On new shores: Guelph conference set for November 6-7, 2008

A preliminary schedule has been developed by organizer Dr. Susan Chuang for the 2008 On New Shores conference, to be held in Guelph Nov 6-7, 2008.

On new shores: International forum on issues of immigrant and refugee children, youth and families across the world.

Early bird fees (before June 1/08) for academics: $200 or $225 with dinner. For community/students: $175 or $200 with dinner. After June 1/08, all fees go up by $50.

A call for proposals/presenters should be released early in the new year and will be posted here. Any members of the Early Childhood Working Group of the CCICY interested in presenting? Let’s coordinate and collaborate.

For more information, contact Dr. Susan Chuang at the University of Guelph.

HRDSC funding for national organizations – children and families component

The Social Development Partnerships Program of Human Resources Development and Skills Canada have issued a call for proposals for their children and families component.

From the website:

“The goal of this Call for Proposals (CFP) is to offer three years of results-based grant funding to national organizations that have local chapters/agencies/offices that deliver front line programs and services to children/youth and their families in communities across Canada.

“The priority of this CFP is to enable national organizations to continue providing leadership in program development and supports to their local affiliates.

“The maximum amount of funding available is $200,000 per fiscal year, for a maximum of three years”.

The closing date of the call is February 8, 2008.

For more details, including eligibility requirements; FAQs; terms and conditions and more, see the HRSDC website.

Ontario Minister of Children and Youth Services writes to us!

On behalf of the Early Childhood Working Group, CCICY, letters of congratulation were sent on Nov 17/08 to the newly named Ontario ministers of Citizenship and Immigration (The Honourable Michael Chan) and Children and Youth Services (The Honourable Deb Matthews).

On December 8, Minister Chan’s response to our letter was posted on the blog. It brings me great pleasure to inform you that Minister Matthews has also now written. Click the image below to read the letter from Minister Matthews.

Link to letter from Minister Chan

Valuing all children: BC early years conference, 2008

The Early Years Conference 2008: Valuing all Children is sponsored by the University of British Columbia and is being held in Vancouver, BC Jan 31-Feb 2/08. It includes one workshop related to immigration: “Measuring Success in Programs for Immigrant Fathers” by Hadassah Ksienski, CEO and Wendy Auger, Mosaic Children and Parent Centre, Calgary Immigrant Aid Society.

The workshop description: “The Integrated Fathers and Children Participatory Project was developed by the Calgary Immigrant Aid Soceity to address the gaps in service delivery in supporting immigrant and refugee men in their role as caregivers to their children and to promote successful integration to the Canadian school system for children in immigrant families”.

For a related journal article see: Roer-Strier, D., Este, D., Shimoni, R., Clark, D. (2005). Fatherhood and immigration: challenging the deficit theory. Child & Family Social Work, Vol 10, Issue 4, Spring 2004 (315-29).

10th Metropolis: Sessions on immigrant children & families

The 10th annual Metropolis conference will be held in Halifax, Nova Scotia from April 3-6, 2008. The theme is ‘Expanding the debate: Multiple perspectives on immigration to Canada‘. Several events focus on children and families (descriptions from the conference website), including:

Workshops at the Conference


School-family relations arising from immigration: A Critical perspective. This workshop brings to light, in a comparative manner, recent efforts regarding migrants and the school environment, identifying strategies to avoid difficult interaction and highlight available tools to improve intercultural interaction. Annick Lenoir, Université de Sherbrooke, QC.

Defining the issue of missing child migrants. This workshop will examine the issue of unaccompanied migrant children who go missing after being released into the care of relatives, what can or should be done to assay how large an issue it really is. It will also explore the academic and policy dimensions that need to be addressed. Steven L. Morris, Metropolis Project Secretariat at Citizenship and Immigration Canada and Dr. Madine VanderPlaat, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, NS.

Health and wellbeing among newcomer families, children and youth. Data from the national longitudinal New Canadian Children and Youth Study is discussed in relation to identity, health, discrimination, and education of newcomer youth. Findings are presented by project researchers and a response panel comprised of policy makers and community representatives. Lori A. Wilkinson, University of Manitoba, MB.

Roundtables at the Conference

Various stakeholders: Creating potential alliances to serve immigrant families. Goal: Talk about the issues of knowledge exchange among various stakeholders which tends to be shared within, not among, each stakeholder group. Susan Chuang, University of Guelph, ON.

Poster Presentations at the Conference


Art therapy: Meeting the mental health needs of immigrant and refugee families. Immigrant and refugee families underutilize mental health services due to multiple barriers that inhibit accessibility to conventional services. Integrating art therapy in a naturalized setting, such as the child’s school or home, may reduce the constraints of providing services to this population. Presenters: Lucy Lu and Karin Derouaux, Concordia University, Montréal, QC.

Poverty, social support and the health of children born to minority migrants. We examined differences in health status between 17-month-old children of minority migrant mothers and children of Canadian and majority migrant mothers. When facing poverty and lack of social support, the health advantage of children born to minority migrant mothers is lost. Presenter: Andrea Van Hulst, Université de Montréal, QC.

Don’t forget me: Immigrant Chinese fathers of today. Since the 1970’s, there is substantial evidence that fathers are important which has beneficial effects on their children’s development. However, our understanding of Asian fathering remains limited. The poster will present a multi-informant, multi-methodological study addressing these concerns. Presenter: Susan Chuang, University of Guelph, ON.

For more information, see the Metropolis conference website: http://www.metropolis2008.net/english.html

Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration writes to us!

On behalf of the Early Childhood Working Group, CCICY, letters of congratulation were sent to the newly named provincial ministers of Citizenship and Immigration (The Honourable Michael Chan) and Children and Youth Services (The Honourable Deb Matthews) on November 17, 2007.

The letters of congratulation were a way to introduce the cabinet ministers to us and to the CCICY. They were also an item on our workplan.

I am delighted to report that Minister Chan has responded. When Minister Matthews replies, I’ll post that letter too. Click the image below to read Minister Chan’s reply.

Link to letter from Minister Chan

Globe article about literacy & numeracy programs for immigrant and refugee children

See the December 6, 2007 Globe and Mail article “Leaping over educational adversity: Young immigrants and refugees with little or no formal schooling are thriving in Toronto’s intensive literacy and numeracy program”. An excerpt:

” As more children with non-existent or interrupted educations resettle in Canada, school boards are increasingly struggling to cope with the unique challenges of schooling the un-schooled. …

“A 2006 report by the Canadian School Boards Association called for the federal government to fund more programs to help refugee and immigrant children adjust to the school system, more provincial dollars and better training for teachers”.

Census 2006 & immigration stats

Statistics Canada has released several data sets of interest. The news yesterday focussed on the increase of immigrants and the type of immigrants Canada is receiving. It’s important to flag the issues that immigrant parents and children are experiencing. An op-ed, anyone?


See the Statistics Canada website for:

Immigration and citizenship highlight tables

Language highlight tables

2006 community profiles.

Customized views of data sets are available and, for our purposes, allow us to look at the numbers of immigrant children coming into Canada. Age breakdowns: 0-4 yrs, 5-9.

Also of interest is mother tongue and language spoken most often at home.

Call for papers: ECE & immigrant children

Early Childhood Research Quarterly – Special Issue: Call for Papers

Early Childhood Education and Immigrant Children: Promises, Perils, Cultures, and the Transition to School

Early Childhood Research Quarterly is planning to publish a special issue dedicated to the diversity of early childhood environments for young immigrant children, and implications for successful development and school transitions. …Most of the current research … has been conducted with older children and adolescents, leaving our knowledge of the development of young immigrant children (age 0-8) sorely lacking.

The deadline for manuscript submission is April 1, 2008, with a projected deadline for receipt of final revised drafts of papers accepted by October 1, 2008. Questions should be directed to Micere Keels micere@uchicago.edu.