Building quality justice services for newcomers

Project Summary

The goal of this one-year project (March 2022 – February 2023) is to support NGOs serving immigrant and refugee communities to provide high-quality services in areas related to immigration and refugee law. The project was carried out in collaboration with Community Legal Education Ontario CLEO and supported by The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin Access to Justice Fund.

The project aims to identify and develop a set of best practices and sample policies that support high-quality public services. To know more about the project, please see the proposed framework.

Ultimately, the project aims to increase the confidence of client communities, funders and stakeholders in the quality of the services delivered by these organizations.

Project Background

In 2019, the CCR conducted a series of meetings and interviews with member organizations across Canada to seek their input on the proposed project’s framework. The findings of these meetings highlighted the need to:

  • Respond to the IRCC’s interpretation of section 91 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and explore different approaches to handle clients’ legal needs.
  • Modify and improve organizations’ practices and policies.
  • Increase training frequency.
  • Improve inter-organization collaboration.

In March 2022, the CCR received modest funding to support developing the project’s framework and gather feedback from organizations across Canada to identify their needs and priorities within the immigration and refugee processes in the following areas:

  1. Staff Training and Knowledge Sharing.
  2. Complaints and Feedback Policies and Practices.
  3. Management of Referral Systems.
  4. Ethical Principles.

These needs and priorities were addressed by developing guiding documents to help organizations evaluate their existing policies or create new ones in the hopes of elevating the quality of services they provide to their clients.

The project was carried out under the supervision and guidance of 10 steering committee members representing organizations from various provinces in Canada.

Project’s Guiding Documents

The following documents were developed as part of the CCR’s Quality of Service project. Organizations are encouraged to use these documents when reviewing existing policies and practices or developing new ones. These guidelines may also apply to organizational processes or practices, particularly if written down, even if not in the form of a policy.

These guidelines are designed to focus on services related to immigration and refugee law. They can be used to help assess whether existing mechanisms are appropriate to this service area or to develop new mechanisms.

Project’s Discussion Paper

As part of the Quality of Service project, a discussion paper was produced exploring systems for supporting the work of CCR members, with outlines of various options for further consideration.

The CCR hopes that the Quality of Service project is only a step in the process to help organizations ensure they offer high quality services related to the immigration and refugee processes.