Children on the move: The impact of voluntary and involuntary migration on the lives of children

A special issue of Global Studies of Childhood (Vol 1, No 2, 2011) on the impact of migration on the lives of children has been released. Edited by Ada Lai and Rupert MacLean, the issue includes the following articles:

Ravinder Sidhu, Sandra Taylor & Pam Christie. Schooling and Refugees: Engaging with the complex trajectories of globalisation.

Su-Ann Oh. Rice, Slippers, Bananas and Caneball: Children’s narratives of internal displacement and forced migration from Burma.

Rajeshwari Asokaraj. Resisting Bare Life: Children’s reproduction of quotidian culture in a Sri Lankan camp.

Antonina Tereshchenko & Helena C. Araujo. Stories of Belonging: Ukrainian immigrant children’s experiences of Portugal.

Celeste Y.M. Yuen & Rosalind Wu. New Schooling and New Identities: Chinese immigrant students’ perspectives.

For information on the journal, see the Global Studies of Childhood website.

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.

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.

“Coming to Canada: The price that children pay”

Promised Land is a series of radio programs profiling “escape” stories of families who came to Canada in search of a better life. Produced by Natasha Fatah, the series includes stories of escapes from Argentina, Checkoslovakia, Eritrea, Honduras, Iran, Uganda, USA, and Vietnam.

In an op-ed on the CBC News website “Coming to Canada: The price that children pay”, Fatah reflects on the issues that immigrant and refugee children face:

“Some children who escape even to a country as seemingly embracing as Canada, are left deeply disturbed from the experience of having to uproot their lives and by the impact on their families”. (Source: CBC News website).

CBC Radio One runs the Promised Land series Mondays, 7:30pm, EDT and Fridays, 9:30am, EDT. You can also watch the series or download podcasts of it at the program website. A worthwhile series overall and immigrantchildren.ca is pleased to see children and youth issues highlighted by Fatah today.

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.

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.

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.

Family immigration

US based Immigration Policy Center, the research and policy arm of the American Immigration Council, has released a paper today on family immigration. Family Immigration: Repairing Our Broken Immigration System addresses the challenges, gaps and lays out what they see as “the key principles for family immigration within the context of  comprehensive immigration reform”. Some useful information for Canada to also consider. An excerpt from the introduction follows.

Principles for reform of the family immigration system:

  • Family unification must remain a fundamental pillar of U.S. immigration policy. Proposals that sacrifice family immigration for the sake of employment-based immigration create an unfair and erroneous dichotomy. Family immigrants work and contribute to the U.S. in many ways. Both the family-based and employment-based immigration systems can be fixed without sacrificing one for the other.
  • The current backlog of family-based immigrants must be cleared, and law-abiding families must be reunited in a humane and reasonable timeline. There are several possible options to clear the backlogs and promote family unification, including moving spouses and minor children into the “immediate relatives” category.
  • The spouses and minor children of legalized immigrants must be issued visas at the time of the primary applicant’s legalization. Including spouses and children in the legalization provisions will help to prevent future backlogs.
  • Unused and unclaimed family-based visas must be recaptured, and a mechanism to ensure that future unused visas are not wasted must be created. Congress authorizes a set number of visas to be made available annually. When these visas go unused, the problems with backlogs only worsen. Recapturing visas would not overstep the numerical limits set by Congress, but it would alleviate some of the consequences of visa oversubscription.
  • The numerical caps on family-based immigration must be revisited and brought in line with current realities. The last adjustments to the numerical caps were made in 1990.  These numbers must be reconsidered and brought up to 21st century requirements.
  • USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) must receive the resources necessary to resolve backlogged family immigration cases and ensure that processing backlogs do not reoccur. True reform means eliminating the circumstances that led to the problems in the first place.

Feds seek input into changes to the live-in caregiver program

As reported in various media, the federal Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism has introduced changes to the live-in caregiver program (LCP). See for example, The Toronto Star’s “Good package of changes to live-in caregivers” (Dec 22/09). Briefly, changes being proposed include:

  • Four years of work to complete the two-year requirement for application for permanent residence
  • Overtime hours to be calculated in the above
  • One medical exam, at time of application to participate in the LCP
  • Travel costs to be paid by the employee
  • A telephone help-line for caregivers.

The details on proposed changes can be found in the Canada Gazette and/or the CIC website. Details were published on Dec 19/09. Comments will be accepted up until Jan 18, 2010 and should be directed to:

Maia Welbourne, Director, Temporary Resident Policy and Program Development Division
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
8th floor, Jean Edmonds Tower South
365 Laurier Avenue W, Ottawa ON K1A 1L1
Tel: 613.957.0001
Fax: 613.954.0850
maia.welbourne@cic.gc.ca

Selected related items:

Temporary Foreign Workers and Non-Status Workers – Report of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration (May 2009)

Gender-based barriers to settlement and integration for live-in caregivers: A review of the literature by Denise Spitzer and Sara Torres (Nov 2009)

forcedmigration.org podcasts

Forced Migration Online has available for downloading a collection of audio podcasts. The latest addition is the Harrell-Bond Lecture by former UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, entitled Beyond Blankets: In search of political deals and durable solutions for the displaced.

The Forced Migration Online podcast series includes lectures and discussions between experts from academia, practitioners and policy-makers and displaced persons.

York University (Toronto) annual summer course on refugee and forced migration studies

This year’s Summer Course on Refugee and Forced Migration Issues by the Centre for Refugee Studies, York University will be held May 8-16/10 at the Keele Campus. Fee is $975 Cdn, if you register before Feb 26/10 (fee goes up to $1100 after that date).

For more information, visit the conference course website , email summer@yorku.ca and refer back to previous postings at immigrantchildren.ca.