The development of the TEQ LIP Newcomer Settlement Strategy was the result of a coordinated effort during extraordinary times – the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic coincided with our strategic planning process and necessitated a rapid shift from our usual approach with in-person planning and engagement to a fully virtual environment. We are grateful for the commitment, initiative and innovative spirit of our partner organizations, residents and stakeholders who pivoted with us and contributed their time, insights and expertise to the development of this strategic plan through many virtual sessions, phone and Zoom calls and online survey tools.
The TEQ LIP Newcomer Settlement Strategy 2020-2025 was developed by the membership of the Toronto East Quadrant Local Immigration Partnership (TEQ LIP) over the spring and summer 2020 with input, direction and guidance from TEQ LIP’s Partnership Council, Action Groups, Newcomer Council, Steering and Executive Committee. It was approved by the Partnership Council in December, 2020
Following the approval of the strategic plan, TEQ LIP members and partners met between December 2020 and March 2021 to develop an action plan for implementation of the strategy. TEQ LIP’s Action Plan 2020 – 2025 along with the TEQ LIP Newcomer Settlement Strategy provides the framework and pathway to help organizations in working together to support newcomers. The initiative aids newcomers, helping them settle, integrate and successfully contribute to Scarborough’s economic, social and cultural fabric. It addresses barriers and needs identified in the strategic planning process and reflects our values of diversity, equity, empowerment and inclusion.
The Toronto East Quadrant Newcomer Settlement Strategy 2020 – 2025 identified strategic priorities for the partnership to address in the coming five years. Four Action Groups were established by the TEQ LIP to implement these strategic priorities:
1. Access to Current and Relevant Information
- Facilitate service providers’ and other organizations’ access to current and relevant information, enabling them to better understand newcomers’ settlement, integration and emerging needs.
- Increase newcomers and immigrants access to services by sharing relevant information, including support for using technology and alternative methods to reach clients remotely.
- Service providers and stakeholders have timely access to the latest information, research data, and policy directions related to newcomer needs and are equipped with resources and tools to continue their support to newcomers including vulnerable groups and underserved groups.
- Increased service collaboration, partnerships and effective service delivery pathways among organizations to provide seamless support to new immigrants through partnerships and collaboration.
2. Employment & Economic Opportunities for Newcomers
- Contribute to successful newcomer employment pathways by serving as a platform for stakeholders to enhance support for newcomers navigating the labour market.
- Service providers are equipped to support newcomer professionals with job integration and retention. Relevant information is shared and received by service providers and newcomers.
- Resources, tools and information will be easily accessible for newcomers to help them overcome social and economic barriers such as racial inequality in employment.
3. Inclusion and Equity
- Support service providers, faith-based groups, and other community stakeholders in working together to make Scarborough a more welcoming place where newcomers feel included, connected, supported, develop a sense of belonging and actively participate in community and civic life.
- Organizations and communities in Scarborough are working together to co-create an environment that helps newcomers and refugees feel included, be civically and socially engaged, and be well informed about available services, support systems, and matters that impact their lives. There is greater inclusion and more connected and active individuals and communities in Scarborough.
4. Newcomers’ Physical and Emotional Health and Wellbeing
- Develop a holistic and equitable approach to newcomer health that considers the physical and emotional health of individuals, families, and communities from a social determinants of health perspective. Examine barriers to accessing services and particular health challenges for particular newcomer groups and increase service provider capacity to address them.
- Service providers are working together, equipped with the necessary knowledge and tools to best support newcomers in navigating the healthcare system and proactively taking care of their own health. Organizations support and promote a healthcare system that is culturally sensitive, connected and facilitates linkages between newcomers and healthcare providers.