A guide for health professionals working with
immigrant and refugee children and youth

Community Resources for Immigrant and Refugee Youth

Health professionals can support positive youth development by connecting newcomer adolescents with community services. This list is intended to help health professionals become familiar with services for immigrant and refugee youth in their province/territory or region. 

Alberta

Calgary

  • The Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth (CBFY) has an in-school settlement program, an after school life skills program (the ‘Bridge Club’), and immigrant youth mentorship.
  • The Calgary Centre for Newcomers offers a children’s settlement program called Colour Our World for children aged 2-12. This program is designed to help children and their families learn more about life in Canada and feel more at home.
    • The Centre also offers a youth program called Real Me for immigrants under 24 who are worried about getting in trouble with the law.
  • The Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association has a program for all youth 10 to 9 years old, which includes leadership development and public speaking, self-esteem and teambuilding activities, educational and recreational field trips, a Youth Standing Committee, a Girls Culture Club, and counselling and mentoring support.

Edmonton

Lethbridge

  • Lethbridge Family Services’ Youth Settlement Services offers school and community support through school starts, youth empowerment programs, and summer day camps, for ages three to 25.

Medicine Hat

Red Deer

  • The Central Alberta Refugee Effort (CARE) has the Engage Immigrant Youth after school program for newcomers 10 to19 years of age, a welcoming, safe environment for sharing adjustment challenges and receiving support, along with weekly activities and special events that build language skills and social interaction.

British Columbia

Vancouver

  • The Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies (AMSSA) has links to multilingual, youth-oriented information and videos on basic health topics, such as STIs, mental health services, ‘mindfulness’, and the first pelvic/breast exam.
  • DIVERSEcity: is an umbrella organization offering:
    • Future Leaders, a 16-week program designed to address the multiple barriers to Employment faced by visible minority youth ages 15 to 30.
    • The Child and Youth Mental Health Program, professional counselling services to youth from immigrant and refugee families who are experiencing mental health issues. They provide short-term counselling and support and make subsequent referrals to Child and Youth Mental Health teams for long-term counselling. Services are available in Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu, Farsi, Swahili and African languages, in addition to English. Services are offered free of charge to clients and their families.
    • The Refugee Peer Support Program connect youth 12 to18 years of age with knowledgeable, experienced peer support workers, to increase resilience, promote positive mental health, and prevent or delay mental disorders among children and youth at risk.
  • Immigrant Service Society of BC has targeted programs for refugees, women, children and youth, plus support services in over 45 languages. Programs and services are available throughout Metro Vancouver, Squamish and the Okanagan.
  • Offered through the Vancouver School Board, Engaged Immigrant Youth targets youth in Grades 10 to12.Using projects and outreach, the program helps immigrant and refugee youth to stay in school and improve employment and educational opportunities.
  • MOSAIC B.C.’s Redirecting Youth Through Empowerment (RYTE) program does public education and outreach for at-risk newcomers on dating violence, healthy vs. unhealthy relationships, gang violence, substance use, as well as organizing social activities and coordinating individualized support services and personal care plans.
  • S.U.C.C.E.S.S Youth Services offers a wide variety of programs including the volunteer buddy program, youth volunteer group, youth counselling,, leadership training, employment and entrepreneurial development.
  • The YMCA of Greater Vancouver has extensive youth programming for newcomers, including exchanges, job matching and other employment resources, and leadership development opportunities.

Victoria

  • The Inter-cultural Association of Greater Victoria has a youth group, and ‘Through the lens’, which trains newcomer youths in film and production on themes of anti-violence and healthy relationships, as well as arts programming and leadership-building opportunities.
  • The Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society (VIRCS) has the ‘Enable’ program, designed to address the academic, social and emotional adjustment needs of newcomer youth. Activities include a homework club and tutoring, youth activity nights and drop-ins, and the Youth Strides summer camp.

Manitoba

  • Family Dynamics operates 6 neighbourhood family resource centres in subsidized housing developments. In addition to school-based initiatives, youth programs include Growing Active Kids, youth drumming groups and summer day camps.
  • The Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba runs youth programs 4 times/week, featuring the arts, leadership, homework drop-in and dedicated girls’ and boys’ nights.
  • The Newcomers Employment and Education Development Services Inc. provides services and support for immigrant and refugee children and youth and families, including crime prevention, youth mentorship, an employment program, an introduction to Canadian education, and after school programming.
  • The SERC (Sexuality Education Resource Centre) offers ethno-specific workshops on intergenerational conflict and sexual/reproductive health.
  • The University of Winnipeg’s Global Welcome Centre for newcomers offers a bridging program for high school students

New Brunswick

Newfoundland and Labrador

Nova Scotia

Ontario

Kingston

London

Ottawa

  • The Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization (OCISO) has the Immigrant and Refugee Youth project, a school-based service counselling individuals and families on cultural awareness and sensitization, bullying and aggression.
    • YOCISO - Youth Support programs assist immigrant youth, age 13 to 24, with their settlement and integration process in Canada though counselling, intervention and other services.

Toronto

  • The Afghan Women’s Organization offers a homework club and youth settlement and counselling services, including skills development, conflict resolution, anger management, mentorship opportunities, ‘meet and greet’ sessions and cultural, recreational and social events.
  • Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services offer extensive youth programming, including: weekly drop-ins in workshops, a weekly young women’s program, homework support, English conversation circles, a student health clinic and after school program at Greenwood Secondary School, arts-based programs (theatre, drama, crafts), monthly field trips, peer mentoring, language and culture-specific newcomer youth activities, orientation and referrals, along with access to primary health care services, settlement counselling, a mental health therapist, dieticians and many other resources to support youth.
    • The Centre for Spanish-Speaking Peoples has the ‘El Centro’ project and Hispanic Youth Alive program focusing on youth engagement, as well as summer camps, Latin@s Against Homophobia, a soccer league and a youth magazine, ‘Avenida’.
  • The Community Knowledge Centre is a hub for several organizations focusing on newcomer and youth issues, including the following:
  • COSTI Immigrant Services offers Connections, a program for youth at risk, as well as teen-oriented employment, mentoring and settlement services.
  • CultureLink Settlement Services has a Settlement Workers in School (SWIS) program, a Newcomer Youth Centre (NYC), and the ‘Wintegration’ after school activity program.
  • The Four Villages Community Health Centre has two sites, at Bloor and Dundas. Programming for adolescents includes: drop-in programs, sexual health and education and life skills development, specifically:
    • 4 Youth, an after school program for youth age 12 to 18, with activities and discussions on practical life issues.
    • Beats, Rhymes & Life: A hip-hop music program that gives youth the opportunity to express themselves while learning about important social issues that affect their lives.
  • Midaynta Community Services is a Somali-oriented organization offering youth services in partnership with other community agencies to at-risk youth.
  • The Ralph Thornton Centre has a mentoring program for newcomer children and youth in the Chinese community:
  • Sherbourne Health Centre has a drop-in program with free mental health services, support groups and workshops to meet the specific needs of recent immigrants/refugee families.
  • UforChange offers a 6-month creative arts program for new Canadians and low-income youth living in the St. James Town area, peer and professional mentorship, life skills development and community building workshops.
  • The Working Women Community Centre has the ‘On Your’ Mark tutoring program, providing one-to-one and small group tutoring for Portuguese- and Spanish-speaking high school students.
  • The YMCA has a Newcomer Youth Leadership Development (NYLD) program, focusing on integration, settlement, skills-building, volunteerism and community involvement.                                                                              

PEI

Quebec

  • Le Centre mutiethnique de Québec is a hub for support and services, including:
    • Written and verbal liaison between schools and newcomer families.
    • Building cultural awareness and connection with schools, especially issues of identity in 12- to 17-year-olds.
  • Comité d'accueil international des Bois-Francs (CAIBF) has the Project Jeunes immigrants, to promote dialogue between immigrant students, their Quebec peers, families, school staff and the community through a range of social and educations activities.
  • La Maisonnée offers summer camps, homework assistance and school drop-out prevention programming for immigrant youth.
  • The PRAIDA clinic, at CSSS de la Montagne offers health and social services to immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers of all ages, including psychosocial, physical and mental health assessments to accompanied and unaccompanied minors.
  • In Quebec City, immigrant/refugee families are referred to the refugee clinic at the Ste-Foy CLSC.
  • Tel-Jeunes is a crisis hotline, with guidance and referral services accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: 1 800 263-2266
  • La Table de concertation des organismes au services des personnes réfugiées et immigrantes (TCRI) has 2 videos :
    • sur le soutien aux apprentissages scolaires des jeunes immigrants, and the other
    • sur le rapprochement interculturel dans les écoles. 

Saskatchewan

  • The Global Gathering Place (Saskatoon) has a drop-in centre and provides life skills services and direct assistance for immigrants and refugees.  
  • International Women of Saskatoon offers a youth-in-transition summer program for boys 13 to 18 years old, focusing on indoor and outdoor activities that build life, work and social skills and language.
    • For girls 13-17 years old there is YIRJAN, an after school and summer program focused on participation and leadership in sports, recreation, culture and personal skills development.
  • The Moose Jaw Multicultural Council offers in-school support for newcomers in high school.
  • The Regina Open Door Society has a youth program to help with homework and provide active, social connections to the wider community.

Editor(s)

  • Dzung X. Vo, MD
  • Carla Hilario, RN, MSN
  • Kevin Pottie, MD

Last updated: July, 2016

Also available at: http://www.kidsnewtocanada.ca/health-promotion/youth-resources
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Caring for Kids New to Canada is a resource for health professionals. The information here is not a substitute for medical advice, nor does it indicate an exclusive course of treatment or procedure to be followed. Variations, taking into account individual circumstances, may be appropriate.

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