The Modernized Approach to Settlement is reportedly driven by the federal government's desire to improve immigrant settlement outcomes. Currently under implementation by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), it is said to be the result of the following two key changes: increased program funding for immigrant settlement and a renewed vision on how settlement services can be delivered through a new set of terms and conditions.
This approach includes some adjustments that have the potential to address long-standing OCASI concerns about eliminating the duplication of administrative processes, and to demonstrate a commitment to transparent and accountable decision-making.
The recent increase in settlement funding particularly in Ontario has attracted keen interest in providing immigrant settlement services from a large variety of non-traditional and new players. Years of under-funding prior to that had left mostly community-based non-profit organizations to form the core of the immigrant and refugee-serving sector. Unsurprisingly many, if not most sector organizations view the new entrants‟ motives, values and practices vis-à-vis immigrant service delivery, with a certain amount of skepticism.
The combination of funder-driven programming changes and the entrance of new players into this dynamic new environment, particularly those that may operate on different values and principles, can present a threat to organizations that have historically received CIC funds to deliver immigrant settlement services. But these organizations as well as community-based organizations that have provided settlement services with other sources of funding, have relevant and valuable expertise, experience, and community-credibility. These are factors that will allow them, if they choose, to assert legitimate leadership in this context.
OCASI sees this moment as an opportunity for the sector to clearly articulate the values and principles that are central to immigrant settlement service programs and service delivery, and expectations of each other, of funders, and of external stakeholders. This paper presents OCASI‟s vision for the implementation of the Modernized settlement approach.