How Montreal’s La Maison Bleue Centre supports resilience in migrant mothers

Interesting recent article in PLoS ONE, 14(7) on “Strengthening resilience among migrant mothers living in Montreal, Canadaby Thalia Aubé, Sarah Pisanu, Lisa Merry.

From the Abstract:

“La Maison Bleue is a community-based perinatal health and social centre in Montreal that provides services during pregnancy up to age five to families living in vulnerable contexts. The study aimed to describe: 1) the challenges and protective factors that affect the well-being of migrant families receiving care at La Maison Bleue; and 2) how La Maison Bleue strengthens resilience among these families.

Methods

“We conducted a focused ethnography. Immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers and undocumented migrants were invited to participate. We collected data from November to December 2017 via semi-structured interviews and participant observation during group activities at La Maison Bleue. Data were thematically analysed.

Results

“Twenty-four mothers participated (9 interviewed, 17 observed). Challenges to well-being included family separation, isolation, loss of support, the immigration process, an unfamiliar culture and environment, and language barriers. Key protective factors were women’s intrinsic drive to overcome difficulties, their positive outlook and ability to find meaning in their adversity, their faith, culture and traditions, and supportive relationships, both locally and transnationally. La Maison Bleue strengthened resilience by providing a safe space, offering holistic care that responded to both medical and psychosocial needs, and empowering women to achieve their full potential towards better health for themselves and their families.

Conclusion

“Migrant mothers have many strengths and centres like La Maison Bleue can offer a safe space and be an empowering community resource to assist mothers in overcoming the multiple challenges that they face while resettling and raising their young children in a new country.”

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.

Francophone female refugees separated from their children, a study

The Ontario Metropolis Centre of Excellence for Research in Immigration Studies (CERIS) has released its latest Policy Matters issue. The Sept 2009 edition is a summary of a report entitled An Analysis of the challenges faced by francophone female refugees living in Ontario and separated from their chilren.

Authors Emile Greon, Michele Kerist, and Francosie Magunira examine the challenges faced by Francophone refugee mothers in Ontario who are separated from their children. The authors make several recommendations for policy change, including:

1) Allow children and spouses to join women refugee claimants, and have their paperwork process from within Canada.
2)  Improve the availability of legal information about family reunification in French.
3)  Ease the bureaucratic process.
4)  Create positions for case workers to follow individual cases and track delays.
5) Enact an “action plan” to systematically present the findings to all stakeholders within one year.

The study was funded by the Ontario Movement for Francophone Immigrant Women.

National Metropolis conference, March 18-21/10, Montreal

This year’s national Metropolis conference theme is “Immigration and Diversity: Crossroads of Culture, Engines of the Economy”. The conference will present workshops, roundtables and poster presentations in the six priority areas of the Metropolis program:

  1. Citizenship and social, cultural, linguistic and civic integration
  2. Economic and labour market integration
  3. Family, children, youth
  4. The role of the host communities for newcomers and minorities
  5. Justice, policing and security
  6. Housing, neighbourhoods and the urban environment.

For details, including a call for proposals, (deadline Oct 30/09) see the conference website.

Conference on ‘reasonable accommodation’

From Sept 25-26, 2008 the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice will host the conference Reasonable Accommodation and the Role of the State: A Democratic Challenge, in Quebec City, QC.

No specific sessions on young children and/or families, but a section on “Education Services” includes consultants Bergman Fleury and Zanana Akande.

Related link: The Bouchard-Taylor Commission on Reasonable Accommodation.