Following the identification of pertinent demographic indicators across the communities in Peel along with the diverse and extensive needs of the immigrant population, PNSG established the Service Integration umbrella. The objective of this function is to streamline and steer the process of Service Access Coordination of newcomer services ensuring accessibility and availability of the entire spectrum of services in all communities. This ‘No Wrong Door’ approach combined with thematic ‘Working Groups’ form the basis of newcomer service integration.
Working Group Recommendations
The execution of the ‘Vision of a New Model’ warranted the establishment of thematic working groups. Comprising of participants well-informed about and instrumental to the settlement infrastructure, relevant policies and processes, the working groups aim to map out transition and implementation strategies across the following thematic areas: Community Hub Development, Employer Engagement, Intake, Assessment and Referral System/Case Management System, Informal Services Network, Host Community Receptivity, Investment and Funding and Communication and Community Engagement Plan.
This led to the development of 3 core working groups: Service Delivery Network Working Group, Economic Inclusion Working Group and Social Inclusion Working Group, mandated to generate specific recommendations. Under the leadership of their co-chairs, each working groups developed detailed recommendations in their respective areas.
To read the recommendations of the thematic working groups, please click here.
No Wrong Door
The No Wrong Door approach aims to simplify and streamline access to and navigation of services across Peel making every newcomer point of contact a gateway to the entire system. It employs standardized assessment tools, an updated databank of accurate agencies and the services they offer ensuring that each newcomer is fed into the system at their first point of contact and subsequently receives the information and assistance relevant to them.
The success of a standardized approach warrants the integration of formal and informal organizations in the communities coupled with outreach, analysis and community engagement. It incorporates the broadest possible range of settlement services in each community with extended access at frequented venues such as goodwill stores, plazas and community spaces.
PNSG piloted this approach in 5 communities selected after extensive community conversations. These two-tier conversations conducted between 2008 and 2010 were first with agencies and service provides and then with newcomers and residents. While consultations adopted differing approaches, a common thread was the willingness of stakeholders to come together, share their experiences and suggest ways to collaborate further for a collective impact. The 60+ stakeholders discussed relevant issues and identified a common way forward while sharing positive and negative experiences and specific resources that each community could use for the collective good.
Participants felt an urgency for a comprehensive mapping of assets and the service-delivery inventory to create a common awareness and to specify the role and contribution of each. The inventory focus should be on the specific community to which it caters and should include community spaces e.g. faith-based institutions, auditoriums and recreation spaces that can serve the newcomer population. “It’s really exciting to see how things are … how we are trying to understand the realities and existing patterns of our communities… does this community get together, where they get together, where are the common community spaces… how do we empower people to take care of their own development,” said Justin Kiaufar of Junior Youth Empowerment Program who was one of the participants at the Springdale consultation.
Access and utilization of physical spaces was also identified as a challenge in these neighborhoods. Many service-providers felt that community spaces with natural access such as malls and schools were often based on the relationship and trust the agencies have with the administration of those institutions. Schools, while identified as a common safe haven for all including newcomers and immigrants, were limited by the willingness of the authority figure to allow agencies and workers on the premises. “Things that you can achieve through schools are amazing. … I have been to schools where bringing services are difficult, but I have also been to schools that are highly open and willing to work together,” says Kuldeep Kanda of Centre for Education and Training who was one of the participants. “Schools are also struggling to keep up with the demands. Sometimes, it is difficult to accommodate, how many organizations come to schools. … but I agree schools need to be hubs, until other services come in,” says Ravinder S. Johan of Sandalwood Heights Secondary Schools.
A consensus across the board confirmed the need for a formalized coordination process to structure and strengthen service coordination and navigation of multiple access points for clients. A central and organized coordination mechanism will create a window of opportunity for service-providers - settlement agencies, schools, libraries, faith-communities, local government representatives - to learn from each other, enable synergies and better leveraging of each other’s assets, strengths and services. “Service providers are starting to work together,” said Vitia Buaba, French Catholic District Board. “We need to educate ourselves about who is doing what… our ultimate goal is to help our newcomers who are in most need of our services.”
To learn more about the 5 neighborhoods, please click the links below: hyerlink to a single slide for each: