomer population. They may try to use or modify existing practices in their interactions, leading to poorly settled children and broken relationships with families.
That’s where CMAS can help your organization more effectively serve newcomers.
Our resource development services include:
- Resource customization—CMAS, in partnership with industry specialists, has developed and commissioned a wide range of materials for child care professionals and administrators working with immigrants—as well as for the newcomer families themselves. We can we tailor any of these existing resources to meet your specific needs.
- Resource review—Our experts are available to review your current materials to ensure they are unbiased and immigrant-friendly.
- Resource creation—We draw on our expertise, and that of our many partners, to build quality web and print resources for your stakeholders, including staff, donors and volunteers. These resources can help teach or inform them on a wide range of subjects, especially on caring for immigrant children and working with their families. Examples include caregiver and parent information sheets, as well as program standards, forms and templates.
CMAS Experience in Action: Making a Difference: The Community Responds to Child Abuse — Working with Newcomers Families Resource Manual
Parenting practices vary from country to country and culture to culture. Often, newcomer parents come to Canada without a full understanding of what are considered acceptable child-rearing methods, or the Canadian laws around child abuse. In fact, some have never even heard the term “child abuse” until they enter the Canadian child care system. CMAS found that this put newcomer child care organizations and their staff in a difficult position when dealing with cases of suspected abuse; sometimes they did not want to file a report because the parents were new to the country. This was even more likely if the parents were from the same culture or community as the caregivers. Compounding the issue was the fact that child abuse prevention and intervention manuals did not address what newcomer parents needed to know about child abuse.
The Making a Difference: The Community Responds to Child Abuse — Working with Newcomers Families resource manual was developed by the CMAS team, in partnership with Boost Child Abuse Prevention & Intervention, to meet the needs of settlement programs that care for children. The manual not only serves to educate caregivers and staff about child care practices and laws in Canada, but also how to communicate this information to immigrant and refugee families. In addition, it helps guide the development of organizational policies and procedures, build awareness of cultural differences, and teach new skills, such as how to report suspected child abuse.
The manual was provided to CNC programs, along with training on how to use it. In total, CMAS trained over 200 Ontario caregivers, supervisors and administrators, on essential information that helped them understand their role and responsibility in recognizing and reporting child abuse. The manual and training were extremely well received and allowed staff to better navigate the subject with their newcomer families.