CIC - Transitioning from CIC’s Host Brand to Community Connections under CIC’s Modernized Approach to Settlement Program

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The text below is an excerpt from the linked Word document: http://atwork.settlement.org/downloads/atwork/ENG_CC_Communique_Feb_2011.docx

The Host program was developed over 25 years ago to promote interaction between newcomers and Canadians and to address programming gaps existing at the time. The Host program has engaged communities to help newcomers feel at home and to assist them to realize their full potential in Canadian society. Through the interaction of program staff, program participants, program partners and community members, the Host program has helped to build a welcoming and inclusive community.

As a result of the approval of the new Terms and Conditions in 2008, CIC moved from operating its Settlement programming via a suite of programs (Immigrant Settlement and Adaptation Program, Host, and Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada) into a single Settlement Program with a suite of services that can be combined to achieve outcomes. Community Connections developed as one of the streams within the modernized Settlement Program. Community Connections is a key component of CIC’s Settlement Program and an essential thread that influences all aspects of integration.

Activities previously funded under the Host brand will now be funded through, and reflect the language of the Community Connections stream of the Modernized Settlement Program. The benefits of newcomer interaction with Canadians, which formed the basis of the Host program, are now embedded across the Settlement Program.

The CIC Host Program underwent an evaluation in 2010, and the key findings resulting from this evaluation indicated that measurable results for matching intended for friendship building are difficult to demonstrate, and that newcomer interaction with Canadians has successfully helped participants in:

developing their understanding of Canadian society practicing their language skills searching for employment supporting their overall settlement progress. To build on past achievements, some activities previously funded under the Host brand will continue to be eligible for funding under the Community Connections stream of the modernized Settlement Program. These activities will continue to support various newcomer needs including connecting vulnerable groups with Canadians, informal practice of language skills, local support networks and local culture while providing opportunities for cross-cultural interaction in their local community.

The following types of activities continue to be eligible for funding under the Community Connections stream:

Cultural and/or career mentoring (both individual and group) Opportunities for multi-way interaction and cross-cultural awareness Networking (e.g. professional or cross-cultural) Conversation circles supporting language learning Group activities/sessions supporting knowledge transfer and cross-cultural awareness Other types of connections with the community (e.g. connecting parents with young children to early childhood development networks, newcomer seniors to seniors networks) The following activities, previously associated with the “Host” brand will no longer be eligible for funding:

Individual or group matching with a sole objective of friendship building Costly volunteer appreciation activities (e.g. appreciation dinners) in favour of more modest gestures (e.g. certificates, letters of thanks) Production of any Host brand promotional material (e.g., letterhead, binders, mugs, pens, etc.) Existing Contribution Agreements with Host brand activities will continue until March 31st, 2011. Effective immediately, any Host brand promotional materials (e.g. letterhead, binders, mugs, pens, etc.), should no longer be produced. Moving forward, CIC funding focus will shift from one-on-one matching to group sessions that can maximize resources by reaching greater numbers of newcomers. Individual or group matching with a sole objective of friendship building are no longer aligned with CIC priorities and will no longer be eligible for funding. Contribution agreements with Community Connections activities currently being negotiated for an April 1st, 2011 start date will reflect the Settlement Program language and remove the use of the Host brand name and any activities with a sole objective of friendship building.

This new direction will allow for a greater focus on activities that will have a measurable impact on improving outcomes for newcomers. Through the Community Connections stream, service provider organizations will continue to foster active and meaningful linkages between newcomers and Canadian society. Newcomers will also develop a sense of belonging and in turn, communities will better understand newcomer challenges and contributions.

If there are any concerns, or if you wish to discuss CIC’s future direction for Community Connections further, please feel free to contact your CIC representative.