West Neighbourhood House (Toronto) job posting for a Team Lead, Newcomer Youth Program

West Neighbourhood House logo
The Team Leader, Newcomer Youth Program assists with the coordination, development, delivery and day to day monitoring of the activities of the Newcomer Youth Program which is designed to facilitate cross cultural sharing, skill acquisition, integration and settlement by working with both newcomer youth (aged 13-24) and a range of volunteers, in conjunction with the Co-ordinator of Immigrant and Refugee Services.

Description

West Neighbourhood House, formerly St. Christopher House, is a multi-service, neighbourhood-based agency that has served the diverse communities of downtown west Toronto since 1912.  The central purpose of West Neighbourhood House is to enable less-advantaged individuals, families and groups in the community to gain greater control over their lives and community.

The Team Leader, Newcomer Youth Program assists with the coordination, development, delivery and day to day monitoring of the activities of the Newcomer Youth Program which is designed to facilitate cross cultural sharing, skill acquisition, integration and settlement by working with both newcomer youth (aged 13-24) and a range of volunteers, in conjunction with the Co-ordinator of Immigrant and Refugee Services.

Responsibilities:

  • Work in conjunction with the Program Coordinator in the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of activities and program directions that meet the needs of participants.
  • Work with the Newcomer Youth team to design and coordinate the implementation of outreach and program promotion strategies and materials targeting newcomer youth.
  • Take a lead on maintaining the Youth space, the operations and activities of the Newcomer Youth Program, including activity planning and scheduling, staff schedule coordination, resolution of day-to-day issues and problem-solving, outreach coordination, ensuring safety of youth and day-to-day administration in conjunction with the Program Coordinator (e.g. petty cash, supplies and TTC oversight).
  • Ensure client eligibility as per Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) requirements. Experience in use of iCARE portal.
  • Coordinate volunteer requests and ensure effective volunteer training, support, retention, problem-solving and evaluation by working with and supporting the other Newcomer Youth Program staff. Provide direct supervision to volunteers on or off site.
  • Provide direct service and programming to diverse newcomer youth including setting up, supporting and monitoring a range of group-based educational and social recreational activity mentorships and one-to-one matches for newcomer youth (aged 13-24) in various West Neighbourhood House sites and locations in the community (e.g. workshops, outings, field trips, homework clubs, leadership activities, arts-based activities such as Silk Screening and After School programs in schools).
  • Maintain up to date knowledge of newcomer youth issues and community resources (education, housing, recreation, social assistance, employment, job search skills, healthy sexuality, child protection, drug prevention/ abuse, and other youth settlement needs) and provide information and referral services, group activities and youth leadership development as appropriate.
  • Represent the program as appropriate with parents, community groups and networks, local schools, community groups, program partnerships and forums (e.g. community networks, committees, planning sessions, event co-ordination, and consultations).
  • Collaborate with other agencies and community groups to co-ordinate services; assess needs and track issues and opportunities related to newcomer youth and settlement issues; and advocate as appropriate to promote equity for newcomer youth.
  • Maintain client records, collect data and compile various statistics and records, including IRCC required databases (iCARE). Contribute to the production of various reports, grant proposals and funding applications as required.
  • Participate as a member of the House, including in-House committees, initiatives and activities as required; developing cross-program initiatives; providing other related functions as required.

Qualifications:

  • Post-secondary education preferably in settlement related field and at least 3 years of relevant experience.
  • Knowledge of youth services for newcomers and community-based settlement work within a multi-cultural community.
  • Excellent skills in providing appropriate cross-cultural services, individualized supports, information and referral, group facilitation and activities, needs assessments and supporting one-on-one mentorships.
  • Ability to work with a diverse range of newcomer youth and support them as appropriate on issues that they may encounter such as education, housing, recreation, social assistance, employment, job search skills, healthy sexuality, drug prevention/abuse and other youth settlement needs. Proven ability to work with and support Gender appropriate youth programming on issues they may face.
  • Excellent networking and promotional skills as this position emphasizes attracting and connecting with youth of different communities through creative and innovative youth services, as well as outreach and relationship building with youth, volunteers, and partners.
  • Knowledge of and experience working within an anti-oppression framework.
  • Strong written and oral communication as well as interpersonal skills required.
  • Strong ability to work as a team member and to support day to day activities of staff, volunteers and participants while assisting the Coordinator in program development, implementation and evaluation.
  • Demonstrated leadership skills within a team-based setting.
  • Demonstrated ability to train, support and retain volunteers.
  • Administrative skills including petty cash, TTC, scheduling staff/volunteers and programs, program reporting. Experience with IRCC funding and databases are assets.
  • Ability to use database, spreadsheet and word processing software in a Windows environment.
  • Oral and written fluency in English as well as a second language relevant to the community we serve is required.
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule and evenings and weekends as needed and on ad hoc basis.

Status:  Permanent Full-time

Start Date:  Immediate

Hours:  35 per week including regular evening and weekend work

Rate:  $26.34 per hour  (full benefits package after 3 months including 4 weeks vacation, pension plan after 6 months)

Unit:  Newcomer and Family Programs

Immediate Supervisor:  Coordinator, Immigrant and Refugee Services

Closing Date:   April 6, 2021

Note:  West Neighbourhood House provides accommodation during all parts of the  hiring process, upon request, to applicants with disabilities.  Applicants should make their needs known in advance.

Please reply in writing by 5:00 p.m. on the closing date to:   

Hiring Committee

1497 Queen St. West, Unit 103

Toronto, ON

M6R 1A3

dianade@westnh.org

West Neighbourhood House is an equal opportunity employer. We thank all applicants, but only those candidates to be interviewed will be contacted.

UT Book Club: The Forgotten Home Child, by Genevieve Graham

Next week, the University of Toronto alumni virtual book club will present local author Kerry Clare interviewing Genevieve Graham, author of ‘The Forgotten Home Child’.

The Forgotten Home Child is historical fiction, very much grounded in the actual history of ‘home children’ who were plucked off the streets of London and shipped to Canada to meet the labour needs of the growing country.

Home children experienced abuse – physical, emotional, sexual. The scheme painted Canada as a savior for destitute children. The reality was Canada was complicit in these abuses.

In the early 80’s, my mom introduced me to a book called “The Little Immigrants: The Orphans who came to Canada” by Kenneth Bagnell. Bagnell’s book is a non-fiction record of the child emigration scheme. It was an early influence on my thinking about child rights.

Taking ostensibly poor, vulnerable and needy children from their homes to serve the needs of others (prospective parents) was an underlying theme of my research on international adoption policy.

I’m glad to feature Graham’s book and the UT event. I hope it sheds more light on the experiences that home children had and further exposes Canada’s role in their exploitation. I look forward to the UT Virtual Book Club discussion on Tuesday, March 16th at 7pm. See you there?

Related links:

British Home Children

British Home Children Registry

Government of Canada early Immigration Records

News from RCYP ~ Rights for Children and Youth Partnership: Strengthening collaboration in the Americas

From their website, “The Rights for Children and Youth Partnership: Strengthening Collaboration in the Americas (RCYP) is a SSHRC funded project. The goal of this project is to increase knowledge and factors that either support or hinder the protection of children and youth rights in the Caribbean, Central American and disproportionately represented populations in Canada.

“This project features a collaboration of research from universities, government, and non-government, and international organizations. Researchers involved in the project come from eight different countries around the world including: Canada, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua and Trinidad & Tobago”.

RCYP will be relaunching their blog this fall and are seeking contributions from researchers, practitioners and children and youth to share their thoughts, feelings and experiences regarding children and youth rights.

In addition, RCYP is seeking youth to serve on their Youth Advisory Committee. For info, contact

 

 

Child detention in the Canadian immigration system

Between 2010 and 2014, an average of 242 children were detained annually for immigration reasons in Canada, according to the International Human Rights Program at the University of Toronto. Worth noting here that the numbers are actually higher and do not include children who are not in detention themselves, but who accompany a parent who is detained.

This week, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) responded and issued a News Release, opening with these statements (links and emphasis added):

“As part of the Government of Canada’s work to create a better, fairer immigration detention system, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, today issued Ministerial Direction to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) on the treatment of minors in Canada’s immigration detention system. This direction is in addition to improvements currently being made to the system.

The key objective of the Ministerial Direction is to – as much as humanly possible – keep children out of detention, and keep families together. The Ministerial Direction makes it clear that the Best Interests of the Child must be given primary consideration”.

Best Interests of the Child, or BIOC, is language from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Canada is a party. It means that the BIOC must be “a primary consideration in all state actions concerning children”.

In addition to the Ministerial Direction, CBSA also released:

A critical responses from the field comes from the Canadian Council for Refugees. Read The CCR welcomes government directives to reduce detention of children, but more needs to be done.

Resources:

Kobina: Locked Up, Canadian Human Rights Commission

Canada Keeps Kids in Detention, a resource page of the Canadian Council for Refugees CCR Youth Network

Nov 6, 2017 CBC report

Canada’s Detention of Children, Human Rights Watch

CMAS | Care for Newcomer Children launches a parenting webpage

CMAS | Care for Newcomer Children * is a federally funded program that provides supports, resources, and helps organizations, to provide culturally appropriate child care for newcomer families participating in the Language Instruction for Newcomers in Canada program.

They have just launched a section on Parenting in their website. The Parenting pages provide useful information and resources, including multilingual resources in:

Parenting ~ information to help newcomer families adjust to parenting in Canada, including multilingual resources covering general parenting practices

Child development ~ information, resources and ideas to encourage the cognitive, social, emotional, and language development of children

Health and safety ~ information on nutrition, immunizations, mental health, physical activity guidelines, and product recall information

School readiness ~ information on how to support a smooth transition to the school system.

*CMAS (formerly known as Childminding Advisory and Support Services) is  funded through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and was founded in 2000.  More recently, it supports and promotes the care for newcomer children model. “Childminding” is no longer used.

Four questions for … Waterloo Region Immigration Partnership Council Member Dr. Elif Günçe

I asked Council Member, Immigration Partnership Waterloo Region Dr. Elif Günçe:

What’s the effect of racism, discrimination, and stereotyping on newcomer children (birth to age eight)?

They either become introvert or they learn to hate very early. But racism and stereotyping can exist in both parties. This fact is mostly overlooked. Children can learn to hate within their own family if the parents transfer their learned anger and hatred to them. And as the families try to keep their cultural identity, children are exposed to a new culture outside the family and if the family or the community at large is not supportive, they may end up in a limbo where they feel that they belong neither here nor there.

There’s much discussion on integration of immigrants. What kinds of services or supports do newcomer children need to successfully integrate in Canada?

Children need to be with their peers in the host community as much as possible and as soon as possible. I do not support their segregation within their own communities because of barriers made up in adults’ minds such as the language barrier. There is no language barrier for children! They may not know the language yet but they will learn it quickly if we do not impose ‘our’ barriers to them.

If you could influence the federal minister of citizenship, refugees, and immigration to do one thing for newcomer children, what would it be?

Create safe spaces for children where they can explore their new environment, like summer camps. But do not separate newcomer children from other children. All children of Canada (Aboriginal children, children who were born in Canada, children who recently immigrated) need to be together. They will be each other’s best support systems.

What is one of your favourite children’s books that you would recommend for newcomer children? Why?

I will not recommend a book but I will recommend this: Take the children to libraries, let them explore the world of books and the world’s books. Most newcomer children may have not seen a library in their life, neither have their parents. And libraries may become the best shelter for newcomer children.

~

Dr. Elif Gunce is a Council Member with the Immigration Partnership, Waterloo Region , an Adjunct Assistant Professor at UWO Centre for Transitional Justice and Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Adjunct Professor at the University of Western Ontario Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and Instructor at McMaster University FHS Global Health MSc Program.

Elif blogs at Look How Small the World Is. Follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

~

immigrantchildren.ca is asking Canadian experts and advocates in immigration, settlement, refugees, and newcomers about their views on newcomer children (birth to age eight). For more interviews, see here.

Child trafficking: Canada’s historical shame

July 30th marks World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. The office of the Status of Women, Government of Canada retweeted about it, as did many others, raising awareness of the devastation committed against trafficked persons, many of them children, most of them female.


  RT According to , women & girls represent 71% of victims. Modern slavery is real, we must

 

 

 

 

From 1869 to 1932, Canada participated in a child emigration scheme hatched in the UK which saw more than 100,000 children brought into the country for labour, mostly domestic work for girls and farm work for boys. These children were not orphaned, as many were lead to believe. Their crime, or the crime of their parents, is that they were poor. The governments of the United Kingdom and Canada entered into an agreement to remove these children, often right off the street, ship them to Canada and send them to Canadians who needed an “extra hand”. Surviving ‘home children’ and their descendants tell stories of physical and sexual abuse by their ‘host families’.

The British Home Children scheme was state-sanctioned child trafficking. And despite efforts of many, and an acknowledgement from the House of Commons, the Prime Minister of Canada has not issued a formal apology for this atrocity.

Read more about the British Home Children.

Sessions on immigrant/refugee children at the International Metropolis conference

This year’s theme for the International Metropolis conference is Migration and Global Justice.

immigrantchildren.ca has reviewed the program (to date) and have found what looks to be a fascinating workshop about children’s sense of belonging and play.

From the conference website, this description of the workshop (links added):

Integration and social belonging through play

“As migration presents a long-term, multi-faceted process of finding belonging, it presents a unique opportunity to address innovative methods for supporting immigrant and refugee children as they integrate into their new communities. By creating an environment of play – focusing on recreation and arts-based methodologies – it is possible to successfully support social, emotional, linguistic, physical, and cultural integration. Settlement has traditionally focused on the immediacy of physical basic needs, with interventions that did not necessarily place enough emphasis on the emotional needs of the whole resettlement journey. Over the last 20 years, research and practice, have proven the value of not only considering, but incorporating, arts based interventions and pro-social recreational opportunities that contribute to whole family wellness and children’s wellbeing. According to the International Play Association‘s Declaration on the Importance of Play: ‘playing is vital to the understanding, development, and maintenance of valued relationships with others. Playful interactions ‘help in understanding relationships and attachment, language, roles, and social structures.’

“It is these principles that also guide the idea that children should be considered with their own agency, capable of developing social capital in their own right, not only in relation to adults: ‘ the social capital of children in often ‘invisible’. Further, it is often seen as an ‘asset’ for future benefit, not something ‘in their lives in the present’ (Colbert, 2013). A pro social, experiential, approach to programming could employ a culturally competent and trauma informed approach to learning and development that draws on the participants innate resilience in a time of significant adjustment and resettlement.

“It has been our experience that play promotes normalcy, healing, and healthy behavioral development – as well as supports the complex process on integration into a new community following a period of crisis, trauma, or forced migration. This workshop will speak to the approaches used towards establishing a range of partnerships in order to engage children and youth in the local community, culture, and language through various forms of play, while remaining sensitive to culture and background”.

Organizer:
Fariborz Birjandian, Calgary Catholic Immigration Society (CCIS)

Presenters:
Amanda Koyama, Calgary Catholic Immigration Society (CCIS)

Shaun Jayachandran, Crossover Basketball and Scholar’s Academy
(To be confirmed).

Top 10 moments for immigrant and refugee children in Canada, 2015

10. Syrian refugee children are welcomed to Canada with a dedicated play area at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. #WelcomeRefugees starts trending! Shared by @viraniarif.

9. The 1000 Schools Challenge rallies Canadian schools to welcome refugee children. Shared by @SetAtWork.

8. StatsCan releases report on immigrant children’s performance in math vs. their Canadian-born peers. Research matters! Shared by @StatCan_eng.

7. Syrian refugee children: A Guide for welcoming young children and their families is released. Shared by @CMASCanada.

6. The UNHCR & COSTI holds a Human Rights Child & Youth Poetry Contest. Art matters! Shared by @marcopolis.

5. The 2015 Prosperity Index names Canada the most tolerant country in the world. Shared by @CGBrandonLee.

4. Forty-six visible minorities are elected in #Elxn42. If they can see it, they can be it! Shared by @Andrew_Griffith.

3. Canada elects a government with a self-proclaimed feminist prime minister, who creates a Cabinet committee on diversity and inclusion, puts refugees in the immigration portfolio, and who returns the multiculturalism file to Canadian Heritage.

2.Trent University recognizes child care champion Martha Friendly with an honourary PhD. Martha is an advocate for inclusive, culturally-appropriate child care and early childhood education for all children in Canada. Shared by @TorontoStar.

1. immigrantchildren.ca shares policy advice with new Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, The Honourable John McCallum. Shared by @immigranttalk. (Shameless self-promotion).