Immigrant children, youth and families: A Qualitative analysis of the challenges of integration

This spring, the Social Planning Council of Ottawa concluded work on “Immigrant children, youth and families: A Qualitative analysis of the challenges of integration”, as part of their Families in Community project.

The report addresses the disconnect when newcomer families feel their parenting and child-rearing methods are not acknowledged/respected and the tension service providers feel about some newcomers who they perceive demonstrate a lack of commitment to early child development.

Next stages in the SPCO Families in Community project will result in:

An analysis of best/good practices for culturally-based family supports by ethno-cultural organizations.

Supports to good/best practices within 8 pilot projects with small ethno-cultural organizations.

A resource kit for mainstream family services based on good practices serving new immigrant families.

The report will be launched at the annual Social Planning Council of Ottawa AGM, May 26, 2011 in Ottawa. For information, contact Helene by May 15 at 613-236-9300 ext. 300  Free admission, but donations are welcome.

Paul Gorski’s 10 commitments to multicultural education

Well-known multicultural educator Paul Gorski has written a guest post on the blog of the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. Here’s a snapshot of Gorski’s ten commitments each multicultural educator must make:

1. Commit to working at the intersections ~ consider how multiple identities and oppressions intersect
2. Understand the sociopolitics of schooling ~ consider your work in the context of neo-liberalism, corporatization, consumer and pop culture, among others
3. Refuse the masters’ paradigms ~ resist the urge to refer to children and families as “at risk”, for example, and refuse the temptation to ‘sell’ multiculturalism as a way to compete in a global market
4. Transcend the 4 D’s: Dress, dance, diet and dialet and push multiculturalism beyond celebrations that, while having a place, can serve to perpetuate stereotypes rather than challenge them
5. Don’t equate (or promote) multiculturalism with universal validation ~any multicultural ‘space’ cannot be both multicultural and hegemonic
6. Resist simple solutions to complex issues ~ challenge the status quo, even of multicultural theories and approaches
7. Be informed ~ do your work, check research to ensure it includes a community context and reflects actual voices
8. Work with and in service to the disenfranchised ~ apply multicultural principles to the work and to the process of the work
9. Reject deficit ideology ~  examine power hierarchies from the ground up and do not look down at those disenfranchised by power inequities
10. Pursue justice, not peace ~ do not assume that parties occupy similar space on the privilege-oppression continuum

See the full blog posting here.

Newcomer Children’s Services in BC

The Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies (AMSSA) May 9th  AMSSA Newcomer Children’s Information Exchange, or ANCIE Bulletin, announces the release of the “Compendium of Newcomer Children’s Services in British Columbia” and links to videos and presentations from the first Provincial Symposium on Cultural Competencies: Supporting Newcomer Children, held at SFU Harbour Centre in February, 2010.

What a rich resource! The Compendium provides an overview of programs and services for newcomer children from birth to age 12. It was developed by AMSSA member agencies in BC. The Compendium includes:

•    A list of programs developed at the community level for newcomer children
•    An overview of general children’s programs that have been modified to meet the specific needs of newcomer children
•    Agencies, groups and individuals with expertise in providing services to newcomer children.

Presentations at the February 2010 symposium, linked in the Bulletin include:

•    Sylvia Helmer, UBC, ESL Consultant: Cultural Competency in the Classroom and Curriculum
•    Jim Anderson, UBC: Engaging Newcomer Children and Parents through Literacy
•    Deb Kohen and Amber Phillips, Ministry of Children and Family Development: Positive Parenting Program: Helping newcomer families understand Canadian laws and norms in discipline and parenting.