FOCUS/1-8/Promotion, Recruitment and Settlement

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Promotion, Recruitment and Settlement

Province-Wide Coordination

for the French-Language Swis Program

For the first time since the French-language component of the SWIS (Settlement Workers in Schools) Program was implemented, a province-wide Francophone coordination is now in place.

COPA was hired in December of 2009 by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to become the first Provincial Coordinator of Ontario’s Francophone network of SWIS teams in French-language schools. As such, it provides leadership and support to the five existing Francophone teams in Hamilton, Windsor, London-Sarnia, Ottawa and the Greater Toronto Area. COPA is a French-language non-profit organization that specializes in resource development, training and programming.

Parity

In its role as Provincial Coordinator, COPA is committed to achieving parity with the English-language program, working in close collaboration with its Anglophone counterpart as well as the Francophone SWIS teams, and CIC. Parity is being sought in key areas of activities including training, educational and promotional resources, as well as program development and administration.

Provincial Steering Committee

Together, COPA and CIC have set up the Francophone Provincial Steering Committee, which is comprised of partners from within the French-language network. SWIS teams are represented as are school boards, the Ministry of Education, CIC and COPA itself. The Committee’s role is to provide leadership in collaboration with CIC and the Provincial Coordinator.

Engagement And Networking

In collaboration with its Anglophone counterpart, COPA plans and manages provincial meetings that bring together SWIS stakeholders from both official language groups. Work sessions are led jointly to ensure full participation and the integration of Francophone teams; provincial get-togethers are also an opportunity to strengthen their ties.

New Training Sessions

COPA has developed and provided two training sessions. A professional development session is under development for 2011.

Provincial Consultation

COPA also led another major undertaking, a comprehensive consultation with stakeholders across the province. The extensive report includes a summary of key findings in addition to recommendations designed to promote further dialogue and to ensure sound planning as part of CIC’s modernized approach.

Adaptation Of The Now Program

The Newcomer Orientation Week (NOW) Program has been adapted from English and tailored to the Franco-Ontarian context with the help of Toni Chalah, the French-language SWIS Coordinator at the Centre francophone de Toronto. COPA has provided significant support to local Francophone SWIS teams to ensure the successful implementation of this program (in both 2009 and 2010). In addition, the Provincial Coordinator held training sessions in four locations in August 2010 to train teams of student ambassadors. An activity report is posted at www.teeontario.ca.

Otis Version 2.0 – French-Language Training

In the fall of 2010, COPA worked closely with the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) to ensure the delivery of training sessions, in French, pertaining to OTIS 2.0, the new data entry and stats reporting system.

Web Site

In November 2010, COPA launched a web site to promote Ontario’s French-language SWIS program: www.teeontario.ca. The new web resource is intended for newcomers, service providers, and individuals abroad who may be considering immigrating to Canada in the near future.

The web site provides information about the Program and links to French-language SWIS teams across the province. A section is reserved for local teams to post their activities and share news of their achievements. Under the Our Teams, Our Schools heading, visitors can find the names of organizations providing a SWIS program in their area and a list of participating schools. All newly-created COPA resources are available for download on the site.

The web site also provides information on a host of issues including provincial coordination, the new Provincial Steering Committee, Ontario’s francophonie and French-language school system. The site is also linked to other relevant web sites including établissement.org.

Promotional Resources

COPA has developed a wide range of promotional resources to promote the Frenchlanguage SWIS Program including pamphlets, posters, postcards, kits and banners. Also, the second issue of its newsletter was distributed in November 2010. COPA is currently working with the Ministry of Education to update the Newcomers’ Guide to the Ontario school system, one of several projects involving the development of information tools.

Documentary

A new documentary film titled Entre deux mondes (Between Two Worlds) produced by COPA captures unscripted testimonials by young newcomers as they integrate Frenchlanguage schools and peers who act as ambassadors. These students are trained to welcome newcomers and help them integrate school life. Francophone SWIS are also featured explaining their role and the positive changes they bring about in schools. The film can be viewed online at www.teeontario.ca and will soon be released in DVD format.

Information

For more information about the Provincial Coordinator, please contact Lisa Weintraub at COPA at 416 466 7490, or by email at copa@rogers.com.