Workshop on An Evaluation of Human Services in York Region: What We Know, What We Don't Know and What We Need To Know, York University, March 6, 2009, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
This workshop presents the findings of our data analysis to our partners and the York Region community. It includes a discussion of (i) the profiles of the recent immigrants, seniors and those living on low incomes in York Region; (ii) the provision of educational services, housing services, settlement services, and services to promote employment and small business development to these groups; (iii) the results of a telephone survey which dealt with the awareness, use and satisfaction of facilities and services to these groups; and (iv) the locational compatibility between population needs and service provision in the region.
Workshop on Settlement Services in Canadian Suburbs, National Metropolis Conference, Calgary, March 19-22, 2009.
Access to information and services is key to immigrants’ successful integration in a destination society. However, the recent suburbanization of new immigrants in cities, during a period of major economic restructuring and government devolution, has posed particular challenges to social service providers who have a responsibility to respond quickly to newcomer needs. Evidence has indicated that many immigrants and refugees, at least those arriving Canada during the 1990s and beyond, are experiencing greater settlement difficulties. This workshop attempts to understand the relationship between settlement needs and settlement service provision in Canadian suburbs. Using York Region, one of the fastest growing suburbs in Canada, as a specific case study, and comparing it to knowledge of suburbs in Montreal and Vancouver, the workshop examines the following topics – characteristics of recent immigrants residing in suburbs; the level of settlement service provision there; the awareness, use and satisfaction of these services; the determinants of service utilization; the spatial equity and/or gaps in service provision – in order to evaluate if and to what degree Canadian suburbs are welcoming communities. Overall, the objectives are to showcase what’s learned from a detailed case study of the settlement service sector, and to bring together the national community to discuss if similar issues concerning the demand and supply of settlement services in suburbs are experienced elsewhere as well. Knowledge thus garnered has serious planning and policy implications with respect to the equitability in settlement service provision and the impending challenges facing the settlement service sector in Canada.