Multilingual parent resource sheets from, (see blog entry here March 19/08), has published a series of parent resource sheets in ten languages, including: Arabic, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Hindi, Punjabi, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Tamil and Vietnamese.

Topics include: Building active habits, Family routines, Parents at play, Promoting positive behaviour, and Supporting children’s play. is a collaboration of the Canadian Association of Family Resource Programs and settlement agencies across Canada.

Call for presentations: Diversity and well-being conference, Calgary

The Calgary Health Region has issued a call for presentations for its 5th annual Diversity and Wellbeing Conference. This year’s theme is The Diverse Faces of Mental Health and will be held Nov 20-21/08 at Mount Royal College in Calgary Alberta.

The conference brings together health researchers, practitioners, policy makers and community members/organizations to share best practices in addressing the mental health needs of individuals, families and communities. The conference is an ideal place to raise issues of immigrant/refugee children and families and acknowledge/address the conditions under which they emigrate to Canada.

Topics welcome include:

  • innovations in mental health services to populations
  • mental health needs of diverse communities
  • the role of spirituality in mental health
  • the implications of current health policies and practices in diverse communities
  • incorporating the lived experiences of diverse populations in research and decision making.

Deadline for submission is June 27th 2008.

Contact for a copy of the application form.

Immigrant women and post-partum depression

A newly published book on immigrant women’s health issues includes a chapter by Paola Ardiles, CIndy-Lee Dennis and Lori E. Ross on post-partum depression in immigrant women.  

The book, Working with Immigrant Women: Issues and Strategies for Mental Health Professionals is edited by Sepali Gruge and Enid Collins and is published by CAMH. See the CAMH page for information.

April 17-18 York U conference: Rethinking the mosaic: Immigration, settlement and the lived experience

At the end of February, this blog posted notice about and a call for proposals for the York University Graduate School Conference, “Rethinking the Mosaic: Immigration, Settlement and the Lived Experience”. The conference program has now been posted. I am happy to report that children and families are addressed in this conference, including:

The opening plenary includes Mehru Ali, CERIS domain leader in Family, Children and Youth, and Professor at the School of Early Childhood Education, Ryerson University

A day 2 workshop in the Health and Well-Being section includes Fatima Kediye, School of Early Childhood Education, Ryerson University on the topic of “Somali-Canadian mothers of young children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder”. 

Also on day 2, a series of workshops on the Experiences of Immigrant/Transnational Families, including:

  • Christina Parker, OISE/UT on the topic of “Canadian children, immigrant parents: Young ‘Canadians’ research their cultural identity”.
  • Lan Zhong, University of Windsor on “The role of the father in Chinese immigrant families”. 
  • Yvette Michele Gnanamuttu, McGill University, on “Inter-ethnic adoption: In whose best interests?”. 
  • Marina Morgenshtern, Wilfrid Laurier University, on “Witnessing the socio-political stories of immigrant couples”. 

The conference takes place this upcoming week – April 17-18/08. See the CERIS website for more information and to download the complete conference program.

War, immigration and trauma: Sick Kids Hospital conference

The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto is hosting a two-day conference May 16-17/08 on the theme of War, Immigration and Trauma. Features speakers are:

Dr. Cecile Rousseau, Head, Transcultural Child Psychiatry Clinic, Montreal Children’s Hospital, on “Trauma as a Transformation Process” and Olara A. Otunnu, UN Under-Secretary-General and Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, on “Protecting our Children from the Scourge of War”.

Also featured will be 3 expert panels:

• Child Development: Interactions with Armed Conflict and Migration
• Therapeutic Interventions: Talking with Children, Talking with Parents
• Moving to the Next Level: Implications for Policy & Practice.

For more information, see the conference website or contact Cathy Ditizio, Conference Administrator at:

Immigrant parents’ settlement experiences and contributions to children’s health

Immigrant Parents’ Settlement Experiences and Contributions to Children’s Health: Analysis, Knowledge Transfer and Exchange (2006-2007) has been posted in PDF on the CERIS website.

The study looks at the impact of adults’ immigration and settlement experiences on children’s overall health. Among the findings was that child health was positively related to how welcome the child’s parents felt in their new communities.

Authors are: L. Simich (PI), H. Hamilton, H. Fenta, (Co-Investigators); L. Marshall, Research Analyst.

State of the world’s children, 2008

The State of the World’s Children, 2008 has been released by UNICEF.

The report examines child survival and primary health care for mothers, newborns and children today. Refugee children are highlighted throughout the report. Some of the key findings (from the Executive Summary) include:

The need to focus on the countries and communities where child mortality rates and levels are highest, and on those hat are most at risk of missing out on essential primary health care.

The merits of packaging essential services together to improve the coverage and efficacy of interventions.

The vital importance of community partnerships in actively engaging community members as health workers and mobilizing the community in support of improved health practices.

The imperative of providing a continuum of care across the life cycle, linking households and communities with outreach and extension services and facility-based care.

The benefits of a strategic, results-oriented approach to health-system development with maternal, newborn and child care as a central part.

The crucial role of political commitment, national and international leadership and sustained financing in strengthening health systems.

The necessity for greater harmonization of global health programmes and partnerships.

For more information, including statistical tables, charts, graphs, photographs, regional reports, how to order hard copies, and special panel reports on child mortality, newborn survival, child health in complex medical emergencies, and birth registration (to name only a few) see the UNICEF webpage.

The impact of changing demographics on maternal and child health

Best Start: Ontario’s Maternal, Newborn and Early Child Development Resource Centre will feature a keynote on cultural diversity at their annual conference, to be held Feb 27-29/08 in Scarborough.

From the conference website, this description:

“Ontario’s demographics are rapidly changing and the composition of our communities reflects the increasing diversity of the population. These changes have a significant impact on the planning and delivery of services across the province, in both large and small communities as well as urban and rural. Following an overview on the extent of these demographic changes, panelists will help us understand some of the specific implications for maternal and child health programs, and strategies to ensure that our programs meet the needs of our growing diverse population”.

Panelists are: Judith Bernhard, Ryerson University, Linda Kongnetiman, Calgary Health Region and Dr. Doug Norris, Environics Analytics.