“Making Ontario Home 2012″ -Report on Settlement & Integration Services in Ontario

“Making Ontario Home 2012″(MOH) has just been released.  MOH is the first province-wide study in Ontario focused on immigrant and refugee use of settlement and integration services, and is one of the largest surveys of this nature ever undertaken in Ontario.

The Full report can be accessed at http://www.ocasi.org/downloads/OCASI_MOH_ENGLISH.pdf

Key Findings of the report:

1)  Employment was the highest concern for immigrants and refugees:

  • Nearly two thirds (61.8%) of the respondents identified employment as their most important concern;
  • Respondents in smaller towns reported more success finding jobs;
  • For employment and skills training programs and services, immigrant serving agencies were the main access point, except for youth employment services which were most often accessed at employment centres.
  • Those arriving since 2005 were more satisfied with bridge training programs for regulated professions or trades than those who had arrived before 2005.

2) Language training programs and services rated particularly highly for content and delivery, and limited English language skills were identified as the second greatest settlement challenge.

  • 70% or more of those who used the various language training programs and services rated them as satisfactory or very satisfactory, with the exception of French as a Second Language (50%);
  • Over 70% of those who used language training programs and services reported being satisfied with the six aspects of service delivery that were rated;
  • Nearly one third (32.7%) identified limited English language skills as a challenge.
  • For language training programs and services, immigrant serving agencies, schools, colleges and universities, and public libraries were all important locations of access.

3) Counseling and advice was the most highly used general settlement service:

  • 60.7% of those who used general settlement and integration services did so to access counseling and advice.

4) More than 83% of respondents had used one or more settlement support services:

  • 54.7% reported using language training programs and services;
  • 50% used employment skills training programs and services;
  • 38.4% used general settlement and integration services.

5) There was a high degree of satisfaction with service delivery for all three program and service areas:

  • Rated very highly (by over 78% of respondents) for having a welcoming environment;
  • Rated quite highly (by over 68% of respondents) on staff understanding of their needs and quality of information.

6) Period of arrival correlated with significant differences in use of and satisfaction with services:

  • Compared to those arriving between 2000 and 2005, respondents arriving in the period 2006 to 2010 were more likely to have used services, more likely to have accessed them within their first year, and were significantly more satisfied specifically with LINC and bridge training programs for regulated professions or trades.

7) Those with higher levels of education were just as likely to use settlement and integration services:

  • There were no significant differences in the likelihood to use employment, language or general settlement and integration services based on educational levels;
  • However, those with higher levels of education were more likely to access employment and skills training programs and services in their first year of arrival.

8) No knowledge of settlement and integration services was a main reason for non-use of services:

  • For the 16.9% of respondents who had never used settlement and integration services, 29.9% had not used services because they were unaware of their existence.

9) For all three categories of services, transportation and distance to services were most often reported as a problem in accessing services:

  • In particular, of those accessing general settlement and integration services, 22.8% reported not having transportation as a challenge and 16.6% reported the services were too far from home.
  • Respondents from the Toronto area, and large and medium sized urban areas were more likely to identify distance to services as a problem.

10) Services for immigrants living with disabilities need to be better coordinated;

  • A focus group with immigrants living with physical disabilities found a significant need for greater coordination of services between immigrant serving agencies and organizations that provide services and support to individuals living with disabilities, to ensure that this group’s needs are being met.


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