Enhanced Settlement Workers in Schools (ESWIS)

Enhanced Settlement WORKERS in Schools (eswis)

One of the first steps taken by newcomer families is to enroll their children in school. Children are then faced with unique integration challenges: they need to make new friends, learn English, and understand the curriculum content that is designed for the Alberta context.

For newcomer parents, their expected role in their child’s education in Canada often differs from that of their country of origin. Newcomer Centre works to make schools welcoming spaces for newcomer parents and children through cultural brokering, therapeutic family counselling and academic supports. We also work in schools to facilitate communication and establish meaningful connections between newcomer families, their communities, and the school system.

What we offer

Newcomers benefit from:

  • Navigation support to understand the school system and key processes such as registration, parent meetings, and student assessments
  • Supports for students who are feeling lonely, isolated, bored, or bullied because they do not “fit in”
  • Translation for students and parents so they can share their valuable voice on issues relevant to them with teachers and school administration
  • Cultural brokering during misunderstandings or disputes between parents, students, and school staff
  • Referrals for additional services and resources (ex. speech-language pathology, learning disabilities, therapeutic & counselling services, FSCD, PDD, etc.)
  • A comprehensive individualized needs assessment with a coordinated service plan
  • Information on summer activities and camps for students
  • Supports to benefit the whole family in the areas of housing, health care, employment and connecting to community

Benefits to schools

  • A greater understanding of newcomers’ settlement journeys and the challenges newcomers face when integrating
  • Improved cross-cultural communication and cultural sensitivity
  • Assistance in planning for and recruiting newcomer parents for culturally appropriate parent meetings
  • Healthier, happier, and more productive students
  • Prevention of student suspensions, expulsions and drop-outs

How does the program work

Newcomer Centre works with school administrators and parents to determine needs on a student-by-student basis. We have established relationships with many schools in the Metropolitan Edmonton area, but are always available to any school or parent who requires supports. As the demand for services changes from year to year, so does the list of schools in which our program operates.

Additional Newcomer Centre ESWIS programs include:

Who can access the services

Newcomers are eligible to access the ESWIS program if they meet the following criteria:

  • Permanent resident
  • Convention Refugee
  • Live-in Caregiver
  • Protected Person (as defined in Section 95 of Immigration & Refugee Protection Act)

Where is the program offered?

We are available on an on-call basis at any school in Edmonton; however, ESWIS programs are offered regularly in the following school boards:

  • Public Schools
  • Catholic Schools
  • Private and Independent schools

How to access services

Parents, school administrators or teachers can access Enhanced Settlement Workers in Schools (ESWIS) services by contacting our Newcomer Centre ESWIS  Coordinator via: