Research Report Released: Competencies of Settlement Counsellors in Canada

CERIC funded, this research report includes valuable information regarding next training and needed resources for settlement counsellors.

A new research report that was CERIC funded, The Competencies of Frontline Settlement Counsellors in Canada, authored by Koltermann of eCaliber Group and Dan Scott of Calience Research and Consulting, has been released.

The report finds a pressing need for greater training of settlement counsellors – those on the front lines of welcoming newcomers to Canada – as their role changes in response to rising immigration levels and an increasingly complex settlement landscape. The pan-Canadian research identifies eight critical competencies that could form the basis of training to help settlement counsellors be successful as the job is redefined and the range of work is extended. While the focus is on the role of settlement counsellors, many of the insights, conclusions and recommendations can be applied to other categories of front-line settlement workers.

The report pinpoints that the work of settlement counsellors needs to go beyond a traditional approach of providing direct services to immigrants to also include building capacity in communities that welcome newcomers. The role of settlement counsellors now fundamentally has two parts, each based on capacity-building: empowering newcomers and empowering destination communities.

Research for the report involved conducting 40 in-depth interviews and five focus groups with settlement counsellors, managers and regional co-ordinators in Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia about how their work is evolving and their training needs.

The project was conceived as a contribution toward a growing body of knowledge used by settlement agencies to:

  • Raise the profile of settlement workers;
  • Help identify potential candidates for the role;
  • Provide initial and ongoing training; and
  • Ensure talent is well nurtured.

A background report released in January explored the historic and current realities in Canada’s settlement sector. The ongoing research has had two interrelated aims: The first is to gain insight into the work of settlement counsellors and map the career path of this position. The second is to identify a competency model for settlement counsellors that can form the foundation for effective and affordable training.

Learn more about this research by:

Please do forward this information to others in your network who could benefit and let me know if you have any questions.

This information was provided by:

SHARON FERRISS, Director, Marketing, Web & New Media


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October 20, 2019 | Communications Chair

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