Programs that provide assistance for non-citizens who are having difficulty understanding and/or obtaining access to the government-sponsored entitlement programs and social services for which they are eligible including housing programs, employment assistance and job training; medical assistance; and other government entitlements. The program may help these individuals understand the eligibility criteria for benefits and services, the benefits/services available, the payment process and the rights of beneficiaries; provide consultation and advice; help them complete benefits application forms; negotiate on their behalf with benefits administration and social service staff; and/or represent them in administrative processes or judicial litigation. Included are benefits counselling organizations that offer a range of advocacy services and legal aid programs that offer more formalized legal assistance.
Programs developed and staffed by former refugees and immigrants that help newly arrived people from their previous country or region of residence begin a new life in Canada. Mutual assistance associations address the unique cultural needs of the specific immigrant/refugee population they serve and provide a variety of services including cultural adjustment support, English or French language instruction, interpretation/translation services, housing and employment assistance, transportation, clothing and furniture, as needed, small business development assistance and help in accessing other social services.
Programs that help newly arrived immigrant and refugee individuals or families make the adjustment to their new home and community. Services may include reception upon arrival; provision of a "welcome kit" of immediate necessities and information; collection and provision of household goods; cultural orientation and ESL or FSL classes; and assistance in locating housing and employment, using public transportation and identifying other needed services.
Mutual support groups whose members are immigrants, refugees, temporary workers and other newcomers. The groups meet in-person, by telephone or via the Internet; and allow participants to share their experience, strengths and hopes to solve the problems they have in common and to address the cultural transition and quality of life issues that affect them all.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.