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May 2000




Core values

Client services (towards service standards)

Settlement sector workers (towards worker standards)

Organizations (towards organizational standards)


Note: This is the internet version of the document. The printed version includes a section on Tools. It is available from the Canadian Council for Refugees (tel. 514-277-7223, fax 514-277-1447, email Canadian Council for Refugees

May 2000

This document was produced with the financial support of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the Trillium Foundation of Ontario, the government of Ontario, the Citizenship and Multiculturalism Division of the government of Manitoba and the Minister of Learning of the government of Alberta.

The content of the document is the sole responsibility of the Canadian Council for Refugees.

The process by which this document was produced was led by a Steering Committee whose members were:



Settlement programs exist to facilitate the successful settlement and integration of immigrants and refugees into the social, economic, cultural and political life of Canada. Canada's settlement service sector believes that all immigrants and refugees, including refugee claimants, coming to Canada are entitled to at least minimum levels of settlement service. The capacity to implement these standards is dependent upon a shared responsibility between federal, provincial and local government in partnership with community-based settlement agencies. As part of its enduring role, the federal government has a primary responsibility to ensure that these services are available to all immigrants and refugees.

Consistent settlement service standards must be established if this is to be accomplished, allowing any immigrant or refugee, whether in St. John's or Saskatoon, Montréal or Prince George, to access certain basic settlement services. Core values previously identified in the Best Settlement Practices document form the basis of this Canadian settlement service standards framework.

Settlement services form only part of what is involved in integration, a two-way process that involves the host society adjusting to newcomers as well as newcomers adjusting to their new home. Although the settlement sector plays a role in promoting and facilitating the wider society's adjustment, it can stimulate but not itself effect change. This wider context within which settlement services are delivered is a crucial factor influencing the effectiveness of those services.

All levels of government bear a responsibility for the integration of refugees and immigrants, since newcomers as part of the population served have the right to services, such as education and social services. In many parts of the country provincial governments also recognize the need for specialized services for refugees and immigrants.

Particular responsibility for settlement services lies with the federal government, and with provincial governments to whom responsibility has been devolved.(1)

Many players contribute to successful settlement services: users, deliverers, managers and supporters. Since it is the settlement sector that delivers the services, it is appropriate that it develop the standards, in consultation with other players.

This document, Canadian National Settlement Service Standards Framework, is presented as a "work in progress", a framework within which standards can be developed relating to three key areas:


Settlement services, both formal and informal, have a long history in Canada. Countless newcomers have been assisted on arrival, often by organizations emanating from faith and ethnic communities. Gradually a specialized settlement sector developed, forming a network across Canada with significant experience in welcoming refugees and immigrants. Some organizations in this network are 50 or more years old, many date from the 1970s or early 1980s. Significant numbers of immigrants and refugees work in the sector, bringing their own experience of the settlement and integration processes. Over the last two decades in particular, the sector has strengthened its capacity through networking, training and learning from others, and has adapted itself to evolving needs of newcomers and changing political realities.(2)

For its part, the federal government has also gradually increased its commitment to settlement services. Newcomers over the years received various services delivered or funded by a number of government departments. In 1974 the federal government launched the Immigrant Settlement and Adaptation Program (ISAP) which makes available settlement services to newcomers. In 1990 the government announced the Federal Integration Strategy, consolidating and strengthening the immigration department's role in promoting integration. The government acknowledged that "a broader view of integration is required than in the past": they recognized that integration is a long-term process and "a two-way street that requires accommodations and adjustments on both sides". All federal language training programs for newcomers were brought under the direction of the immigration department. The government announced that the Host Program (linking newly arrived refugees with Canadian "hosts") would be made permanent.(3)

In 1995 the federal government launched the Settlement Renewal process, with a view to devolving the administration of settlement services to provincial governments or other bodies (the government of Québec had already taken on responsibility for settlement services in that province in 1991).

As part of their consultations on Settlement Renewal, the federal government sought to develop principles which would be shared among partners who take on responsibility for administering settlement services. The consultation document suggested that principles agreed on could subsequently be used as a basis to discuss the development of national standards, by which was meant "minimum levels of settlement and integration services that should be available across Canada").

Among the non-governmental settlement sector, the prospect of devolution raised questions about the possible impacts on the standards of services available across the country. The experience with the devolution to Québec was not considered a positive model, because of the lack of transparency and accountability with respect to the allocation of funds for settlement services. Moreover, the mid-1990s were a period of deficit reduction, when pressures on government budgets were intense. What safeguards would there be that in any devolution process, funds transferred would be used for settlement services?

There were also concerns about equivalencies in services across the country. While regional and local diversity is recognized and valued, and will lead to settlement programs taking different form in different parts of the country, members of the Canadian Council for Refugees were at the same time committed to ensuring that key elements of settlement services be identified and made available to refugees and immigrants in all parts of Canada.

In November 1995 a consultation on national principles was held at the CCR fall consultation, leading to the adoption of a series of national principles. CCR members made clear that "national principles must be upheld by national standards" and directed the Settlement Core Group to develop standards relating to these principles.

In February 1998, the Canadian Council for Refugees published Best Settlement Practices: Settlement Services for Refugees and Immigrants in Canada. This document contains Best Practice guidelines, from which it was proposed that standards could be developed.(4)

In 1996, as part of the Settlement Renewal process, the federal government also proposed after consultation a series of principles. With respect to standards, Citizenship and Immigration Canada was not ready to suggest imposing standards, partly out of concern for financial considerations, and partly because they felt that commonly accepted measures upon which to base standards do not currently exist. CIC did however recognize the need for some consistency across the country and expressed itself ready to "work with partners to collectively define the meaning of "reasonably comparable services"." CIC also committed itself to working on integration indicators and results measures.(5)

At the same time CIC identified an "enduring federal role" in settlement services, including "working with partners to define and uphold national principles ..." From the point of view of non-governmental organizations involved in settlement, the commitment to an enduring federal role was welcome. Many of them felt that, as part of this role, the development of agreed upon standards was an appropriate task for the federal government to undertake.

In November 1997 discussions were held at the Canadian Council for Refugees on the development of national standards for settlement services. Participants agreed that national standards were important for the purposes of accountability, comparability and the protection of settlement clients:

Accountability - standards would assist the federal government in holding partners administering federal settlement funds accountable for effective settlement services.

Comparability - standards would assist all stakeholders to compare settlement services across the country.

Protection of settlement clients - standards would ensure that all people are assured some standard of settlement services, regardless of where they are in Canada.(6)

Meanwhile, discussions on standards were also pursued on a regional basis. In Ontario work has been done on the development of service and sectoral standards for the immigrant services sector. In British Columbia settlement agencies were involved in a broad process affecting the whole social service sector, leading to the development of occupational competencies.

In November 1998 the CCR struck a committee to develop national settlement standards. The project received support from the federal government, as well as the governments of Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta, and from the Trillium Foundation of Ontario.


In April 1999 the Settlement Standards Steering Committee met for two days to develop a draft standards document for consultation. The draft was circulated to all members of the Canadian Council for Refugees and to others regionally, with a request for comment. In May 1999, a consultation on the document was held at the CCR spring conference in Halifax, with participation from approximately 80 persons from across Canada, including representatives of government, settlement sector workers and refugees and immigrants. The consultation consisted of a presentation of the overall document followed by small group discussions where participants were invited to focus on one of the three standard areas. Notes from the discussions were compiled.

The same model of consultation was subsequently used regionally and locally. Approximately 20 consultations were held, involving an estimated 200 people. Included were refugees and immigrants, front-line settlement workers, settlement organization managers and board members, and representatives of federal and provincial governments. The project also benefitted indirectly from the consultation process undergone in British Columbia to develop the Occupational Competencies Framework for the Immigrant and Multicultural Services Sector and the consultations held in Ontario in the process of preparing the discussion document The Development of Service and Sectoral Standards for the Immigrant Services Sector.

All of the input received from the consultations on the draft standards document was reviewed at a two-day meeting of the Steering Committee held in February 2000, and the document revised. The Steering Committee also reviewed suggested tools and documents collected for the appendices.

In the course of the consultation process, the Steering Committee recognized that the document did not propose things that were necessarily measurable and that they could not therefore properly be called standards. It was decided that they constitute a standards framework, which can usefully form the basis of further discussion leading to actual standards. The Committee believes that it is better to pursue this process step by step, allowing the sector to digest, test and respond to the framework, before attempting to develop standards. It is also recognized that there are significant developments happening at a regional basis: this framework can feed into these ongoing discussions and be fed by them.

In the light of the decision to make the document a "living tool", it was agreed that it should be made available in binder and electronic forms so that it can be updated.


This document is intended to be of use to a variety of players involved, directly or indirectly, in settlement.

The following are some examples of how the standards framework can be used:

- Board members and staff at settlement agencies can use this standards framework to review their organizations and plan for the future.

- Settlement workers can work from the Settlement Sector Workers section identify their training needs.

- Organizations that offer some settlement services as part of a wider mandate can explore the particular needs of their settlement program with reference to this standards framework.

- Funders of settlement services can review their programs in the light of the standards framework.

- Institutions and individuals outside the settlement sector can learn about settlement services.

For the settlement sector, standards can help to establish legitimacy by clearly communicating the sector's goals and activities and providing assurance to stakeholders concerned about the quality of services. Clearly articulated standards will result in common understanding and will facilitate cross-referrals and partnerships among agencies. Standards will also provide direction for fledgling agencies and can be used as a checklist against which established organizations may review their programs.

At the same time, standards should not act as constraints upon agency flexibility and autonomy. The standards framework is intended as a guideline only and may be more or less helpful in different contexts. Funders who have an interest in standards as a means of ensuring quality service delivery must also recognize that they need to play a role in ensuring that levels of funding are adequate so that agencies can attain such standards.(7)


In the CCR document, Best Settlement Practices (February 1998), a series of core values were identified. Best practice guidelines were developed around these core values. These are fundamental for the development of national standards and are therefore reproduced here.

  • Access
  • Inclusion
  • Client empowerment
  • User-defined services
  • Holistic approach
  • Respect for the individual
  • Cultural sensitivity
  • Community development
  • Collaboration
  • Accountability
  • Orientation towards positive change
  • Reliability


1.  Services are accessible to all who need them.  Access is assured by:
 • providing a welcoming environment
 • offering services in the client’s own language, where possible and appropriate
 • offering culturally appropriate services
 • undertaking outreach, so that services are known to those who might benefit
 • communicating effectively about the organization and its services
 • where possible, offering services irrespective of immigration status or other criteria of eligibility
 • providing an environment where women feel comfortable
 • offering childcare, where appropriate
 • having a geographically accessible site and/or addressing clients’ need for transportation
 • having a physically accessible site
 • listening to and responding to concerns about accessibility

2.  Services are offered in an inclusive manner, respectful of, and sensitive to, diversity. Inclusion is assured by:
 • recognizing the diversity of needs and experiences (e.g. young, old, highly educated, those without education, singles, families)
 • offering anti-racist services
 • providing a non-sexist environment
 • enforcing a policy of non-discrimination
 • offering non-judgmental services
 • respecting different perspectives within newcomer communities

3.   Clients are empowered by services.  Client empowerment is assured by:
 • fostering independence in clients
 • meaningful membership and participation of clients in the Board
 • encouraging client involvement in all areas of the organization
 • involving clients as volunteers
 • recognizing, affirming and building on the resources, experiences, skills and wisdom of newcomers
 • providing information and education to allow clients to make their own informed decisions
 • offering programs and services leading to employment and career advancement
 • offering a supportive environment (especially to those who are traumatized)
 • supporting the clients’ right to choose from among service providers the approach that best meets their needs

4. Services respond to needs as defined by users.  User-defined services are  assured by:
 • undertaking an individual assessment for each client of needs, expectations, goals and priorities
 • assessment of the needs and priorities of newcomer communities and the host society
 • involving newcomers in needs assessments
 • ongoing assessment of whether services continue to meet needs
 • listening to clients and communities served
 • responding to the particular needs of refugees (recognition of differences, changing needs)
 • offering flexibility in services
 • incorporating flexibility into programs, in order to allow them to adapt to changing needs
 • involving users in the planning, implementation and evaluation of services
 • offering users maximum control over programs

5.  Services take account of the complex, multifaceted, interrelated dimensions of settlement and integration.  A holistic approach is assured by:
 • recognizing the diversity of an individual’s needs (physical, social, psychological, political, spiritual)
 • responding wherever possible to a variety of needs at once
 • providing a range of services in one location ("one-stop")
 • recognizing that integration is a long-term process
 • avoiding compartmentalization
 • taking into account the effects of policy decisions on individuals and communities and responding through advocacy
 • recognizing the importance of the family in the lives of individuals
 • providing opportunities for relaxation and fun

6.  Services are delivered in a manner that fully respects the rights and dignity of the individual.  Respect for the individual is assured by:
 • confidentiality
 • services free of racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination
 • respecting the fundamental rights of each participant
 • compliance with a Code of Ethics
 • offering a professional quality of services
 • recognizing the uniqueness of each person
 • giving full and accurate information
 • making human contact
 • good monitoring, selection and training of volunteers

7.  Services are delivered in a manner that is culturally sensitive.  Culturally sensitive services are assured by:
 • having staff and volunteers from the same background as the clients served
 • ensuring that service providers are knowledgeable about the culture of those being served
 • offering services in a culturally appropriate manner
 • developing and implementing policies on cultural competency and anti-racism
 • showing respect for different cultures

8.  Services promote the development of newcomer communities and newcomer participation in the wider community, and develop communities that are welcoming of newcomers.  Community development is assured by:
 • giving priority to community building
 • investing in the development of newcomer communities
 • developing community leadership
 • building bridges between communities
 • eliminating barriers to newcomer participation in the community
 • familiarity with the resources in the local community
 • working towards changes in public attitude towards newcomers
 • working through the organizations of newcomer communities
 • involving volunteers in services delivered

9. Services are delivered in a spirit of collaboration.  Collaboration is assured by:
 • promoting partnerships between organizations that build on strengths of each
 • good working relationships
 • team-building
 • communicating regularly with others and sharing information
 • referral services
 • coalition-building
 • providing opportunities for community problem-solving
 • taking account of available resources and experiences

10.  Service delivery is made accountable to the communities served.  Accountability is assured by:
 • the organization’s Board
 • evaluation, involving the participants
 • ongoing monitoring
 • performance appraisals
 • policy and procedure manuals (for financial management, administration and personnel)
 • close connection with immigrant and refugee communities
 • fiscal responsibility
 • development of goals and specific measurable, realistic outcomes

11. Services are oriented towards promoting positive change in the lives of newcomer and in the capacity of society to offer equality of opportunity for all.  An orientation towards positive change is assured by:
 • advocating for improvements in policy
 • recognizing and building on the possibility of change in the lives of newcomers and in society
 • developing new programs and new service models
 • improving services through training and research
 • celebrating successes

12. Services are based on reliable, up-to-date information.  Reliability is assured by:
 • keeping information up-to-date
 • using social research
 • exchanging information


This section identifies the settlement services to which each immigrant and refugee is entitled, depending on need. The list of services is presented from the client's perspective: it is not necessary that every agency offer all services. The objective is that there be a continuum of services delivered by competent practice. Nor will each service area necessarily be addressed in a separate meeting: depending on the needs of the client, one meeting might quickly cover several areas.

It is important to underline that immigrants and refugees are provided with large amounts of information in the settlement process. Often this information is not digestible all at once. It is therefore necessary to build into the process opportunities for clients to review information they may already have received.

Each immigrant and refugee has the right to:


  • - pre-arrival and/or at port of entry, generic information about Canada as well as notice of the availability of more detailed local information, and of the availability of support services, including settlement services.


    i) Orientation to the service
    - explanation of agency policies, procedures and services (as applicable to client)
    - explanation of client's rights and responsibilities (e.g. right to see file, responsibility to be actively involved in the service).
    - explanation of practitioner/agency role and limitations
    - assurance of confidentiality (explaining that information is confidential except with their consent, or according to legislation)

    ii) Assessment of immediate needs
    - food
    - shelter
    - clothing
    - physical and mental health
    - safety
    - language (need for interpretation, translation)
    - income security
    - immigration status (for refugee claimant etc this may be a serious and immediate need)



    i) Identification of other needs
    - documentation (e.g. picture ID, SIN, health care)
    - employment (e.g. finding a job, upgrading, accreditation)
    - language (e.g. acquisition, upgrading, specialized training)
    - physical and mental health
    - immigration (e.g. status, family reunification)
    - education (children, youth and adults)
    - family issues (e.g. child care, seniors, parenting)
    - housing (place to live, adequacy, landlord-tenant issues, purchasing)
    - income (e.g. income security, child tax benefit)
    - transportation (e.g. access to public transport, driver's licence)
    - social connectedness (e.g. community involvement, ethnocultural groups, faith communities)
    - legal (e.g. child protection, criminal justice, domestic violence)
    - lifeskills (e.g. cooking, parenting)

    ii) Prioritization of needs

    iii) Development of short-term and long-term plans and implementation strategies

    iv) Information and referral

    v) Follow up and re-assessment of needs (e.g that referral happened, had the results desired, if not re-assessment)

    vi) Evaluation (service impacts)


  • (Orientation may be delivered individually or in groups)

    i) Practical
    - transportation
    - emergency services
    - community and government services
    - housing and utilities
    - health (promotion, services, nutrition)
    - legal issues (services, Canadian laws)
    - education
    - language resources
    - finance (including banking, budgeting, tax returns, credit)
    - employment
    - consumer awareness (e.g. credit cards, contracts)
    - climate

    ii) Cultural and social orientation
    - civil rights and responsibilities (e.g. human rights legislation, diversity)
    - community lifeskills
    - managing change (e.g. Canadian cultural norms, culture shock, immigration experience, role reversals in the home, intergenerational conflicts)
    - voluntarism
    - addressing issues of racism


  • - includes advocacy for clients, accompaniment, interpretation/translation, form-filling, support in immigration and other processing, sensitization of mainstream services, family support services, mediation.

  • - includes Host, programme de jumelage, tutoring, conversation circles, community kitchens.

  • - includes active listening, reassurance, talking through experiences.

  • - settlement services delivered in a manner sensitive to the special needs of survivors of torture and trauma.

  • - includes literacy, language acquisition and upgrading, employment-related language

  • - includes employment counselling, labour market orientation, job search skills training, job maintenance.

  • - includes support for new communities developing networks and organizations, leadership skills, faciliting dialogue with government and institutions, facilitating group activities


    This section outlines the qualities that each immigrant and refugee is entitled to find in workers within the settlement sector. Parts A and B, Values and Professional Ethics, apply to all who work in a settlement agency, including for example receptionists. Parts C, D and E are more specifically geared to the qualities required in a settlement worker.(9)

    In addition to the skills and knowledge set out below, workers in specialized areas, such as language training or employment counselling, will of course need additional competencies.
    It must be recognized that the ability to hire and retain highly competent workers depends to a significant degree on the conditions of employment that can be offered. Many settlement agencies experience a high turnover rate, because of low salaries and benefits and limited opportunities for advancement.


  • Workers will be committed to the core values outlined above (pages 12 - 15):

    - Access
    - Inclusion
    - Client empowerment
    - User-defined services
    - Holistic approach
    - Respect for the individual
    - Cultural sensitivity
    - Community development
    - Collaboration
    - Accountability
    - Orientation towards positive change
    - Reliability

    This includes an expectation that the worker demonstrate commitment to the elimination of discrimination, including racism, sexism and homophobia.

    Each worker will adhere to standards of professional ethics, including:

    - Respect for client confidentiality
    - Maintenance of professional relationships (healthy boundaries)
    - Prevention and avoidance of conflicts of interest
    - Understanding one's role and limitations



    Each settlement worker will:
    - Understand the essential theories, concepts, and principles relating to:

    - settlement, including current theories of the effects and adjustments after migration, processes and stages of individual adjustment to migration, theories of personal and social change, the theories that influence settlement, the impacts of major life changes, the effects of migration on family and economic life;
    - the refugee experience
    - culture and cultural change
    - Canadian social organization
    - multiculturalism, human rights and racism
    - cross-cultural competency
    - professional ethics.(10)
    - Be familiar with the social, cultural, economic, political and spiritual background of the client.

    - Be aware of global and Canadian events that impact migration and settlement.

    - Know about relevant systems (services, programs, laws in fields of immigration, health, education, etc.)



    The settlement worker will have the ability to:

    - think critically and analyze information effectively
    - communicate in a language suitable to the context, including in writing (e.g. skills in cross cultural communication, ability to speak to client in a way/in a language that can be understood, ability to communicate with government officials appropriately)
    - develop and sustain professional practice
    - advocate
    - creatively problem solve
    - respond to issues and plan
    - interview and assess
    - listen actively
    - find information and keep information updated
    - work collaboratively
    - outreach in the community and network
    - make presentations
    - build and maintain effective relationships
    - recognize own bias
    - recognize how client's dimensions of personal identity may impact client development, choices, and ways of seeking assistance
    - deal with sensitive issues effectively
    - use self-disclosure appropriately
    - conduct multiple tasks simultaneously
    - maintain case files
    - manage time
    - set priorities


  • - Commitment to lifelong learning
    - Flexibility
    - Sensitivity (includes cross-cultural sensitivity, sensitivity to one's impact on the client, sensitivity to issues of racism/sexism/homophobia, ability to understand what the person is asking for)
    - Self-awareness and self-criticism
    - Client-centred approach


    This section identifies the qualities we believe immigrants and refugees are entitled to expect in the organizations that deliver settlement services. The effectiveness of the settlement services depends not only on the individual workers who deliver them, but also on the organization within which they are delivered. The organization is responsible for creating a welcoming environment and running programs that are responsive, effective and accountable.

    The ability of settlement agencies to meet expectations in the areas outlined below is dependent on the availability of means. Many settlement agencies in fact struggle with inadequate financial support.

    Organizational standards relate to the basic infrastructure and systems that organizations should adhere to in order to be able to provide and sustain core immigrant and refugee services in an accountable manner.(11)



    Every organization will be committed to the following values outlined above (pages 12 - 15):

    - Access
    - Inclusion
    - Client empowerment
    - User-defined services
    - Holistic approach
    - Respect for the individual
    - Cultural sensitivity
    - Community development
    - Collaboration
    - Accountability
    - Orientation towards positive change
    - Reliability

    This includes a commitment to the following program approaches:

    - Client confidentiality
    - Case coordination
    - Promotion of independence of clients
    - Diversity in service delivery and methods
    - Culturally/linguistically appropriate approaches
    - Community needs assessment
    - Evaluation of programs and services
    - Partnerships and networking
    - Creating a welcoming environment for all



    Every organization will have:

    - Mission statement (purpose)
    - A commitment to a community-based philosophy founded on participatory and democratic principles
    - Community-based board of directors that reflect the community and client population
    - Bylaws
    - Board policies (nominations, board member recruitment, elections, conflict of interests, board expenses, board development)



    Every organization will have:

    - Financial policies which ensure transparency (checks and balances)
    - Organizational chart
    - Personnel policies (conditions of work, performance appraisal, staff development, remuneration, recruitment, job descriptions)
    - Anti-racism and other equity policies
    - Health and safety - workplace environment, employment standards
    - Insurance (including liability)
    - Clear complaints procedures

    Ideally organizations will also have:

    - Accessible offices (in terms of location and plant)
    - Communications strategy (including ways of obtaining input from clients)
    - Service procedures
    - Voluntary policy
    - Equipment use policies (e.g. computer use policy)
    - Fundraising policy
    - Organizational code of conduct
    - Anti-harassment policy
    - Quality assurance policy (policy review process)
    - Strategic plan process



    Every organization will:

    - promote social justice and equity
    - respond to social change and immediate issues
    - support sectoral coalitions/umbrella groups
    - build welcoming communities



    Resolution 2, November 1995: SETTLEMENT RENEWAL

    WHEREAS: 1. Settlement Renewal will have significant implications for settlement and integration services in Canada;

    2. A consultation on national principles was held at the CCR fall consultation with a broad participation including representatives from different provinces across Canada;

    3. A series of principles were generated. A principle is defined as a commonly held, value-based guideline or framework that guides action;

    4. Consultation participants have expressed a need for further opportunities to provide a fuller input on the Settlement Renewal consultation;

    5. This consultation process on Settlement Renewal should be transparent, structured and inclusive with adequate federal funding;


    1. The settlement core group on behalf of the settlement working group:

    * monitor the Settlement Renewal process;
    * further develop these principles and draft others which address gaps in the current set;
    * develop standards which relate to these principles;
    2. The CCR forward this document(12) immediately, followed by any subsequent principles and standards, to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration for inclusion in the legal agreements between the Federal Government and partners as determined through the Settlement Renewal process;

    3. The CCR communicate these principles to all the participants of the Settlement Renewal workshop.

    Resolution 4, June 1996: SETTLEMENT RENEWAL

    WHEREAS: 1. The federal government has a responsibility to ensure not only that funds be available for settlement and integration services but also that there is a reasonably comparable level of services across the country;

    2. The federal government has produced a recommended model regarding the transfer of administration of settlement programs to provincial administrative partners;

    3. The federal government has indicated that the development of definitions, indicators and standards of service would be accomplished through a federal-provincial multilateral process excluding service providers;

    4. There has been no agreement as to who the new administrative partners will be;


    1. Urge the federal government to invite representatives of service providing organizations to participate in Federal-provincial discussions to develop nationally consistent definitions and indicators for settlement and integration services, as well as national standards of service;

    2. Urge the federal government to hold administrative partners accountable for ensuring that settlement and integration services

    a) meet these national standards of service, and

    b) adhere to other relevant federal policies and legislation which affect the delivery of these services;

    3. Urge the federal government to establish a national advisory group composed of representatives of federal and participating provincial governments, other administrative partners and service providing organizations to monitor and ensure that the service plans and reports required of administrative partners adhere to these standards and to other national principles which have been established;

    4. Ensure that these requests to the federal government are communicated to the provincial governments.


    WHEREAS: 1. The CCR has supported, in principle, the development of national settlement service standards as stated in the National Principles for settlement services (see Res. 2, Nov. 95, Res. 4, Jun. 96, and Res. 4, Nov. 96);

    2. The creation of a national settlement service standards steering committee during the November 1998 CCR conference has provided a mechanism to develop these standards and a draft framework and development strategy were presented during the May 1999 CCR conference;

    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the CCR support the draft national settlement service standards framework and adopt the proposed development strategy.


    The following is a glossary of some of the key terms used. It should be noted that the understanding of these terms is not fixed and they may be given different meanings by different people.

    a long-term, two-way process in which immigrants and refugees achieve full participation in all aspects of Canadian life, and Canadian society benefits from the full potential of newcomers.(13)

    a commonly held, value-based guideline or framework that guides action.(14)

    the acclimatization and early stages of adaptation, when newcomers make the basic adjustments to life in a new country, including finding somewhere to live, beginning to learn the local language, getting a job, and learning to find their way around an unfamiliar society.(15)

    those agencies whose mandate is to provide diverse and specialized services to immigrants and refugees.(16)

    anyone who works in the settlement sector, whether giving direct services or in a supporting role (e.g. management, receptionist).

    specialized services geared to facilitate the full and equitable participation of all newcomers in Canadian society.(17)

    anyone whose primary function is to provide direct client settlement services. (Also known as "practitioner", "counsellor" or, in French, "intervenant").

    generally agreed upon minimum norms that are measurable. For example, a statement that a partner has to provide language training to all newcomers up to a certain level of competency would be a standard.(18)


    L'action communautaire, guide de formation (3e édition, revue et augmentée). Jocelyne Lavoie et Jean Panet-Raymond, CFP, 2000, 64 pages. (in French only). Available from Centre de Formation Populaire, 3575, boul. St-Laurent, bur. 406, Montréal, Québec, H2X 2T7, tel. (514) 842-2548.

    A training tool describing the stages in the community intervention process, from the assessment of the context to the evaluation. Many examples and bibliographical references. A simple and easy to use tool to prepare for a community-based project.

    Best Practice Guidelines for Adult ESL/LINC Programming and Instruction in Alberta, ATESL, June 1995 and Program Standards for Adult ESL (Working Document), ATESL, March 1998. Obtainable from ATESL, c/o Educational Psychology Department, 6 - 102 Education North, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, T6G 2G5

    Best Settlement Practices: Settlement Services for Refugees and Immigrants in Canada, Canadian Council for Refugees, 1998, 54 pages. Available from the CCR or at

    This document presents an overview of settlement services in Canada and identifies elements that make for successful settlement programs. It explores the meaning of "settlement" and "integration" and presents guidelines for best practices as well as examples of programs worth emulating. The report also describes the historical background, the policy context and how non-governmental organizations deliver settlement services in Canada.

    Building Healthier Organizations Manual, Association of Ontario Health Centres, Toronto, 1998. Available from 5233 Dundas St. W, Toronto, ON, M9B 1A6, tel. 416-236-2539.

    This manual defines healthy organizations as those prepared to manage change in a creative, innovative, productive manner without sacrificing quality. It provides organizations with tools and resources to assist them in achieving excellence. Although designed specifically for community health centres in Ontario, the information and resources are a valuable contribution to any other community-based sector.

    Building on Strength: Improving Governance and Accountability in Canada's Voluntary Sector, Panel on Accountability and Governance in the Voluntary Sector, Final Report, February 1999. Available at

    The final report of the Panel on Accountability and Governance in the Voluntary Sector, chaired by Ed Broadbent. It includes 41 recommendations on improving accountability and strengthening the capacity of the voluntary sector, as well as a good practice guide effective stewardship.

    The CNC Outcome Evaluation Initiative: Summary Report, Coalition of Neighbourhood Centres, Toronto, 1999. From the Introduction: "The materials presented should help agencies focus more precisely on how and in what circumstances, outcome evaluation might be used to support their evaluation goals. We hope as well that the report will further the efforts of staff, community members, supporters, and funding partners, as they work together to develop practical and effective methods for evaluating the impact of community services in people's lives."

    Le contrat de travail, Lise Gervais, CFP, 1992, 49 pages. (in French only). Available from Centre de Formation Populaire, 3575, boul. St-Laurent, bur. 406, Montréal, Québec, H2X 2T7, tel. (514) 842-2548.

    Designed as a training tool, this document contains suggestions for employees of community groups who are seeking working conditions appropriate to the nature and finances of their organizations.

    The Development of Service and Sectoral Standards for the Immigrant Services Sector, Discussion Document, An OCASI/COSTI Partnership Project, 1999. Available from 110 Eglinton Avenue West 2nd floor, Toronto, ON M4R 1A3, Tel. 416-322-4950.

    This discussion document reports on the results of a joint OCASI/COSTI research project aimed at developing service and sectoral standards for community-based immigrant-serving organizations. The objective is to generate ideas, elicit input and provide feedback on the suggested standards as well as develop recommendations for further development and implementation. The document looks at core services, minimum standards for core services, client outcomes and basic organizational standards.

    L'évaluation d'un organisme, Christine Daniel, 1992, 49 pages. (in French only). Available from Centre de Formation Populaire, 3575, boul. St-Laurent, bur. 406, Montréal, Québec, H2X 2T7, tel. (514) 842-2548.

    A practical guide to help community organizations evaluate their objectives, their activities, their operations, their teamwork and their clientele. How should one prepare an annual evaluation? What should be evaluated? How does one go about it?

    Guide d'évaluation participative et de négociation. Franklin Midy, Carole Vanier et Michel Grant , Les groupes du projet Pratiques novatrices, Montréal, 1998, 118 pages. (in French only). Available from Centre de Formation Populaire, 3575, boul. St-Laurent, bur. 406, Montréal, Québec, H2X 2T7, tel. (514) 842-2548.

    Document derived from a series of training sessions given as part of the Innovative practices in the community sector program. It addresses: theories and principles, a participatory approach to evaluation, methodology of participatory evaluation, tools, negotiating evaluation.

    Making the Road by Walking It: A Workbook for Re-thinking Settlement, CultureLink, Toronto, 1996. Available from 474 Bathurst St. 3rd Fl, Toronto, ON, M5T 2S9, Tel. 416-923-4678.

    This workbook focuses on organizational change and re-engineering in settlement to help settlement workers (and settlement organizations) keep up with wider political and economic developments.

    Occupational Competencies Framework for the Immigrant and Multicultural Services Sector, developed by the Multi-lateral Task Force on Training, Career Pathing and Labour Mobility in the Community Social Service Sector in British Columbia, 1998.

    This is one of six occupational competency frameworks for different community social service sectors. The framework describes the key purpose of the sector and the broad functions and activities practitioners carry out in order to fulfill that purpose. Performance indicators, knowledge specification and value statements are also provided. It was developed through a process that involved asking experienced practitioners and supervisors a series of questions about what they do, how they do it and why.

    Outcome Measurement: Showing Results in the Nonprofit Sector. Margaret C. Plantz and Martha Taylor Greenway, United Way of America and Michael Hendricks, an independent consultant, 1997.
    This article summarizes the history of performance measurement in the non-profit health and human services sector and defines key concepts in outcome measurement. Next, it reports on activities in five key areas and describes 30 lessons the field has learned for those who have led the way. Finally it identifies seven pressing challenges that lie ahead.

    Other United Way of America documents on outcomes are also publicly available at Achieving and Measuring Community Outcomes: Challenges, Issues, Some Approaches; Community Status Reports, Targeted Community Interventions: Drawing a Distinction; Introducing Outcomes: Basic Definitions and Concepts in Program Outcome Measurement (video); Measuring Program Outcomes: A Practical Approach; Measuring Program Outcomes Training Kit; Update: Outcome Measurement Activities of National Health and Human Service Organizations

    Des services aux demandeurs d'asile: pourquoi? Ce qu'en disent les intervenants d'organismes communautaires du Grand Montréal, Table de concertation des organismes au service des personnes réfugiées et immigrantes, 1999. (In French only). Available from 518 rue Beaubien Est, Montréal, QC, H2S 1S5, Tel: 514-272-6060.

    A research report on the experiences and needs of refugee claimants and on the settlement workers who serve them. This research pilot was requested by the settlement workers, because of the urgent need of claimants for settlement services, to which however they officially do not have access.

    Note also:

    Citizenship and Immigration Canada materials are available on the CIC website,

    Canadian Council for Refugees materials are available on the CCR website:

    1. Currently Québec, British Columbia and Manitoba have responsibility for administering settlement services to immigrants and refugees in those provinces.

    2. A more detailed review of the history of settlement services is provided in Best Settlement Practices, CCR, 1998, pp. 17-20.

    3. Annual Report to Parliament, Immigration Plan for 1991-1995, Immigration Canada, October 1990, pp 13-15.

    4. Best Settlement Practices, Canadian Council for Refugees, 1998, p. 27: "From best practices, we can develop standards. They differ from standards -- generally agreed upon minimum norms for programs -- in that best practices constitute an ideal to which an organization can strive".

    5. Round II. Consultations on Settlement Renewal: Finding a New Direction for Newcomer Integration, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 1996.

    6. Notes from national standards discussion held at CCR, 20 November 1997.

    7. The preceding two paragraphs are drawn, with some adaptation, from The Development of Service and Sectoral Standards for the Immigrant Services Sector, An OCASI/COSTI Partnership Project, June 1999, p. I-3.

    8. This service is primarily a government responsibility, although NGOs can be involved in the delivery.

    9. Terms used vary across Canada: some people use, rather than "settlement worker", the term "settlement practitioners", others "settlement counsellor". In French, "intervenant" is common.

    10. This list is largely drawn from the Occupational Competencies Framework for Immigrant and Multicultural Services, BC Multilateral Task Force on Training, Career Pathing and Labour Mobility, June 1998.

    11. The Development of Service and Sectoral Standards for the Immigrant Services Sector, An OCASI/COSTI Partnership Project, June 1999, p. V-1.

    12. The National Principles are found here..

    13. Based on a definition in Settlement in the 1990s: An overview of the needs of new immigrants in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley, prepared by the Immigrant Services Society of BC, quoted in Occupational Competencies Framework for Immigrant and Multicultural Services.

    14. CCR Resolution 2, November 1995.

    15. Best Settlement Practices, CCR, 1998, p. 9.

    16. The Development of Service and Sectoral Standards for the Immigrant Services Sector, An OCASI/COSTI Partnership Project, June 1999, p. II-1.

    17. Best Settlement Practices, Canadian Council for Refugees, 1998, p. 17.

    18. From Best Settlement Practices, Canadian Council for Refugees, 1998, p. 27 and The Issues. Consultations on Settlement Renewal: Finding a New Direction for Newcomer Integration, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 1995.