Community Resources Serving Immigrant and Refugee Families
In many communities, local agencies help immigrant and refugee families adapt to life in Canada. This list will help health professionals become familiar with services in their province/territory or region.
Note that only resources with English websites are included here. For a list of French services, visit the French side of our site.
- Canadian Centre for International Justice: List of torture treatment programs in major Canadian centres.
- Citizenship and Immigration Canada: An interactive map helps newcomers locate services in each province or territory, such as language classes, employment services, help filling out forms and applications, information about community services. Click on the “Text version” link at the bottom of the page for a full list.
- Multicultural Mental Health Resource Centre:
- Links to professional associations where users can search for psychotherapists who serve specific ethnocultural communities, by location
- Organizations and agencies that provide access to interpreters and cultural brokers, listed by province.
- Fact sheets on mental health topics in many different languages.
- Services for Newcomers to Canada (Service Canada): Access to a wide range of government programs and services for newcomers, with select information available in foreign languages.
- YMCA / YWCA: Many Ys serve newcomers, but specific services vary widely across Canada. Search for a local branch and check individual websites for regional resources.
Alberta government resources
- Welcome to Alberta: Information for newcomers: From Alberta Employment and Immigration, information on housing, employment, education, health care, child care, the legal system, social customs, and temporary foreign work.
- Alberta Newcomer Services: Links to pre- and post-arrival programs and services, including online English lessons and the federal Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
- Health care services in Alberta
Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies: Umbrella organization with links to agencies in 10 municipalities.
A newcomers’ guide to elementary education in Alberta: Produced by Grasslands School Division in several languages, including Amharic, Somali and Arabic.
Catholic Social Services: Provides settlement, educational, language/language assessment, employment and outreach services in more than 35 languages, in Edmonton and north / central Alberta.
- Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth: Engages immigrant youth and families through a newcomer orientation week, after-school programs, family assistance, in-school settlement, and a student mentorship program.
- Calgary Catholic Immigration Society (CCIS): Settlement and integration services for immigrants and refugees in Southern Alberta including the Calgary Refugee Health Program.
- Calgary Immigrant Educational Society: Education, multimedia information, and referral services.
- Calgary Immigrant Woman’s Association: Programs in the areas of settlement and integration, literacy and language training, family violence, parenting, individual counselling, health, housing and community development, as well as youth.
- Centre for Newcomers: Settlement services and youth programming in English and in a newcomer’s first language.
- Immigrant Services Calgary: Programs and services in more than 70 languages including newcomer support, translation and interpretation, and family support.
- ASSIST Community Services Centre: Counselling, workshops, and group activities for children, youth, families and seniors new to Canada.
- Centre d’accueil et d’etablissement du Nord de l'Alberta: Helps francophone newcomers with settlement and integration.
- Edmonton Immigrant Services Association: Services to help reduce language and communication barriers, connect newly arrived families to community resources, and match newcomers with community volunteers.
- Indo-Canadian Women’s Association: Settlement services and courses.
British Columbia government resources
- British Columbia Newcomers’ Guide to Resources and Services: Available in several languages, with an accompanying videos.
- WelcomeBC: Information about newcomer programs and services. Information available in several languages.
- Information and Resources for Service Providers
AMSSA (Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Services Agencies of B.C.): More than 70 member agencies serving immigrants and culturally inclusive communities. See especially the Newcomer Children Information Exchange.
Immigrant Services Society of B.C.: Assistance for immigrants and refugees through a variety of programs and services. Offices in Vancouver, Surrey, Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Squamish, Maple Ridge, Langley.
MOSAIC: Multilingual organization addressing settlement and integration issues through community support. Offices in Vancouver, Burnaby, and New Westminster. MOSAIC’s family programs focus on parenting, healthy relationships, preventing violence and empowering youth. Services provided in English, Cantonese, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Punjabi, Somali, Spanish, Urdu, and Vietnamese.
Fédération des francophones de la Colombie-Britannique: Immigration and settlement information for francophone immigrants to B.C.
Refugee Health Vancouver: A searchable list of community resources offering services in other languages in British Columbia. The site also provides a range of information and tools for health professionals about refugee health.
South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services: Offices in Penticton and Oliver. Provides free services to immigrants to help them get settled, find careers and start their new lives in Canada.
Umbrella Multicultural Health Co-op: Member-driven, not-for-profit health services organization, whose programs serve people facing language and cultural barriers to accessing health care. The Pediatric Health Outreach Program (PedHOP) offers language and cultural support to families who need to see a pediatrician. Office in New Westminster but service open and accessible to families living throughout the lower mainland: Vancouver, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Surrey, Richmond, Burnaby, New Westminster, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Maple Ridge.
- DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society: Language-specific counselling, family services, interpretation and translation, outreach and other services.
- Options Community Services: Orientation, counselling and support to access government and community services. Languages: Korean, Spanish, Mandarin, Punjabi, Vietnamese, Somali, Arabic, Tagalog and English.
Vancouver and Richmond area
- Bridge Clinic - Raven Song Community Health Centre: public health screening and immediate primary health care, with a focus on serving government sponsored refugees. They also offer interpreters and information about other community agencies.
- Collingwood Neighbourhood House: Provides access to settlement workers, community resources, family services, health services, and more.
- Inland Refugee Society of British Columbia: English classes, housing referrals, food bank and clothing services for refugee claimant newcomers in Metro Vancouver.
- Little Mountain Neighbourhood House: Provides educational, cultural, recreational and social services for different age groups, ethnic-specific groups, families and the wider community of Little Mountain/Riley Park. Child and youth programming includes literacy development, leadership development and social support for school-aged children and youth living in the Little Mountain/Riley Park communities.
- Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House: Offers settlement services, including programming specifically for children, youth and families.
- Multicultural Helping House Society: Provides newcomer support with issues of settlement, employment, social services, skills enhancement, respite housing, legal assistance, and education. See their youth program for newcomers from age 13 to 21.
- North Shore Multicultural Society: Offers information in multiple languages on settlement and integration programs and services, including settlement workers in schools and youth programming.
- Pacific Immigrant Resources Society: Serves immigrant women and their young children through settlement programs, children’s programs, and more.
- Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society: Settlement services, language services, social programs and housing services.
- Richmond Multicultural Community Services: Extensive programs and services for settlement and integration, including a youth program. Yes (Youth Education Employment and Empowerment) Program is aimed at youth aged 15 to 25.
- Responsive Interdisciplinary Intersectoral Community Health, Education, and Research (RICHER): a community-based primary healthcare service for children, youth, and families in Vancouver's inner city neighbourhoods. In addition to primary care services, RICHER offers outreach specialist providers including general paediatrics, developmental/behavioural paediatrics, adolescent medicine, paediatric dermatology, and child/adolescent psychiatry.
- South Vancouver Neighbourhood House: Offers programs and services for all ages. Settlement workers who speak Chinese, Punjabi, Hindi, Vietnamese, French, Korean and some other languages on a limited basis. SVNH offers specific child and youth programming. Family Support Worker and Multicultural Family Workers provide individual support, referrals and advocacy for families experiencing difficulties in their day-to-day lives.
- Vancouver Refugee Services Alliance: Offers assistance with orientation, information on schools, the health care system, housing, and social services; assistance completing government forms; workshops and one-on-one counselling; translation services.
- The Inter-Cultural Association (ICA) of Greater Victoria’s Immigrant Welcome Centre provides workshops, settlement services, interpretation and translation, mentorship, and more. The Youth Group is an opportunity to meet new people to share laughs and food and engage in many diverse activities like art, music, theatre, dance, sports.
- Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society: Provides programs and services for immigrant children and youth on issues from health care to understanding Canadian culture.
Manitoba government resources
- Caring for Children’s Teeth - Newcomer's resource is a downloadable government resource that provides information on proper nutrition and dental hygiene practices.
- Immigration Service Continuum provides resources about services for settlement, employment, language training and other supports.
- Living in Manitoba: A resource guide for immigrant women is a downloadable government publication.
- Manitoba START: Counsellors assess newcomers and help them find needed services.
Manitoba Interfaith Immigration Council: Reception and settlement services; service in multiple languages.
South Central Manitoba (Pembina, Winkler, Altona, Morden)
- South Central Immigrant Services (SCIS): Provides settlement and employment services in the Pembina Valley region, with offices in Winkler, Altona, and Morden.
- Entry Program: Provides settlement orientation and an introduction to English-language and other services in Winnipeg.
- Immigrant Centre: Delivers immigration and settlement services, including intake and referral, settlement workers.
- Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba: Supports transitional housing, legal help, on-site services and after-school programming for children and youth.
- Newcomers Employment and Education Development Services: Provides accessible services and support to immigrant and refugee children, youth and their families, including education and social recreation programs supported by psychosocial educators.
- Introduction to Canadian education: For refugee youth aged 6 to 17 awaiting placement in Canadian schools. Youth are prepared in English-language skills development, recreational activities, computer skills.
- Youth after-school program: Assists newcomer youth aged 12 to 17 with English-language skills development and provides help with integrating into Canadian society.
- Additional services are available in French.
New Brunswick government resources:
- New Brunswick offers information on settlement issues, including information on housing, education, and services.
- County listings of immigrant settling services and agencies across the province.
New Brunswick Multicultural Council: Bilingual non-profit umbrella organization for immigrant-serving agencies, multicultural and ethno-cultural associations in the province. Access a complete listing of member organizations.
- The Multicultural Association of Fredericton provides settlement programs, language classes, and child and youth programming.
- Le Centre d’accueil et d’accompagnement francophone des immigrants du Sud-Est du Nouveau-Brunswick helps newcomers with housing, education and more.
- Multicultural Association of the Greater Moncton Area: Helps new immigrants and refugees with settlement, orientation and adaptation. Website includes Welcome to Moncton: Guide for Newcomers. Their child-minding program aims to improve children’s social skills, creativity and language skills.
Northwestern New Brunswick
- Carrefour d'immigration rurale du Nord-Ouest: Offers services and courses to immigrants and refugees. The main office is located in Saint-Léonard but also serves the communities of Grand Falls, Edmunston, Saint-Quentin.
- Saint John Multicultural and Newcomers Resource Centre: Provides newcomer services, referral programs, and special events. A youth program helps young newcomers integrate into their new home through friendships, recreational opportunities, cross-cultural exchange, language support and volunteer opportunities.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador government resources
- Office of Immigration and Multiculturalism offers information about settlement, health care, child care and other aspects of Canadian living.
- Newfoundland and Labrador Newcomer's Guide to Resources and Services
- Living in Newfoundland and Labrador: A Newcomer's Pocket Guide
Association for New Canadians: Provides settlement and integration services for immigrants and refugees. Includes resources and information on settlement, recreation, health, youth groups, as well as a health and wellness service, and a child-minding and daycare service.
- Le Conseil de développement économique des Territoires du Nord-Ouest: Information about housing, education, transportation and community life for francophones who settle in NWT.
Nova Scotia government resources
- Nova Scotia Immigration has information on all aspects of Canadian living including health, housing, education, child care, legal services, and a variety of settlement services and links.
- Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women: An online information guide for immigrant women.
- Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia: Provides a range of services, from refugee resettlement to professional programs, family counselling to English-language skills. Family Support and Counselling offers services to support healthy family relationships.
- There are no immigrant-specific services available in Nunavut. For more information contact the Government of Nunavut’s Department of Community and Government Services.
Ontario government resources
- Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration: Information on finding a home or child care, registering children in school, health care and social services, filling out forms and access interpretation services.
Settlement.org provides newcomers to Ontario with information about language programs, housing, health, education, recreation and more. Services such as crisis lines, community health centres and settlement services can be sorted by region.
InMyLanguage.org provides Ontario residents with information in 11 languages. Resources cover a wide range of topics including health, education, legal matters and daily life.
Welcome to Ontario kiosks provide basic information on settlement services including employment, education and other resources available to support newcomers. Currently there are 51 kiosks situated across Ontario.
Chinese Family Services of Ontario is a non-profit, accredited professional counselling, family services and settlement agency with a focus on Chinese Canadians.
NewYouth.ca: Articles and videos aimed at newcomer youth. Links to services and programs, and listings of events for newcomer youth.
- Community Development Council Durham: Provides orientation services, a newcomer settlement program, community connections, and settlement workers in schools.
- Conseil des organismes de la région de Durham: Offers settlement services to francophone newcomers.
- Welcome Centre Immigrant Services: Guides and supports immigrants with information and resources for newcomers in Durham Region. Services provided in 20 languages.
- Immigrant Women’s Centre: Offers orientation to newcomer women and their families, in areas such as housing, health care, immigration and other settlement needs. Orientation services are offered in 21 languages and interpretation is also available.
- Montcalm Community House: Hosts homework clubs, movie nights, March break activities, conversation circles, fitness clubs, community events, and more for children and families in the neighbourhood.
- Neighbourhood and Newcomer Services: Supports government-assisted refugee children and youth in the resettlement process through initial and ongoing needs assessment, links to community employment programs and community support services. Wesley Urban Ministries also has child, youth and family programs.
THRIVE Child and Youth Trauma Services: Provides trauma-specific services to children and youth in the Hamilton area. The OASIS Program is Hamilton’s only provider of child and youth trauma counseling and treatment for immigrant and refugee children, youth, and their families.
- London Cross Cultural Learner Centre: Offers settlement counselling as well as social support, advocacy and help accessing local medical, educational and social services, job search workshops, and a volunteer matching program.
- LUSO Community Services offers programs specifically for immigrants, newcomers and refugees including settlement services.
- South London Neighbourhood Resource Centre offers newcomer orientation, settlement workers in schools, and library settlement partnerships.
Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre: A community based non-profit charitable organization that provides settlement services to newcomers including:
- Child-minding service
- Youth program helps newcomer youth age 13 to 24 get connected to the community.
Welland Heritage Council: Provides settlement counselling, immigration services, and a multicultural youth group.
- Catholic Immigration Centre of Ottawa: Free services and programs in multiple languages to newcomers in Ottawa, including services for youth. Provides temporary shelter and housing to refugees and new Canadians with urgent needs.
- Cultural Interpretation Services for Our Communities (CISOC) offers subsidized translation and interpretation services to community organizations and financially disadvantaged community members.
- Lebanese and Arab Social Services Agency of Ottawa-Carleton: Settlement and social services agency.
- Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre: Settlement services, including a child-minding service.
- Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization: Programs include community integration, public education, mental health counselling, school-based programs, and English language instruction to newcomers. YOCISO programs are specifically designed to assist immigrant youth, ages 13 to 24.
- Somali Centre for Family Services: Provides assistance to refugees and immigrants in need of settlement support and integration services.
- Vanier Community Service Centre: Settlement program services offered in many languages and include information and orientation, referrals, counselling, assistance with forms, and access to services facilitation.
Region of Peel (Brampton, Mississauga)
- Brampton Multicultural Community Centre: Settlement services, settlement workers in schools, interpretation and translation, counselling and advocacy.
- COSTI Immigrant Services: COSTI provides youth settlement services, employment services and the Enhanced Language Training program to newcomers in Peel Region.
- India Rainbow Community Services of Peel: Settlement and adaptation, helping new Canadians learn about employment, education, housing, citizenship, health and other related information.
- Newcomer Centre of Peel: Comprehensive settlement services and programs for women, youth and seniors.
- Peel Multicultural Council’s Immigrant Settlement and Adaptation Program provides counselling, help with forms, and refers newcomers to appropriate agencies.
- Polycultural Immigrant & Community Services: Services offered in 19 languages.
- Vietnamese Community Centre of Mississauga: Legal and financial assistance, non-profit housing and settlement-related services, support groups for women and youth, settlement and counselling services, interpretation and translation, and assistance enrolling in educational institutions.
- North Bay & District Multicultural Centre’s Immigration settlement services: needs assessment and referral, interpretations and translation, community information and assistance completing forms. Their Community Connections Program helps adult newcomers and their children adjust to new life in Canada.
- Thunder Bay Multicultural Association: Services include needs assessment and referral, consumer and community information, help completing government forms, and orientation/information sessions on topics ranging from health to parenting.
- Timmins Immigration Portal: Information on housing, health care, education, and more.
Greater Toronto Area
- Access Alliance: Provides a wide range of programs and services for immigrants and refugees living in the City of Toronto, with a focus on health care.
- ADAPT (East Metro Youth Service): Provides newcomer youth and their families with support, skills, information and training during the settlement and acculturation process.
- Arab Community Centre of Toronto: A place to socialize and access services and opportunities, including immigration and settlement services.
- Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture: Toronto-based programming, including mental health services, settlement services, and programs for children and youth.
- Centre for Information and Community Services: Offers wide-ranging settlement services, including early years, and programs and activities for immigrant children and youth.
- Canadian Centre for Refugee and Immigrant Health Care: Provides humanitarian medical treatment and assistance to those new to Canada who are medically uninsured. Services include the Community Volunteer Clinic (CVC), a twice weekly walk-in clinic for the uninsured.
- COSTI’s Settlement Services: Individual and group counselling sessions to orient newcomers to Canadian society and assist them in accessing basic services.
- Cross-Cultural Community Services Association: One-on-one counselling, information workshops, orientation days, settlement factsheets, and other services.
- CultureLink: Settlement services and coordinates, monitors, evaluates, and advocates multiple services to meet clients’ specific and complex needs, including Newcomer Youth Centre: Programs and services.
- Dixie Bloor Neighbourhood Centre: Adaptation, youth settlement, disability settlement services, family reunification, translation, child care and newcomer youth community engagement. Youth settlement program.
- For Youth Initiative: Services include help finding housing, accessing health care, interpretation and translation, legal help and education assistance.
- Kababayan Community Centre Multicultural Services: Offers settlement services to newcomers in the Parkdale, Bathurst/Finch communities. Settlement services include information and referral, form filling guidance, and others.
- Newcomer's Centre (Agincourt Community Services Association): Orientation, counselling and referrals for immigrant and refugee individuals and families.
- Newcomer Services Program (KCWA Family and Social Services): Services include education, counselling, language instruction, translation services and information programs on Canadian culture and life.
- Learning Enrichment Foundation: Services include one-on-one information and support, workshops, a youth program, and housing access and support services.
- Microskills’ Newcomer Service: Settlement services, language instruction, and youth and children’s services.
- Parkdale Intercultural Association: Free settlement programs and services to refugees and new immigrants. Services are offered in English, Chinese, Spanish, Tamil, Hindi, Tibetan, Polish and Vietnamese, and include a newcomer youth program.
- Polycultural Immigrant & Community Services: Services are offered in 19 languages.
- Punjabi Community Health Services: Services include health and mental health information, orientation, translation and interpretation, counselling and referral services.
- Ralph Chiodo Family Immigrant Reception Centre: Services for refugees include temporary accommodation, initial settlement services, child care, housing services and art therapy for children.
- Rexdale Women's Centre: Services in 20 different languages at locations throughout Rexdale and Toronto, such as orientation, translation, interpretation, referral to community resources, solution focused counselling, general information, employment-related services, and assistance with accessing government services and forms. Parenting and Family Supportive Counselling; Children’s services.
- SAFSS (Settlement Assistance and Family Support Services): Services include reception and welcome, orientation, translation, interpretation, referral to community resources, and counselling. Focus on South Asian, Iranian and Afghani communities.
- Social Services Network: Serves the diverse South Asian community in the York region. Services include a health program, family program and youth program, as well as information and referral.
- South Asian Woman’s Centre: Services include interpretation and translation, information and referral, family counselling, advocacy, a youth group, support and crisis intervention delivered in 17 languages.
- Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office: Services include information and referral, a family violence program, women’s counselling, settlement services, an Ontario Early Years Centre for Don Valley West riding, youth services and delivery of community information workshops and seminars. Services offered at seven Toronto locations.
- Vietnamese Association: Offers settlement counselling, information and orientation to Canadian life, referral to community services and resources, advocacy, and assistance filling out forms. Youth Settlement Program serves youth aged 13 to 24 of all ethnicities.
- WoodGreen: Services include orientation, counselling, settlement workshops, mentorship, youth programs, self-help networks, newcomer volunteer program, and social and recreational activities.
- Working Women Community Centre: Services include orientation, referrals, documentation, interpreting, translation, occasional escorts, supportive counselling and advocacy.
Windsor and Essex County
- Multicultural Council of Windsor and Essex County: Services include client support services, translation and interpretation, and a resettlement assistance program.
- South Essex Community Council: Services include one-on-one counselling and information on health care, employment, housing and education to assist with integration into the community.
Prince Edward Island
PEI government resources
- Opportunities PEI provides many online links and resources under the Living in PEI section with detailed information on health care, child care and education, housing, and more.
PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada: Offers settlement and integration services, immigrant youth services, community outreach, as well as links, guides, and resources. Includes a Guide for Newcomers to Prince Edward Island in seven languages.
- The City of Charlottetown offers a Newcomer's Guide.
- Additional services are available in French.
Quebec government resources
- Quebec-Immigration: Resources and electronic services suited to immigrant and newcomer needs, including education and housing.
- Un repertoire d’organismes et associations
The Montreal Fluency Centre improves the health and success of young Quebecers with speech, language and learning difficulties.
- RIVO: Network of therapists and community workers who provide free individual psychotherapy and/or massage therapy for individuals who have been traumatized by an experience of organized violence.
- South Asian Women’s Community Centre: Referral services, interpretation and translation services, counselling on marital, family, legal, immigration and health-related issues, group activities, discussions, seminars, information sessions; programs concentrating on the concerns of adolescents in the South Asian community.
Saskatchewan government resources
- Saskatchewan Immigration Services: Information and links on immigrating to and living in Saskatchewan, including health care, education and family.
Healthy Immigrant Children lists provincial services and resources for newcomer immigrants and refugees. The site also links to non-governmental and governmental organizations involved in providing services and resources.
- Moose Jaw Multicultural Council: Services include a settlement program, language class, child care, and settlement workers in schools.
- Regina Open Door Society: Provides settlement and integration services.
- Saskatoon Open Door Society: Provides information about settlement, orientation, community connections, employment services, language training, and child care.
- International Women of Saskatoon: Programs and services for immigrant and refugee women and their families.
- Global Gathering Place: Programming for all ages and drop-in classes on parenting, health care, education. ESTEEM program stimulating mother-child interaction.
- Saskatchewan Intercultural Association: Services for immigrants and refugees in Saskatoon.
- Government of Yukon: Immigration portal with information for newcomers about the immigration process, settlement, and more.
- Direction Yukon includes general information for francophone newcomers to Yukon.
- Multicultural Centre of the Yukon: Information and referral services, orientation, translation and interpretation, counselling, and assistance with job search. MCY staff can assist with immediate settlement needs such as health care, transportation, housing, education and employment.
- L’Association franco-yukonnaise provides an information and referral service in French in Whitehorse. Information about French education, health services, social insurance and health cards, volunteer opportunities, housing, and more.
Last updated: May, 2016