Scholars for the study of immigrant families

An interesting initiative that brings together researchers with an interest in studying immigrant families. Sound familiar?

The initiative is a result of a discussion held at the 2006 Society for Research on Adolescence (SRA) conference. The purpose of the Scholars the Study of Immigrant Families includes:

Building a network of scholars studying issues pertaining to immigration and immigrant families and promoting collaboration between junior and senior researchers.

Promoting the use of innovative and culturally/contextually-embedded research methods.

Preserving the richness and realities of immigrant families’ lived experiences and providing representation of those voices within the institution of academia.

 

Researchers interested in studying immigrant families are invited to join the Scholars group and post their research interests and etc. on the website. Looks like a good source for networking! and not just for Americans.

A pre-session is being planned for SRA 2008 – coming up March 6-9th in Chicago and will include: 1) a discussion of methods and best practices in the study of immigrant families and 2) a discussion of policy initiatives the Scholars group would like to undertake.

More more info contact María Hernández, Jackie Nguyen or Carrie Saetermoe.

‘For our kids’, video from settlement.org

For Our Kids is a video that features nine parents talking about their – and their children’s experiences – as newcomers to the Ontario school system.

The video is a resource for immigrant parents and addresses several ways that parents are and can be involved in their child’s school. Teachers also talk about the importance of parent involvement.

See the video (and other supporting resources) at settlement.org.

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.

The Arrival – a picture book about immigration

In The Arrival, author/illustrator Shaun Tan “tells” the story (without words) of an immigrant in a new land. Tan’s description:

“The Arrival is a migrant story told as a series of wordless images that might seem to come from a long forgotten time. A man leaves his wife and child in an impoverished town, seeking better prospects in an unknown country on the other side of a vast ocean. He eventually finds himself in a bewildering city of foreign customs, peculiar animals, curious floating objects and indecipherable languages. With nothing more than a suitcase and a handful of currency, the immigrant must find a place to live, food to eat and some kind of gainful employment. He is helped along the way by sympathetic strangers, each carrying their own unspoken history: stories of struggle and survival in a world of incomprehensible violence, upheaval and hope”.

It is both a book for children and a book for adults. It is beautiful, compelling and a must-see. Tan has won several children’s literature awards for this work. See Shaun Tan’s website for more on The Arrival, including some of the illustrations.

Migrant children project, Ireland

The Migrant Children project in Ireland (funded by the EU Commission through a Marie Curie Excellence Grant) is focusing its research studies on the perspectives of immigrant children and youth. From their website:

Our aim is to understand the social worlds of migrant children and youth in different migrant communities from their own perspectives by using child-centred research methods”.

Some of the research methods being used in the study include: stories, photographs and drawings by children about their experiences.

The Migrant Children project “seeks to map the social worlds of migrant children and youth at the local level in different contexts. The research will produce in-depth analysis of the nature and extent of integration, drawing on current ideas of transnationalism, citizenship and geographies of childhood, and will propose recommendations”. There are four strands of the project:

The Migrant Children Project is hosting an international conference “Children and Migration: identities, mobilities and belonging(s)” to be held April 9-11, 2008 in Cork, Ireland. From the conference website:

“While a wealth of research exists in the broad area of migration and childhood from a variety of perspectives and disciplinary backgrounds, there are few opportunities to bring this together in an integrated forum. This conference aims to provide such a forum by focusing on the intersection of these research and policy areas, focusing on children’s own experiences and perspectives of migration, diaspora and transnationalism”.

“One of the aims of the event is to facilitate a dialogue between academic, practitioner and policy-maker perspectives. It is hoped the conference will also be an opportunity to bring together related but distinct areas of research/policy, for example national dynamics of integration with transnational processes, and, children’s experiences of migration with the experiences of children and youth in ethnic minorities”.

Keynote speakers include Katy Gardner and Kanwal Mand, University of Sussex, UK on the topic Migration and the life-cycle: what the study of transnational children in London can tell us and Jill Rutter, Institute for Public Policy Research, UK on Changing patterns of child international migration in Europe: challenges for research, public policy and practice.

Researchers from over 20 countries will participate and over 80 papers will be presented. Visit the conference website for more information.

On new shores: Guelph conference set for November 6-7, 2008

A preliminary schedule has been developed by organizer Dr. Susan Chuang for the 2008 On New Shores conference, to be held in Guelph Nov 6-7, 2008.

On new shores: International forum on issues of immigrant and refugee children, youth and families across the world.

Early bird fees (before June 1/08) for academics: $200 or $225 with dinner. For community/students: $175 or $200 with dinner. After June 1/08, all fees go up by $50.

A call for proposals/presenters should be released early in the new year and will be posted here. Any members of the Early Childhood Working Group of the CCICY interested in presenting? Let’s coordinate and collaborate.

For more information, contact Dr. Susan Chuang at the University of Guelph.

HRDSC funding for national organizations – children and families component

The Social Development Partnerships Program of Human Resources Development and Skills Canada have issued a call for proposals for their children and families component.

From the website:

“The goal of this Call for Proposals (CFP) is to offer three years of results-based grant funding to national organizations that have local chapters/agencies/offices that deliver front line programs and services to children/youth and their families in communities across Canada.

“The priority of this CFP is to enable national organizations to continue providing leadership in program development and supports to their local affiliates.

“The maximum amount of funding available is $200,000 per fiscal year, for a maximum of three years”.

The closing date of the call is February 8, 2008.

For more details, including eligibility requirements; FAQs; terms and conditions and more, see the HRSDC website.

Ontario Minister of Children and Youth Services writes to us!

On behalf of the Early Childhood Working Group, CCICY, letters of congratulation were sent on Nov 17/08 to the newly named Ontario ministers of Citizenship and Immigration (The Honourable Michael Chan) and Children and Youth Services (The Honourable Deb Matthews).

On December 8, Minister Chan’s response to our letter was posted on the blog. It brings me great pleasure to inform you that Minister Matthews has also now written. Click the image below to read the letter from Minister Matthews.

Link to letter from Minister Chan

Valuing all children: BC early years conference, 2008

The Early Years Conference 2008: Valuing all Children is sponsored by the University of British Columbia and is being held in Vancouver, BC Jan 31-Feb 2/08. It includes one workshop related to immigration: “Measuring Success in Programs for Immigrant Fathers” by Hadassah Ksienski, CEO and Wendy Auger, Mosaic Children and Parent Centre, Calgary Immigrant Aid Society.

The workshop description: “The Integrated Fathers and Children Participatory Project was developed by the Calgary Immigrant Aid Soceity to address the gaps in service delivery in supporting immigrant and refugee men in their role as caregivers to their children and to promote successful integration to the Canadian school system for children in immigrant families”.

For a related journal article see: Roer-Strier, D., Este, D., Shimoni, R., Clark, D. (2005). Fatherhood and immigration: challenging the deficit theory. Child & Family Social Work, Vol 10, Issue 4, Spring 2004 (315-29).

10th Metropolis: Sessions on immigrant children & families

The 10th annual Metropolis conference will be held in Halifax, Nova Scotia from April 3-6, 2008. The theme is ‘Expanding the debate: Multiple perspectives on immigration to Canada‘. Several events focus on children and families (descriptions from the conference website), including:

Workshops at the Conference


School-family relations arising from immigration: A Critical perspective. This workshop brings to light, in a comparative manner, recent efforts regarding migrants and the school environment, identifying strategies to avoid difficult interaction and highlight available tools to improve intercultural interaction. Annick Lenoir, Université de Sherbrooke, QC.

Defining the issue of missing child migrants. This workshop will examine the issue of unaccompanied migrant children who go missing after being released into the care of relatives, what can or should be done to assay how large an issue it really is. It will also explore the academic and policy dimensions that need to be addressed. Steven L. Morris, Metropolis Project Secretariat at Citizenship and Immigration Canada and Dr. Madine VanderPlaat, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, NS.

Health and wellbeing among newcomer families, children and youth. Data from the national longitudinal New Canadian Children and Youth Study is discussed in relation to identity, health, discrimination, and education of newcomer youth. Findings are presented by project researchers and a response panel comprised of policy makers and community representatives. Lori A. Wilkinson, University of Manitoba, MB.

Roundtables at the Conference

Various stakeholders: Creating potential alliances to serve immigrant families. Goal: Talk about the issues of knowledge exchange among various stakeholders which tends to be shared within, not among, each stakeholder group. Susan Chuang, University of Guelph, ON.

Poster Presentations at the Conference


Art therapy: Meeting the mental health needs of immigrant and refugee families. Immigrant and refugee families underutilize mental health services due to multiple barriers that inhibit accessibility to conventional services. Integrating art therapy in a naturalized setting, such as the child’s school or home, may reduce the constraints of providing services to this population. Presenters: Lucy Lu and Karin Derouaux, Concordia University, Montréal, QC.

Poverty, social support and the health of children born to minority migrants. We examined differences in health status between 17-month-old children of minority migrant mothers and children of Canadian and majority migrant mothers. When facing poverty and lack of social support, the health advantage of children born to minority migrant mothers is lost. Presenter: Andrea Van Hulst, Université de Montréal, QC.

Don’t forget me: Immigrant Chinese fathers of today. Since the 1970’s, there is substantial evidence that fathers are important which has beneficial effects on their children’s development. However, our understanding of Asian fathering remains limited. The poster will present a multi-informant, multi-methodological study addressing these concerns. Presenter: Susan Chuang, University of Guelph, ON.

For more information, see the Metropolis conference website: http://www.metropolis2008.net/english.html

Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration writes to us!

On behalf of the Early Childhood Working Group, CCICY, letters of congratulation were sent to the newly named provincial ministers of Citizenship and Immigration (The Honourable Michael Chan) and Children and Youth Services (The Honourable Deb Matthews) on November 17, 2007.

The letters of congratulation were a way to introduce the cabinet ministers to us and to the CCICY. They were also an item on our workplan.

I am delighted to report that Minister Chan has responded. When Minister Matthews replies, I’ll post that letter too. Click the image below to read Minister Chan’s reply.

Link to letter from Minister Chan