Increasing immigrant parents understanding of their children’s experiences

In their article “Vietnamese American immigrant parents: A Pilot parenting intervention”, authors Y. Joel Wong, et al. use the fish bowl facilitation approach to increase parental awareness of the immigrant child’s experiences, including how they see their relationships with their parents.

From the abstract (available online), from The Family Journal:

“After the parenting intervention, a focus group interview was conducted with eight participants to examine their reactions to the intervention. The following qualitative themes emerged from the focus group: (a) increased insight on parent—child relations, (b) need for improvement in communication skills, (c) parent—child cultural gaps, (d) issues of trust between parent and child, and (e) benefits from participation in the workshop. Quantitative findings revealed that after the intervention, participants reported greater intention to show expressive love to their children as well as increased parental empathy”.

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 office@spcottawa.on.ca.  Free admission, but donations are welcome.

Family Support Institute Ontario conference

The Family Support Institute Ontario will be hosting a conference and pre-conference session (on parent engagement) from Nov 17-20, 2010 in Toronto. Two sessions are focused on newcomer children and families:

Anti Bias Literacy Environments

In this workshop we will look at creating anti bias literacy environments that promote the concept of empathy. Supporting a child’s transition from home language over to English language learning will also be a focus of this workshop. Ideas for creating anti bias literacy activities will also be included through early authoring, book nook transformations and parent involvement. Small group brainstorming will identify challenges that we face and the successes that we share. A portion of the workshop will also be devoted to common myths around English language learners, and some mainstream ideas around home language preservation and the best practices in promoting bilingualism. Presenter: Alka Burman, Early Literacy Specialist, Region of Peel.

Listening to Families: Reframing Services

This interactive workshop will give participants an overview of the Listening to Families: Reframing Services project, which is premised on our belief that if service providers knew the rich and complex stories of the families they serve, they could reach out to more families who are not benefiting from their services, and increase the effectiveness of their work for families they already serve. Examples of family narratives will be shared with participants and a comprehensive bibliography will also be provided. Presenters: Mehru Ali, Patricia Corson and Elaine Frankel, Ryerson University. (Source: conference program).

For more info, visit the conference webpage or email conference2010@fsio.ca.

On New Shores 2010: Coping with stress in various cultural contexts

Details have been finalized for the 4th annual On New Shores conference. The theme this year is Resilience of immigrants: Coping with stress in various cultural contexts.

The conference, organized by Dr. Susan Chuang will be held Sept 30-Oct 1, 2010 at the University of Guelph, Ontario. The line-up:

Day One: Thursday, September 30

8:00 -9:00 Registration.

9:00-9:15 Welcome and introductions: Serge Desmarais, Associate Vice President and Susan Chuang, Organizer.

9:15-9:30 Dedication: Tom Luster. Strangers in a Strange Land: The ‘Lost Boys of Sudan’, Michigan State University.

9:45-10:35 Michael Ungar, The Social Ecology of Resilience: Culture, Context, Resources, and Meaning, Dalhousie University.

Morning concurrent sessions:

Beyond Stress: Immigrant women facing domestic violence, with Effat Ghassemi and Reza Shahbazi, Newcomer Centre of Peel and New Canadians’ Centre of Excellence, Inc.

Compassion fatigue: Warning signs and practical tools for prevention and resilience, with Jane Bradley, certified Compassion Fatigue Specialist.

Strategy for building resilience in immigrant youth Youth: A Two-tiered mentorship program, with Petra Okeke and Nashila Dharsh, The Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth.

Achors Away, Anchors to Stay, with Rita Francis and Fadia Ismail, YMCA.

Parental exposure to life stress: Mechanisms of resilience in immigrant children, with Kelly Fife and Katholiki Georgiades, McMaster University.

Protection from the storm: Resilience and life satisfaction in US immigrant populations, with Vanessa Alleyne and Claire Wooloff, Montclair State University.

Early afternoon concurrent sessions:

Channels of mother-infant communication across task, development, and culture, with Catherine Tamis-LeMonda, New York University.

Mothers’ reports of fathers’ involvement with children in Mexican immigrant families in the US, with Ziarat Hossain, University of New Mexico.

Stress and resilience among Latino immigrant families, with Jo Ann Farver, University of Southern California.

The Promotion of resilience in the face of challenge among Chinese Canadian youth, with Catherine Costigan, University of Victoria.

Hostile hallways: Chinese American youth experience of peer discrimination in schools, with Erika Niwa, Niobe Way, and Desiree Qin, New York University and Michigan State University.

Ethnic composition of peer groups: Effects on Chinese Canadian and Euro-Canadian children’s adjustment, with Xinyin Chen, University of Pennsylvania.

More than a haircut: Building on strengths and mutual support at the barbershop, with Sarah Marsh, Lorraine Kirlew and Chevy King, Centre for Community Based Research, Macauley Child Development Centre, and York University.

Resilience in Sudanese Refugee Families in Canada, with David Este, Laura Simich and Hayley Hamilton, University of Calgary, and Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

Immigrants raising citizens: Undocumented parents of the second generation, with Hiro Yoshikawa, Harvard University.

Later afternoon concurrent sessions:

Settlement in the early years: The Distinctive needs of young newcomer children, with Judith Colbert.

Paradoxical patterns in early academic trajectories of newcomer children in Miami, with Jessica deFeyter, Adam Winsler and Yoon  Kim, George Mason University.

Ready, Set, Go: A School readiness program supporting a successful start to kindergarten, with Sarah Liddell, Aisling Discoveries Child and Family Centre.

A Qualitative Investigation of Chinese Youth ‘Growing up in NYC’, with Uwe Gielen, Jonathan Palumbo, and Ting Lei, St. Francis College and Borough of Manhattan College.

Internal migration in Mongolia: The Meaning of being a proper Chinese citizen, with William Jankowiak, University of Nevada.

Dragon seed: A Visual tour of  NYC Chinatown, with Uwe Gielen, St. Francis College.

Fitting in: The Roles of social acceptance and discrimination among Latino youth, with Krista Perreira, Stephanie Potochick and Andrew Fuligni, University of North Carolina and UCLA.

School influences on levels of emotional-behavioural problems among immigrant and ethnic-minority youth, with Katholiki Georgiades, Michael Boyle, and Kelly Fife, McMaster University.

Day Two: Friday, October 1

9:00-11:40 Michael Ungar Workshop: Clinical interventions to nurture resilience among culturally diverse youth and their families.

Poster presentations:

Sudanese Families ~ In Honour of Dr. Tom Luster, Michigan State University.

The Influence of racialized experiences on the identities of Sudanese refugee youth, by Deborah Johnson, Andrew Saltarelli and Desiree Qin.

“My culture helps me make good decisions”: Cultural appropriation and adaptation of Sudanese refugee youth, by Desiree Qin, Andrew Saltarelli, Laura Bates et al.

Successful adjustment among Sudanese unaccompanied minors: Perspectives of youth and their foster parents, by Tom Luster, Desiree Qin, Laura Bates et al.

Fostering Sudanese refugee youth: Parent perspectives, by Laura Bates, Deborah Johnson, Meenal Rana et al.

Immigrant parents and adolescents negotiating time and space
Lynda Ashbourne, University of Guelph.

Newcomer youth from five provinces: Exploration of challenges and coping strategies, by Susan Chuang, Sarah Rasmi, Maria Garces et al., University of Guelph.

Understanding Violence and Healing: Voices of Racialized Young People in Vancouver and Toronto, by Neringa Kubiliene, Miu-Chung Yan, Sarah Maiter et al., University of British Columbia and York University.

A Model of alcohol use among Latino adolescents: Exploring the influence of generational status, by Miriam Martinez, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The Settlement sector: The Profession, by Jacqueline McAdam and Caroline Lai, Global Trek.

Inquiry in English with different proficiency: A Youth leadership program at Toronto’s Chinatown, by Yamin Qian, University of Toronto.

Acculturation and family relationships: Uncovering the narratives of Chinese-Canadian immigrant youth, by Christine Tardif-Williams,
Brock University.

Afternoon Concurrent sessions:

Promoting resilience in war-affected youth, with Chandi Fernando, University of Toronto.

Stress and resilience among Liberian and Burundian refugee adolescents and their families, with Madeleine Currie, Hiro Yoshikawa, and Steven Weine, Harvard University.

Impact of war on teaching and relations among teachers of Buduburam refugee camps in Ghana, with Salome Priase Otami, Christiane Noi-Akwei1 and Benjamin Aflakpui, Central University College, Cape Town, South Africa.

Conceptualizations of resilience in refugee mental health, with Laura Simich and Wade Pickre, Ryerson University and Central for Addiction and Mental Health.

Conceptual and methodological issues for studying immigrant child mental health and school achievement, with Katholiki Georgiades, Michael Boyle, and Kelly Fife, McMaster University.

Diversity in action: Adapting mental health services in Canada, with Anne Dupré, Psychology Foundation of Canada.

El Vaivén: Return migration and education in Puerto Rico and Mexico, with Sandra Soto-Santiago and Luis Moll, University of Arizona.

Transnational entrepreneurship: Immigrant family perspective, with Benson Honig, McMaster University.

4:00-4:30 Future directions & Concluding remarks

To register, or if you have questions, contact: Dr. Susan Chuang, schuang@uoguelph.ca | 519-824-4120, ext. 58389.

Mothercraft’s course for settlement workers: Caring for Canada’s Children, Year 2

Mothercraft, with funding from Citizenship and Immigration Canada, will  offer a 2nd year of their ‘Caring for Canada’s Children’ webinar/in-class course for practitioners working with newcomer children and families. The series builds on year one and will “delve further into the issues that many newcomer families face through the immigration process. This examination will be done through presentations, case studies and practical interactive learning opportunities” (Source: Email blast to former participants).

Archived presentations from Year 1 are available here in English and also here in French.

Year 2 offerings:

  1. Building cross-cultural competence (Sept 22, 2010)
  2. Building trusting relationships with families: Towards a motivational understanding of change (Oct 13, 2010)
  3. Promoting children’s mental health (Nov 10, 2010)
  4. Understanding attachment: How early relationships influence the brain’s architecture (Dec 8, 2010)
  5. Building circles of support through service coordination (Jan 19, 2011)
  6. Developing relationships with child welfare services (Feb 16, 2011).

For more information, including how to register, visit the Mothercraft Caring for Canada’s Children website.

Conference call: Migration and the global city, Toronto

It looks like Ryerson University is working to launch a research institute devoted to immigration and settlement issues. Good luck to them. As part of this initiative, they are calling for proposals for a conference entitled “Migration and the Global City”. The conference, a launch to the proposed research centre, tentatively called the Ryerson Institute on Immigration and Settlement (RISS), will be held on the Ryerson campus from October 29-31, 2010.

A call for papers has been released here. Of particular interest to immigrantchildren.ca, conference themes include; Children and Youth; Citizenship, Migration and Identity; Precarious and Temporary Status; and Settlement Services.

The conference will feature a range of activities, including day-trips to local immigrant/settlement locations, a film-documentary screening and art-show, and a possible “CIHR-funded pre-conference on immigrant and refugee children and youth” (Source: Ryerson website). Ryerson – do let us know at immigrantchildren.ca how we can support this important inclusion!

Deadline for abstract submission is June 15, 2010.

FRP Perspectives in Family Support (Spring 2010) special issue on immigrant families

The Canadian Association of Family Resource Centres (FRP Canada) has released a special edition of their journal, Perspectives in Family Support with a focus on immigrant families:

In “The Participation of Immigrant Families in the Activities of Family Resource Programs”, Marie Rhéaume reports on a research study conducted in Québéc that examined the issues and “distances” between immigrant mothers and Québécois mothers and found that, overall, family resource centres because of the “values that underlie the work of these community-based organizations, particularly the climate of respect, help build bridges between the two groups”. For more on the study, see here.

In “Taking an Advocacy With Approach”, as opposed to an advocacy for approach, Lianne Fisher argues for the importance of self-reflection of family resource practitioners who work with newcomers to recognize and resolve possible stigmatizing and marginalizing that may occur when practitioners seek to help newcomers.

An excerpt of “Phase 2 of FRP Canada’s Welcome Here Project: A Summary Report of Lessons Learned”, also available on the FRP Canada website welcomehere.ca.

The issue of cultural adaptation and/or interpretation v. simple translation is covered by Betsy Mann in “Reflecting on Issues of Translation and Interpretation”.

Researcher Dr. Judith K. Bernhard writes on “What are the Essential Elements of Valid Research? The Problem of ‘Data’ and their Collection in Cross-Cultural Contexts” from a personal viewpoint as both an immigrant to Canada and now a practicing academic in immigrant-family related studies.

Consequences of losing a lawful immigrant parent to deportation

The International Human Rights Law Clinic, the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Race, Ethnicity and Diversity (UC, Berkeley) and the Immigration Law Clinic (UC, Davis) have recently released a policy brief entitled “In The Child’s Best Interest? The Consequences of Losing a  Lawful Immigrant Parent to Deportation”.

The brief reviews the current state of immigration law in the United States and the impact of the deportation of “lawful permanent resident parents” of more than 100,000 children (of which, more than 80,000 are US citizens).  A harrowing look at the impact of such deportations on children’s lives, education and relationships.

One World, One Family, Many Cultures, IPSCAN conference

IPSCAN – the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, sponsors the upcoming conference One World, One Family, Many Cultures: Strengthening Children and Families Affected by Personal, Intra-Familial and Global Conflict Sept 26-29/10 in Hawaii. From the conference description:

“Our theme, One World, One Family, Many Cultures, recognizes that in spite of our differences we live in one world that is a global family made up of many cultures that can work together towards a common goal of strengthening families, and preventing abuse and neglect of our children. The world faces many challenges with unfortunate conflicts among nations and tragic effects of armed conflict on our families, children and communities. The increase in violence among family members and its painful effects on our children have also challenged us to find ways to strengthen families and prevent family violence. Knowing the value of diversity in our efforts to prevent harm to our children, we invite the nations of the world to share their cultural experiences, values, and traditions to empower the youth of our nations to work together”.

Conference sub-themes:
1. Cultural Perspectives in Strengthening Families and Protecting Children
2. Identifying, Treating and Preventing Family and Sexual Violence
3. Impact of Armed Conflict on Families and Children
4. Family Strengthening: A Key to the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect
5. Youth Empowerment in the Prevention of Generational Child Abuse and Neglect.

For more information, visit the conference website.

Toronto’s Hot Docs festival offerings on multiculturalism, integration, equity, racism & child rights

Among the showings at Toronto’s annual Hot Docs film festival, running from April 29-May 9, 2010 are:

In the Name of the Family ~ about Aqsa Parvez and her so-called honour killing

Listen to This ~ Pianist Thompson Egbo-Egbo starts a music program at his former school in Toronto’s Jane-Finch community

Babies ~ just babies in settings around the world (also see film website)

Grace, Milly, Lucy … Child Soldiers ~ the lives of Ugandan child soldiers

The Day I Will Never Forget ~ about female genital mutilation in Kenya

Made in India ~ about tourist surrogacy and the reproductive industry in developing countries.

Listening to families: Responding to (newcomer) families

Sponsored by the Canadian Association of Family Resource Programs and the Family Support Institute of Ontario and funded by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, a trio of Ryerson University researchers have developed a book and DVD based on research they conducted with families across Canada. The results provide early childhood practitioners with best practices in working with newcomer families, families living in poverty and families with children with special needs.

For more information on the Listening to Families: Reframing Services project, visit the Ryerson University research update page.

Metropolis conference: Immigration and diversity. Crossroads of culture, engine of economic development

The 12th annual Metropolis conference will be held March 18-20, 2010 in Montreal. The theme this year is Immigration and Diversity: Crossroads of Culture, Engine of Economic Development. immigrantchildren.ca is pleased to see so many workshops and roundtables addressing issues related to newcomer families and young children, including:

Transnational Families: Where race, culture and adoption intersect, by Susan Crawford, lead for the Halton Multicultural Council project “Transracial Parenting Initiative”. From the abstract: “This workshop presents research on transracial and transnational families created through adoption across Canada. Presentations examine cultural enrichment through adoption, gaps in delivering pre- and post-adoption services and the needsof transracial familites; and adult adoptees’ complex experiences and understandings of ethno-racial identity”.

Conflict and Violence in Immigrant Families, by Madine VanderPlaat, St. Mary’s University. From the abstract: “This workshop will examine issues related to gender, conflict and violence within immigrant families. Participants will discuss the factors that contribute to stressors as well as the challenges and opportunities for culturally competent social responses”.

Health and Access to it for Migrants after Birth, by Anita Gagnon, Denise Bradshaw, Marlo Turner-Ritchie. From the abstract: “Tri-city (Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal) data on the health and service needs of refugee, asylum-seeking, non-refugee immigrant and Canadian-born women and their infants during pregnancy, at birth and during the first four months after birth will be presented in conjunction with potential policy responses to these date”.

School, Community and Collaborative Practice: Fostering the Integration of Immigrant and Refguee Youth in the Canadian School Context, by Sophie Yohani, N. Ernest Khalema. From the abstract: “Creating welcoming communities in educational settings is vital for newcomer students who may have a history that hinders adaptation. This workshop brings together academic researchers, non-profit practitioners, a government program officer, and a graduate student who share expertise in community-based collaborative practice to address the adaptation of refugee and immigrant students in the Canadian school context”.

Taking Care into Consideration: Local and Transnational Implications for Families, Children and Youth, by Alexandra Dobrowolsky and Evangelia Tastsoglou. From the abstract: “Familial networks, local and transnational, are critical to immigrants’ decision-making processes. The accommodation of care concerns (care of children, elderly parents, etc). also becomes a key consideration for migrants, especially for women. This workshop explores the repercussions of familial networks, and the complex negotiation of care concerns vis-a-vis attraction and retention”.

For more details on the above, see the conference program page.