Active Engagement Integration Project
Led by Vancouver-based SUCCESS, the Active Engagement Integration Project (AEIP) provides pre-arrival services to support the settlement, adaptation and integration of individuals moving to Canada. COSTI promotes community and labour market engagement by providing settlement and employment information, referral and initial orientation online to overseas clients prior to their departure and arrival in Ontario.
Furthermore, a provincial information package was developed for pre-arrival clients destined for Ontario. This partnership saw the participation in Active Engagement and Integration Project’s 2022 Pre-Arrival Virtual Conference and a joint presentation at the 24th Metropolis Canada Conference in Vancouver on The Effect of COVID-19 on Pre-Arrival and Post-Arrival Settlement Services: Challenges, Best Practices & Future Considerations.
Dementia Community Investment
The Ethno-cultural and Linguistically Based Support Services for People Living with Dementia is developing a model for education and support for family and friend caregivers of people living with dementia from ethno-cultural communities in the Greater Toronto Area.
Building on the existing Seniors Day Program for people living with dementia, this intervention will design specialized activities and programming for family and friend caregivers to reflect participants’ cultural heritage, beliefs and values, caregiving practices, and preferences. The specialized programming will allow ethno-cultural communities with cultural and language barriers to learn about dementia and its symptoms, build family and friend caregiver capacity, and potentially increase these communities’ readiness to seek medical care.
To date, the project has successfully engaged five ethnocultural communities including Chinese, Italian, Portuguese, South Asian and Spanish and received support from Abrigo Centre, Alzheimer Society of York Region, Alzheimer Society Toronto, Carefirst Seniors and Community Services Association, Centre for Spanish Speaking Peoples, George Brown College, Memory Centre of Toronto, Punjabi Community Health Services, Seneca College and University of Toronto to test and develop blueprints for caregiver education and support for ethnocultural communities.
International Student Connect Program /
Étudiants internationaux se connectent
The International Student Connect (ISC) project, an Ontario Government supported bilingual initiative, was designed to identify and develop an appropriate service response to meet the settlement needs of International Students. COSTI leads ISC in collaboration with francophone partner CSCHN, 16 SDAs, and 23 Educational Institutions. Its objective is to support the successful settlement and integration of international students by increasing their knowledge about the settlement process, improving their access to resources and supports, enabling access to information about immigration options to transition to permanent residency, and facilitating their readiness to develop a post-graduation settlement transition plan. It represents an innovative collaboration between settlement service providers and post-secondary institutions.
ISC provides international students and accompanying family members with settlement information on over 30 topics through 1-2 hour Let’s Connect sessions or one-on-one services by Service Delivery Partners at the educational institutions’ locations/online.
Gambling, Gaming, and Technology Use
COSTI provides advice and expertise on newcomer problem gambling, gaming and excessive technology use to service providers who provide mental health and addiction services to ethno-cultural communities in need of culturally and linguistically appropriate treatment and services.
Gender-Based Violence (GBV)
The Gender-Based Violence project is a community-based research initiative that engages service providers and gender-based violence survivors in the co-design and implementation of the research project, addressing gaps in access to gender-based violence services by defining culturally safe, coordinated, evidence-based support services for gender-based violence survivors from racialized and newcomer communities across Canada. COSTI works in partnership with five organizations.
Orientation to Ontario (O2O) /
L’ Ontario, c’est chez moi
Orientation to Ontario/L’Ontario, c’est chez moi (O2O) is a bilingual program funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and the Government of Ontario. O2O has been designed to expedite and facilitate the settlement of newcomers to Ontario and help them make better-informed choices. The program offers a client-centred standardized approach for the provision of information and orientation services in Ontario with a network of 34 partners serving newcomers, francophones, refugees, women, youth, LGBTQ+ clients in 45 communities in hybrid, virtual and in-person formats.
The print and digital resources (Workbook, Factsheets, Webinars on YouTube, Settlement Plan, Multilingual Chatbot ArriveON App) cater to different learning styles. In addition, O2O serves as a launchpad for settlement services.
Planning for Canada
Led by Colleges and Institutes Canada, Planning for Canada aims to consolidate and expand the delivery model of online advisory services to individuals overseas. The project employs a coordinated model that fosters more effective partnerships among key stakeholders in the settlement sector, college partners across the provinces and employment support organizations.
COSTI provides pre-departure support to overseas individuals destined to arrive in Ontario. Services include referrals to community agencies, educational institutions and employment support organizations across Ontario.
PREVENTING GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE PROGRAM
The program seeks to change the harmful norms, attitudes and behaviours that perpetuate gender-based violence and its escalation to femicide through public education campaigns, awareness raising workshops, direct client services and capacity building efforts.
WELCOME CENTRE IMMIGRANT SERVICES
The Welcome Centre Immigrant Services is a one-stop service in York Region, designed to guide and support immigrants through the maze of information and resources. Core services provided at each of the five Centres by a partnership of agencies include settlement and integration services; language training and enhanced language training; accreditation and qualifications assistance; and employment supports.
WELCOME GROUP MODEL
In 2021/22 COSTI partnered with the Together Project in delivering a standardized model of volunteer engagement with government-sponsored refugees. The Together Project connects refugee newcomers and Canadians to build stronger, more integrated communities through three program areas: matching, community and research. The Together Project developed the “Welcome Group” model in close partnership with COSTI. The model builds on existing family matching programs and connects Canadians with government-sponsored refugees and refugee claimants from all countries of origin who arrive at COSTI.
A BREAKDOWN OF VARIOUS PARTNERS
Partnership and collaboration amongst organizations is key to the successful integration of newcomers. COSTI is represented on many community planning networks, umbrella organizations and advisory committees. We work in partnership with organizations and service providers across Ontario in the planning and delivery of services to the community.