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Step Ahead Settlement Enhancement Project Recognized Nationally As An Example Of Best Practices In Settlement Services

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has featured Step Ahead on their list of best practices in settlement services. Programs on this list are selected through criteria established by a national panel of settlement experts drawn from practitioners and the government.Step Ahead uses a case management approach to empower multi-barriered newcomers to recognize and build on their skills, experience and resilience, and thus overcome obstacles to settlement and reach their personal goals. A crucial component of serving multi-barriered populations is staff mobility; over the course of the program, staff serve clients in their home environments and accompany clients to site visits as needed. Staff are able to build a trustful relationship with the client and together, they create holistic plans that address the unique needs of each client.The project is a concerted effort of five organizations, of which MOSAIC is the lead agency. Partners include: Burnaby Family Life, DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society, ISS of BC and S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Interagency collaboration pools resources, makes staff mobility possible, and also improves client accessibility: Step Ahead’s service area has been expanded to include Burnaby, Coquitlam, Langley, New Westminster, Surrey and Vancouver. CIC notes that the program “can be transferred to other communities”.The following paragraph from CIC’s article highlights the impact of the Step Ahead Project:”Newcomers with multi-barriers get intensive support in their settlement and integration into Canadian society. They learn about Canada and its culture and, as a result, become more capable in dealing with their problems, meeting their needs, and pursuing their personal goals […] An outside evaluation of Step Ahead has shown significant improvement in newcomers’ knowledge and understanding of Canadian culture, laws, norms, and ‘systems’.”The full CIC article and list of Best Practices in Settlement Services can be found here: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/partner/bpss/index.asp.