Immigrant Settlement Counselling: A Training Guide/Chapter 3: The Training Needs of Settlement Counsellors

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Immigrant Settlement Counselling:
A Training Guide
Developing the CSISW Course:
A Case Example
Org: Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI)

This section focuses on the types of training that settlement counsellors need to do their jobs effectively. The first part examines the current status of training in the field. The five functional areas of settlement work introduced in Chapter 2 are then reviewed and a framework for training in these areas is suggested.

Chapter 3 of the Training Guide provides information about the training needs of settlement counsellors, including:

  • Current status of settlement counsellor training

Most counsellors have had to rely on on-the-job training and informal workshops to learn their craft. Skilled counsellors are usually self-taught - building on their own life experiences in the case of immigrant counsellors - and/or have had skilled colleagues to learn from in their workplaces.

  • Background on the lack of training

The lack of attention paid to the process of settlement has traditionally resulted in low levels of government funding for settlement agencies. This in turn has meant inadequate resources within agencies for staff training, and a lack of long-term planning for staff development.

  • Benefits of training

Significant benefits to society follow from providing appropriate training for settlement counsellors. Training front-line staff ultimately leads to a consistently higher quality of service to immigrants.

  • Training needs

This section gives an overview of the areas of settlement work in which training is needed. The training needs are a based on the composite profile of the various job functions that settlement counsellors typically perform (introduced in Chapter 2) - Information and Referral, Access and Advocacy, Counselling, Community Development and Education and Administration.

  • A framework for training settlement counsellors

The framework for training does not presume to be definitive; rather, it is suggestive and should stimulate further thinking on what other areas of training need to be added. It can therefore be used as a tool for building programs or as a departure point for discussing other models for training.

  • Core themes for training

There are certain concepts or themes that are so central to settlement work that they need to be integrated into training in each of the five functional areas of settlement work. . The core themes should underlie all training for settlement counsellors, to enable them to develop the attitudes, knowledge and skills which they need to work towards the goals of settlement.

  • Choosing training priorities

The framework for training offers a broad spectrum of choices for those developing training workshops, courses or programs for settlement counsellors.

Language: English

Format: This document is available for download in Adobe Acrobat PDF format [322 KB, 20 pages].