OCASI hosts practical programs that create access to social, economic and political participation of newcomers in Ontario. We work on specific activities to provide needed services to sector workers, create collaborative initiatives and enhanced access to professional development and skills development across our sector.
OCASI seeks to create and implement innovative solutions to existing sector issues, and to provide cross-sectoral support to agencies and newcomers directly. Our overall goal is to support and maintain a strong service-delivery system that meets the changing needs of newcomers to Ontario and Canada. With our members, OCASI ensures that our projects reach a wide range of sector workers, in all areas of Ontario.
Technology and community development combine strongly in creating innovative OCASI projects. OCASI is an invaluable partner to the settlement sector, to governmental organizations and to community agencies across Ontario. Developing these partnerships, nurturing new ones, and leading the way for fair, accessible and integrated settlement services remain OCASI's objectives for many years to come.
OCASI's Accessibility Initiative (AI) allows settlement sector employees to acquire new skills and knowledge in areas related to service provision to immigrants with disabilities.
Allies in Refugee Integration
Allies in Refugee Integration (ARI) is an IRCC-funded project that aims to increase and strengthen collaboration between settlement service providers and refugee sponsorship groups in Ontario, and ultimately improve settlement outcomes of privately sponsored refugees.
CitizenshipCounts.ca and DeviensCitoyen.ca are websites that help young newcomers learn about Canadian citizenship and study for the Canadian citizenship test.
Client Management System (OCMS)
The OCASI Client Management System (OCMS) is a newly developed, powerful and sophisticated website that can be used by multi-service agencies across Canada to record and retrieve important client information while generating detailed real-time reports on individual and group activities.
The annual Executive Directors' Forum is an opportunity for sector leaders to engage in open dialogue on sectoral priorities, issues and concerns with their peers, and with representatives from Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration and other stakeholders.
Etablissement.Org is an information and referral French language website to help and address the needs of French-speaking newcomers (and potential newcomers) to Ontario.
Initiative to End Gender-Based Violence in Immigrant and Refugee Communities
OCASI's Initiative to End Gender-Based Violence in Immigrant and Refugee Communities provides resources, education and leadership to the settlement sector and the broader community on gender-based violence prevention and survivor support.
Journeys to Active Citizenship/Chemins vers une citoyennté active
Journeys to Active Citizenship is a 5-year project (2020-2025) that aims to develop civic engagement program models and curriculum tools that will ultimately be adopted by settlement agencies in an effort to continue fostering active citizenship amongst newcomers across Canada.
Learn At Work
Learn at Work website contains a collection of online learning courses created and hosted by OCASI. Many of the courses are online versions of in-class training that were offered by OCASI. The topics are mainly on skills in working with clients.
Maximizing Governance in For Public Benefit Organizations is a project to provide governance training to board members and senior leaders of incorporated, community-based not-for-profit organizations based in Ontario. This includes the roles and responsibilities of board members regarding money and the law, and how boards can best represent those they serve.
Mental Health Promotion
The Mental Health Promotion in Immigrant and Refugee Serving Organizations Project aims to build the capacity of immigrant and refugee services to promote newcomer mental health and wellbeing, and respond to mental health issues. The project collaborates with immigrant and refugee serving organizations, primary health, and the mental health sector to support the implementation of a service delivery model for mental health promotion.
The National Online Bilingual Community of Practice
This project aims to develop and facilitate a collection of communities of practice (CoPs) where staff and leaders in the Canadian immigrant and refugee serving sector, and those in related fields, can learn, share, connect and collaborate.
NewYouth.ca is a place for young newcomers to find reliable information and services to access. You can read articles or watch informative videos on newcomer youth-related issues, find services and programs near you, and find newcomer youth-related events to attend.
Orgwise: Organizational Standards
In 2009, OCASI established a set of voluntary organizational standards for the Settlement sector in Ontario and developed a user-friendly, online organizational self-assessment tool called OrgWise (CapacitOrg en français).
The OCASI Professional Development Conference is designed for frontline workers, program coordinators, and managers in the settlement sector. Participation is open to OCASI member agencies and other immigrant and refugee serving organizations in Ontario that receive funding from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and/or the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration (MCI).
Positive Spaces Initiative (PSI)
The Positive Spaces Initiative (PSI) aims to support the settlement sector to more effectively serve LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, two-spirit, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, pansexual, genderqueer, etc.) newcomers. PSI encourages training, education, leadership and resource-sharing to support LGBTQ+ newcomers, staff, volunteers and community members.
Professional Education and Training (PET)
Professional Education and Training (PET) program provides financial support to settlement practitioners to facilitate their access to professional development opportunities, to upgrade their individual skills, and gain knowledge through group workshops. The project also provides settlement practitioners access to online e-learning course.
OCASI created SecteurEtablissement.Org in 2009, with funding from Citizenship and Immigration Canada. The goal of this site is to help French-speaking workers prepare to best serve their newcomer clients, and to help organizations support their staff who serve French-speaking clients.
OCASI created and launched Settlement.Org in 1999 and has been responsible for the ongoing development and maintenance of the website ever since. This includes web development, content development and marketing of the site.
The SettlementAtWork.Org website has professional development resources and news for front-line workers, program staff, managers and administrative staff. The goal of this site is to help workers prepare to best serve their newcomer clients, and to help organizations support their staff.
The WelcomeOntario.ca - Refugee Assistance Information website funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), was created to bring together trustworthy information for those helping refugees settle in Ontario.