Multicultural Services Delivery Framework 2013

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1 Multicultural Services Delivery Framework 2013 Contact: Kathi Campbell Regional Manager Intervention Services & Supports December 2013

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS Background Section 1: Purpose and Vision Section 2: Guiding Principles Section 3: Goals and Outcomes Section 4: Acknowledgements 1

3 SECTION 1: PURPOSE AND VISION PURPOSE In follow up to the Multicultural Service Delivery Symposium held in May 2011, the Edmonton and Area Child and Family Services Authority (CFSA) committed to the design of a Service Delivery Framework for provision of services to multicultural, immigrant and refugee families. The Framework encompasses services to children, youth and families not only in the Child Intervention sphere but also includes Family Supports for Children with Disabilities (FSCD), Community Supports (Early Intervention and Prevention) and Child Care services. As our communities change and grow it is important to understand the dynamics of the population. Canada is becoming increasingly culturally diverse. Of western countries, Canada is second only to Australia in the proportion of its population that is foreign born (1 in 5). When it comes to visible minorities, the percentage of visible minorities within the Canadian population is projected to reach 31% in 2031 (from 16% in 2006) 1. According to the 2011 census, ten of the 15 census clusters with the highest population growth in Canada are situated in Alberta 2. Much of Alberta s rapid population growth can be attributed to immigration, temporary foreign workers (TWF) and secondary migration which the economic boom of 2006 attracted. The province receives roughly 32,000 immigrants annually and over 24,000 temporary foreign workers 3. Secondary migration (from other provinces) is not tracked but is known to bring thousands of additional families. While times of economic boom do benefit some Albertans, most immigrants and TFWs find that their incomes do not increase, but costs of living, such as housing, do. The result of this economic strain, especially when coupled with the challenges of settlement and cultural transition, has been to undermine well-being and increase vulnerability. This is a critical time in the history of the province to reassess the kinds of support newcomer families receive and the ways these supports can be made more relevant and effective. Failure to do so may result in a significant subset of new Canadians growing up in a context of poverty and marginalization, which correlate with poor social and emotional outcomes. 1 While visible minority numbers do not directly reflect newcomer status, increasing numbers of newcomers are member of visible minorities. Data from Statistics Canada. 2 Statistics Canada, Citizenship and Immigration Canada.-Facts and Figures, Immigration Overview, Permanent and Temporary Residents 2

4 VISION That families, children and youth from multicultural communities will be safe, supported, valued and affirmed. The CFSA will recognize and value the increasing diversity of the Canadian population and the diversity of approaches to family life and childrearing that this brings. At the same time, the CFSA will develop a deep understanding of the complex needs, strengths and vulnerabilities of Canadian newcomers. There will be an ongoing effort to understand the full spectrum of possibilities for cultural relevant support across Child Intervention, FSCD, Community supports and Child Care Services, and to develop innovative programming to address the unique needs and strengths of this population. As a result, families will be able to access a multitude of services and supports within the CFSA that are culturally appropriate and recognizant of religious beliefs. This is inclusive of services delivered by staff, caregivers and contracted agencies. Beyond services delivered by the CFSA, families will be able to receive services as Albertans as part of the Social Policy Framework. Barriers will be eliminated and families will benefit from wrap around services. Services will be designed and delivered in collaboration with multicultural communities and contracted agencies. Collaborative work with community partners will be essential in ensuring that children, youth and families are in receipt of services that meet their complex cultural needs. 3

5 SECTION 2: GUIDING PRINCIPLES Respect, understanding and acknowledgement of cultural differences and practices within Edmonton s multicultural population. Beyond this, is it recognized that an intercultural approach, which affirms the value of alternate perspectives and emphasizes the value of sharing and learning across cultures, is foundational to effective and inclusive service provision. Non judgemental and a willingness to be open to the differences between the dominant culture and other cultures. A recognition that power is not evenly distributed; families, especially of minority cultures, often find themselves in situations of disadvantage, marginalization and powerlessness when engaging with systems. Therefore, this important work needs to be informed by the emerging literature on anti-oppressive practise. It is recognized that the lives of newcomer families are shaped by a multitude of interacting factors. These would include, but not be limited to, pre-migration history, immigration status, culture, language, religion, socioeconomic status and cultural community supports in Edmonton. Understanding and navigating this complex web of considerations requires attention, expertise and focused collaborative casework, all of which imply time and resources. Some newcomer families have experienced violence and trauma in their country of origin. The impact of this must be factored into our awareness, practise and response. Ongoing learning about the histories, strengths, limitations, and aspirations of specific ethno-cultural communities in Edmonton is foundational to appropriate practise. Practice will acknowledge and be reflective of: o Cultural Absolutism - An approach to child intervention services in which neglect and abuse can be identified and is separate from the child s culture. (Sawrikar 2009) o Cultural Relativism - An approach to child intervention services in which neglect and abuse can not identified because the behaviour cannot be separated from cultural factors and practice. (Sawrikar 2009) o Cultural Sensitivity - The awareness of how a child, youth or family differs from mainstream cultural norms on parenting, discipline and/or family functioning. (Sawrikar 2009) o Racial Disproportionally or Racial Disparity - Over representation of children from a specific cultural group in the child protection system is significantly higher than their proportion in the general population. This is also applicable to Aboriginal and First Nations children and youth in the child protection system. (Johnson, Clark, Donald, Pedersen and Pichotta 2007) o Institutional Racism - The culture of an organization in its formal and informal rules, the explicit and implicit protocols for workplace interaction and organizational memories that can lead to a system of racialised oppression. The implication is that even if a Caucasian person does not discriminate individually, he or she befits from white privilege based on group membership (Feagin and McKinney 2003). 4

6 SECTION 3: GOALS AND OUTCOMES Goal #1: Increase partnerships/collaboration between CFSA, stakeholders, ethnic communities based on improving a coordinated approach to culturally diverse populations. New and enhanced relationships with ethnic communities and service partners. Collaborative working protocols with specific ethnic communities. Increased capacity to help navigate complex legal immigrant and refugee issues. Comprehensive policies and protocols are developed that aim at improving working relationships with Citizen, Immigration Canada and other Federal and Provincial ministries and departments in the development of services to multicultural children, youth and families. Through cross ministry and regional committees, ensure that services to children, youth and families are reflective of a multicultural focus and part of the Social Policy Framework. Goal #2: Develop and enhance greater multicultural awareness, competencies and best practices of staff focusing on strengthening services to diverse ethnic communities. Enhanced multicultural awareness/competency of staff. Best practices are established that focus on strengthening services to diverse ethnic communities. The experiences of multicultural communities is used to enhance planning for more effective preventative and early intervention strategies. Effective and culturally appropriate learning opportunities for staff and agencies partners. Goal #3: Develop and implement human resource strategies that result in an increase in the ethnic diversity of our workforce. Increased rate of ethnic diversity of our workforce. Goal #4: Recruit, retain and support foster parents and caregivers of diverse cultural and religious backgrounds. Increased understanding of the full spectrum of possibilities for culturally relevant support. Creative care alternatives that are adapted to the unique strengths and limitations of immigrant communities. Effective and culturally appropriate learning opportunities for foster parents, caregivers and immigrant community members. 5

7 SECTION 4: ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS We thank all the community groups, organizations, agencies, caregivers and staff who provided input on the development of this framework and who are committed to the continued efforts to develop appropriate services and supports as we move forward. 6

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