Inside RAP - Resettlement Assistance Program Newsletter/RAP Working Group Meeting June 3-5, 2008

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RAP Working Group Calgary, Alberta, June 3-5 2008

The RAP Working Group is a Citizenship and Immigration Canada led body that provides recommendations and advice to senior management on the direction of RAP. Participation includes CIC NHQ (Operational Management and Coordination Branch, Refugees Branch, Health Management Branch), CIC Regions, and RAP Service Provider Organizations (SPOs) In June this year, the group held an in-person meeting in Calgary. Highlights included:

  • An update from CIC NHQ on the Bhutanese movement, followed by a discussion on lessons learned from the Karensof Burma via Thailand, which will assist in planning for the Bhutanese and other future groups. Feedback from the group indicated that cultural profiles were useful but did not need to be so detailed, sharing up-to-date information on arrival dates is important, and that family reunification must be considered when destining. Best practices raised were community readiness, capacity building, sharing resources/information and encouraging more access to dental healthcare.
  • Health Management Branch gave an overview of proposed changes to IFH including updates to the IFH website and changes to reduce the burden of prior approvals on certain items.
  • On Day 2 the group touredthe Margaret Chisholm Resettlement Centre in Calgary. This facility provides temporary accommodation to newcomers as they begin the resettlement process. The group also attended a presentation by Dr. Carolyn Pimfrom Calgary Health Services who discussed ongoing challenges around health issues amongst refugees.
  • For the first time, SAHs were represented at the RAP WG. Discussions took place around possibilities for collaboration between SAHs and SPOs, such as information sharing and training. It was agreed by all that SAH/SPO collaboration leads to positive outcomes for newcomers, front line workers and volunteers. A list of recommended actions for the future included sharing a master list of RAP SPOs and SAHs, collaborating on community activities, creating a list of resources and sharing orientation materials.

Thank you to the Calgary Catholic Immigrant Servicesfor hosting the June meeting.

For more information on the RAP WG, please contact your CIC Regional Program Advisor or the Service Provider Organization representative from your region.