Professional Development Conference/Spring 2010/Refugee Sponsorship

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Refugee Sponsorship

E1: Private Refugee Sponsorship Applications: Assisting Groups of Five

Level: Intermediate / Advanced

Every year roughly between 3,300 and 6,000 refugees are resettled to Canada through the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program. In Canada, groups are provided the opportunity to sponsor refugees either as a Sponsorship Agreement Holder, Community Sponsor or Group of Five. Groups of five are often formed on an ad-hoc basis for a one-time sponsorship and often are not trained on settlement issues or in filling out government forms. Therefore, they often seek assistance from settlement counsellors.

This workshop will provide an overview of the requirements regarding who can be a member of a group of five, the eligibility requirements of the refugees to be sponsored, the sponsorship process, and the responsibilities and financial commitments of the sponsoring group members. A complete overview of the sponsorship forms will also be provided in order to provide you with tips on how to assist your clients in filling out the applications in order to avoid the common mistakes. Additionally, given the recent implementation of new sponsorship forms, this training is quite timely for settlement counsellors.

The purpose of this workshop will be to help settlement counsellors acquire the necessary knowledge regarding the application process and orient them how to fill the new forms and provide them with a list of resources that may be of assistance to their clients. Case studies and group work will be used in order to achieve this goal.

This workshop will be facilitated by representatives of the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP). The RSTP is a program designed to support the Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAHs) of Canada, their Constituent Groups, Groups of Five and Community Sponsors interested in sponsoring refugees. The objective of RSTP is to address, on a national level, the information and ongoing training needs of the sponsorship community and the initial information needs of refugees. RSTP is administered by Catholic Cross-Cultural Services (CCS) and is funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).