Family Counselling Services
The Family Counsellor, working within the Youth Settlement Services team at IRSA, provides counselling that assists newcomers in dealing with psychological and environmental factors that may be having a negative impact on their settlement and adaptation process. These are factors that can play a role in determining newcomers' future in Canada in terms of mental health, academic success, and integration.
Newcomer clients face challenges associated with being new to Canada. These may include adapting to Canadian life, and laws and societal expectations. Immigrant children have an increased risk for psychosocial problems, school failure, substance abuse, and other risk-taking behaviours. The Family Counsellor provides support to children, youth, and families by securing a safe, confidential, supportive environment to discuss concerns, help with individual problem solving and work towards goals and personal skills.
The program consists of individual interventions, and as needed, the coordination of small support groups. Counselling generally takes place at IRSA, in groups and within clients' homes.
Parenting in a New Country
Parenting in a New Country provides newcomer parents with support for, and education about, parenting in Canada.
All parents deal with the typical parenting issues such as parent-child communication, peer relationships, and discipline; but newcomer parents are also learning a whole new cultural system in a new language. Parenting in a New Country offers organized parenting groups and workshops to immigrant families. Sessions focus on current parenting concerns among newcomers, positive parenting skills, building family relationships, understanding Canadian laws, overcoming challenges related to parenting in a new culture, and maintaining cultural values and identity.
Participants experience improved family communication, increased parenting skills, and enhanced family life. They have the opportunity to meet other parents, share experiences, and to receive support and encouragement.